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Do Powerlines Affect Property Prices in Australia?

Updated: Jun 2

Should you be worried with powerlines near properties?

What happens if you've found the house you want, but it is near a high tension powerline? Are there any evidence confirming or denying any health risks of living near powerlines? And does the real estate agent need to tell you there is a powerline nearby? And more importantly, does powerline affect the property value?

As buyers advocates, we frequently address these concerns for our clients. This article aims to provide clarity on how powerlines influence property demand and prices based on our experience and observations.

Let's start with the basics.

What Are the Different Types of Power Lines in Australia?

Knowing the different types of power lines and their voltage will help you identify what they are, and understand if they are safe, and help you maintain any safe clearance distances. This is critical if you are intending to plant trees or work or build near a powerline.

Types of Powerlines

Powerlines can broadly be classified into two types, based on their appearance:

  • Aerial - Visible overhead, typically on towers or poles

  • Underground - Buried, often in pipes, more common in modern residential areas for aesthetic reasons.

What Types of Power Lines do we usually see in Australia?

The ones we see would usually be aerial power lines, these can be further classified into different categories, based on what they carry. Generally, they can be categorised into:

  1. Transmission Power Lines. These large steel structures carry high voltage power. These 30-50 metre tall power lines are usually found on the edge of or outside metropolitan areas. However, as the metropolitan area expands, we may find ourselves living amongst these powerlines.

  2. Distribution Power Lines. These powerlines carry lower voltage, and are common around suburban streets. As the name suggests, these powerlines distribute power to the area.

  3. Service Power Lines. These are typically the single powerlines we see from the distribution lines into the house.

What Types of Power Lines Are People Usually Concerned with?

Of these 3 types of power lines, property buyers are usually worried only with the high voltage transmission lines. These are the 30-50 metre tall steel towers.

Should property buyers be concerned with high tension power lines?

There are generally some concerns around a few aspects of power lines. Buyers (and renters) are typically concerned health, aesthetics, valuation. We will cover these separately in the following sections. Let's start with the easy ones first.

Are there aesthetics concerns with power lines?

The towering presence of power lines, often reaching heights of 50 meters, can be visually unappealing to some individuals. While many people accept these massive steel structures as part of the landscape, this sentiment can change if one lives near them. Although it is uncommon for houses to be constructed right under high-voltage power lines, it does occur, particularly when the land is subdivided.

Do Power Lines Affect Property Values in Australia?

While most people don't mind living near power lines, there are definitely those who prefer to avoid them. This preference can reduce the pool of potential buyers, consequently lowering the valuation of properties situated near power lines compared to similar properties in the area, as there are less buyers who are keen with them.

How much does powerline reduce the property value?

There is no definitive rule for determining how much power lines reduce property value. The impact on valuation depends on various factors, including proximity of the power lines, location and size of the property, and quality of the land, etc. If you are not sure how to assess the value of the property, you can always get in independently assess by an independent Buyers Advocates.

Do Power Lines affect how much a bank will lend you?

While banks generally do not take power lines into consideration, some lenders may have concerns due to the potential difficulty in selling the property if they need to repossess it.

Are There Any Health Concerns With Living Near Power Lines?

This is a tough question to answer. And it is tough only because there are no scientific proof.

Health concerns associated with living near power lines primarily focus on the potential effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Some studies suggest a possible link between prolonged exposure to EMFs and certain health issues, although the evidence is not conclusive. Regulatory bodies generally maintain that the levels of EMFs emitted by power lines are within safe limits. However, ongoing research continues to examine this issue to provide clearer guidance.

Are there any scientific research into the health concerns with living near a powerline?

Yes, there has been scientific research conducted to assess the health risks of living near power lines. However, to date, the results do not suggest that there are negative effects associated with living near power lines.

How Near is Considered Near to Power Lines?

The perception of proximity to power lines varies based on personal preference. Generally, if a property is directly under or adjacent to transmission towers, most buyers will be concerned. From our experience as buyers' advocates, and based on feedback from our clients, over 50% would be concerned if power lines are within two streets of the property. Some would be uneasy even if they can see the tower from 500 meters away.

Should You Avoid Properties Near Power Lines?

Whether you should avoid properties near power lines depends on several factors, including personal preferences and perceptions. Some individuals are concerned about potential health risks, despite the lack of conclusive scientific evidence. Others may worry about aesthetics and the potential impact on property value. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your comfort level and the importance you place on these considerations.

Why Should You Buy a Property Near Power Lines?

Buying a property near power lines can offer several advantages:

  1. Lower Purchase Price: Properties near power lines often have lower prices compared to similar properties in the area, providing an opportunity to purchase at a more affordable rate.

  2. Less Competition: Due to the concerns some buyers have about power lines, there may be less competition for these properties, making it easier to secure a purchase.

  3. Potential for Appreciation: As areas develop and become more desirable, properties near power lines can appreciate in value, potentially offering a good return on investment.

  4. Spacious Lots: Properties near power lines sometimes come with larger lots, as the surrounding land may be less developed.

The decision should ultimately be based on a careful evaluation of the property's pros and cons, taking into account your personal preferences and long-term investment goals. An on-site inspection and consultation with an independent real estate professionals such as our buyers advocate service, can provide valuable insights.

Does the Real Estate Sales Agent Need to Tell You a Property They Are Selling is Near Power Lines?

Real estate agents are obligated to inform prospective buyers of any material facts that might affect their interest in the property. While this should include the presence of nearby power lines, many agents interpret "material facts" to cover issues such as major crime, death, pests, etc. Since there is no scientific evidence of health risks from power lines, and most buyers do not mind them if they are not very close to the property, power lines can be a gray area. However, to be certain, always ask point-blank, if the property is near Power Lines. Real estate sales agents are not supposed to lie, even if they do not have to be upfront with the facts.

Should You be Concerned With Power Lines Near the Property?

Whether you should be concerned about power lines near a property depends on various factors, including personal preferences and perceptions. Some individuals worry about potential health risks, despite the lack of conclusive scientific evidence. Others are more concerned with aesthetics and the potential impact on property value. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your comfort level and the importance you place on these factors.

An on-site inspection is invaluable for assessing the situation firsthand. Our buyers advocates are available to assist with on-site inspections if needed.

For more personalized advice or to arrange an inspection, please contact us. Your peace of mind is our priority.



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