Cellular sites have no impact on property values

Noise level does not equate to economic impact. Cellular tower opponents talk a lot (including on their mobile phones – go figure) and can be extremely disruptive at public meetings. Not to mention the damage they do to broadband improvement efforts. But their bark has no bite in the Silicon Valley real estate market.

Joint Venture Silicon Valley has completed a study of the impact of cellular sites on property values in Palo Alto, Redwood City, Saratoga and San Jose. Bottom line: proximity to a wireless tower has zero, zilch, zip, nada effect on the selling price of single family homes.

The study looked at 70 wireless sites and examined more than 1,600 transactions, with the assistance of the Santa Clara and San Mateo County Realtors Associations. They compared the difference between the initial asking price of a home with the eventual selling price. The spread was the same regardless of how close or not the home was to a tower.

Comparisons were made over nine months, from January to September 2012. Homes as far away as half a mile from a cellular site had the same ask/sell spread as homes right next to one.

The study was presented by Leon Beauchman, the director of JVSV’s wireless communications initiative, at their second annual wireless symposium, held on 2 November 2012 at Marvell Semiconductor Inc. headquarters in Santa Clara.

The initiative is aimed at improving mobile broadband coverage in Silicon Valley, with a goal of making 4G service “available from major carriers in half of Silicon Valley cities by 2014.”