Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Property values unaffected by mobile phone towers, Kiwi study finds

Merewether AntennaResidents’ gripes about the presence of mobile phone towers reducing the value of their homes, is unwarranted, a study of property sales in New Zealand’s third largest city has found.
According to the research published in the International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, the visual impact of lamppost style mobile antennas, single monopoles or armed monopoles in Christchurch had no effect on the sale price of homes within 500 meters.
“No statistically significant connection between cell phone towers and house prices was observed,” the study concluded.
“The emerging empirical evidence indicates that proximity to cell phone towers does not significantly influence people’s health or nearby house prices, which are the key arguments against new towers in residential areas,” lead researcher Olga Filippova said.
“Although cell phone towers are often a source of contention, with homeowners claiming a reduction in property values, the topic has seen very little attention among researchers. We have partially filled this knowledge gap by analysing whether a house’s proximity to a cell phone tower had any impact on sales price in Christchurch.”
The researchers from the University of Auckland analysed the sale price of 9,715 houses within 500m of 65 mobile phone towers in Christchurch’s residential area sold between 2004 and 2010.
The presence of a lamppost antenna, monopole or armed monopole was found to have no correlation with the sale price of houses measured both at a continuous distance from the base station and over 50 meter increments up to 500 meters.
“Regardless of the form of proximity, we did not observe any impact of cell phone towers on house prices,” the study concluded.
The researchers also said New Zealand’s national telecommunications policy, which encourages the efficient deployment of network sites with low visual impact, should be used as a model for other countries to reduce the regulatory burden on mobile carriers.
“The telecommunications policy implemented in New Zealand may serve as a model for countries such as Australia, the UK and the USA which are grappling with onerous regulation while trying to provide the mobile telecommunication services that consumers demand.”
In 2008, New Zealand introduced the National Environmental Standards (NES) policy that allows “low-impact” mobile network facilities, including particular forms of cell towers, to be installed without a permit or public consultation given the installed infrastructure meets certain limitations related to size, height, location and noise.

“For telecommunication providers, the NES delivers nationwide clarity and consistency regarding the types of infrastructure permitted, the researchers said. “Specifically the NES now allows for lamppost-type cell towers to be erected without planning consent or any public consultation. This is very beneficial to providers since installations in residential areas are predominantly lamppost-type.” 


Published 29/05/2014

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