House Prices in Westbury
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Draft Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts paper 3.2 Social Impacts b) Impact on housing demand and property prices As operations expand and new workers arrive into rural locations there may be a modest increase in demand for accommodation that could raise rents and cause affordability issues for rural residents seeking accommodation. For example, the Cuadrilla research quotes a figure of 83 FTE jobs being created on average for each drilled well in the UK, of which a % may seek accommodation in rural areas. On the other hand, those residents owning property close to the drilling site may suffer from lower resale prices due to the negative perception being located near the facility and potential risks. However, these effects will depend on a range of wider factors that influence rents and house prices such as planning policy, growth and investment from wider sectors, schools, flooding and insurance etc. Evidence from the US experience is listed below. A 2010 study in Texas3 concluded that houses valued at more than $250,000 and within 1,000 feet of a well site saw their values decrease by 3 to 14 percent. Boxall et al. (2005) looked at the impact of property prices in Alberta Canada near sour gas wells and flaring oil batteries. They found a reduction in house prices of between 4% to 7% within 4 km of the wells. The results are statistically significant and robust. However, the use of a small dataset, sample of 532 observations, make disentangling impacts difficult in the presence of confounding variables and the study considered sour gas wells alongside other gas wells, which may not be comparable in a UK context. This paper has been released further to a Decision Notice issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on 8 June 2015. The ICO accepted that the paper was an incomplete draft. If you live near to a PEDL “Fracking” license the value of your house could be impacted.  The government dept for the environment (DEFRA) published a draft report suggesting communities could see house values reduce by fracking as happened in the USA. Find out by how much with our fracking calculator.
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