The NH Site Evaluation Committee recently heard testimony on how Northern Pass relates to property values. Below is information about the testimony from real estate appraiser Dr. Jim Chalmers.
JAMES CHALMERS is the Principal of Chalmers & Associations LLC in Billings, Montana, and is an economist, appraiser, and nationally recognized expert in assessing the impacts of large-scale infrastructure projects on the value of real estate. Dr. Chalmers holds a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser license in several states. For the Northern Pass, Dr. Chalmers conducted analysis of the possible effects of the project on property values in local and regional real estate markets.
- There is no evidence that high-voltage transmission lines result in consistent measurable effects on property values. Where there are effects, they are small and decrease rapidly with distance
- Chalmers completed a research report in 2015 called High Voltage Transmission Lines and New Hampshire Real Estate Markets: A Research Report. In conducting the research, Chalmers analyzed 25 different studies on transmission lines and their impact on property value.
- Chalmers also included additional New Hampshire-specific research:
- Case studies of a wide variety of properties crossed by a high-voltage transmission line
- A subdivision study examining the selling price and length of time on the market at 13 subdivisions
- Market activity research looking at sales data from towns in which some portion of the town falls within one mile of a high-voltage transmission line
- About half of the studies find some impact related to a residential property’s proximity to the line. Half of the studies find none.
- Where effects are found, they are usually in the range of a 1% to 6% decrease. Effects tend to decrease rapidly the further the property is from the HVTL, and two of the studies concluded they dissipate over time as well
- Based on the Case Study research, those properties that could potentially be affected are homes very close to the transmission corridor that do not have a clear view of the existing HVTL today, but will have clear visibility of the Northern Pass lines
- Of the 58 New Hampshire-based case studies, 10 cases showed sales prices were affected, 11 cases suggested a possible sale price effect, and 37 cases, or about 64%, found no sale price effect. In 41 of the 58 cases, there was no marketing time effect of the HVTL
- Where sale price effects were found, they were small and decreased quickly with distance. In every case, proximity had to be combined with a clear view of the transmission line for there to be a sale price effect
- Very few homes along the Northern Pass route are within 500 feet of the transmission corridor in the northern 40 miles. The 52 miles of the route in and around the White Mountain National Forest will be underground and have no view impact. From the point where the line travels overhead again, the new high-voltage line is in an existing transmission corridor, so proximity of homes with respect to the existing right-of-way will not change
- To address these potential impacts, Northern Pass designed the Guarantee Program, which ensures that the owners of such properties do not face an economic loss caused by the construction of Northern Pass in the event they sell their property within five years after construction begins
For More Information:
Northern Pass’ application to the NH Site Evaluation Committee; Vol. II; Pre-Filed Testimony; Chalmers http://www.northernpass.us/assets/filings/Volume%20II/NHSEC%20Docket%20No%202015-06%20Pre-Filed%20Testimony.pdf