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Another Myth: Declining Property Values

At every recent local event at which antinuclear activists have spoken, at least one has lamented the "certain" decline of property values around Lake Anna that would accompany construction of a new power plant.

In contrast, Addison Hall, a colleague of mine, showed me a story in the November, 2004 issue of Money (subscription required). The article is titled "Why Would Anyone Own Florida Real Estate?" and explores the social and financial reasons that, despite popular belief, disasters like hurricanes rarely harm home prices.

To support his contention, the author states:
Two studies found that the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island had no discernible impact on local home prices. That's right: The neighborhood nuke comes this close to a meltdown—and property values don't even shudder.
On a personal note, property values in Louisa and Spotsylvania counties have risen so much in the past few years that I, and most people that I know, cannot afford lakefront property anywhere near the North Anna plant. In fact, one recent news story said that property tax assesments in Louisa County have increased by 35 percent over the past two years -- hardly an indication of declining property values.

Comments

Kelly L. Taylor said…
There have been extensive studies done on how local unwanted land use can affect property values - meaning, is my land worth less because of its proximity to some nasty industrial facility? Here is a link to an analysis and overview of several studies. But the upshot is that, contrary to popular quotes in the news otherwise, the Three Mile Island newsfest of 1979 did not affect property values in that area. It might make interesting discussion to review what types of facilities that actually DO affect property values, when a nuclear power plant does not...

http://www.catoctinpower.com/pdf/housing_values.pdf
Anonymous said…
Hmm I'm wondering if Chernobyl effected property values in Pripyat. Oh wait, it's a ghost town now! hmph.

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