Banks Refuse to Lend for Properties Neighbouring Wind Farms

Giant fans next door? No deal …


Wherever giant fans have gone up – or are threatened to go up – neighbouring homeowners are finding that the value of their properties is being slashed in half – if they can find a willing buyer at all.

Scottish real estate agents trying to sell homes situated anywhere near giant fans are finding the task almost impossible, one of them, Iain Robb stating that:

“Properties next to sites where a planning application for a windfarm has been lodged are virtually unsellable.” (see our post here)

A while back we covered a report on the impact giant fans have on Australian rural property prices – put together by highly experienced property valuer, Peter Reardon. Reardon compiled a 30-page dossier on the impacts of wind farms on adjoining or nearby rural farms and found that having fans as neighbours led to discounts of between “33 per cent and 60 per cent in the market place”. Wind weasels – sticking firmly to their script – went all out to pooh-pooh Reardon’s work with the usual hysterical howls of “there’s no proof” (see our post here).

While the wind industry – always fast and loose with the ‘truth’ – does its best to run interference on the patently obvious negative impact their giant fans have on property prices, the proof, as they say is in the pudding.

Banks lend on terms. The most essential – in the eyes of the Bank – is the ability to recover the debt assumed by the borrower: hence the security interest called the “mortgage”. The purpose of which is to ensure that – if the borrower hits the financial skids – the Bank will be able to sell their property and – with the sale proceeds – recover the outstanding principal and interest, along with selling costs etc. So far, so familiar.

Underlying the deal is an assumption about the value of the property in question: both at the time the loan is offered, but, more importantly, over the life of the loan. The total amount the Bank is prepared to lend obviously depends on the current and expected value of the property in the future. The Bank also works in an error or ‘comfort’ factor, which requires the value of the property to exceed the amount lent by some margin (referred to as the “loan to value ratio” or “LVR”). LVRs vary depending on the general availability of finance, the type of property and class of borrower (commercial, versus domestic).

The lower the LVR, the greater the likelihood that the Bank will recover the whole of the debt owed in the event of default by the borrower.

What Banks fear most of all is the situation where – despite the buffer provided by a healthy LVR – the property’s value falls below the amount lent.

In that event, the value of the security (ie the net amount recoverable by way of exercise of the right of foreclosure under the mortgage) will fail to cover the debt owed. This situation became a wholesale nightmare presaging and during the GFC, as millions of US home loans were deemed “underwater” and banks took possession of over 2 million homes.

With those basic lending principles in mind, it’s easy to see why Banks have highly tuned RISK sensors: directed at spotting anything that might put the value of a property in jeopardy and, therefore, its ability to recoup the cash it might otherwise plan to dish out to the hopeful borrower.

Banks, of course, are in the business of lending to make money: so it’s only RISKS that warrant real concern that will deter them from extending properly secured finance.

In Ontario, the wind industry recently backed another piece of Orwellian spin about wind farms not causing property prices to plummet: apparently, its conclusions were “robust”; its evidence “unassailable”.

But, the Banks in Ontario haven’t swallowed it for a minute: once they become aware that giant fans are going to be speared next to the property in question – or already have been – they are simply refusing to lend. Funny about that.

turbines ontario
When your ‘choice’ of neighbours means that the Bank won’t lend.


Industry criticizes wind turbine report
Jennifer Paterson
18 December 2014

A recent study by the University of Guelph, which found wind turbines do not have an impact on nearby property values, might have earned a big sigh of relief from investors – but the study’s results have been strongly criticized by members of the real estate industry.

“I have had several deals fall apart in this area because, in the appraisal report, it has been mentioned that there are windmills visible or adjacent to the property and, once a lender gets wind of that (forgive the pun), they will not fund a mortgage,” said Angela Jenkins, a mortgage agent at Dominion Lending Centres, who lives and works in the Melancthon region, where the study was conducted.

“If a person cannot get financing due to windmills, then how can this be a positive thing?”

The study, which was published this month in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, analyzed more than 7,000 home and farm sales in the area, and found that at least 1,000 of these were sold more than once, some several times.

John Leonard Goodwin, who has been a real estate broker for more than 10 years in the Grand Bend, Ont. market, asserted that wind turbines absolutely do affect property values. “Turbines complicate your property enjoyment, period,” he said. “That alone spells depreciated value(s).

“Turbines should be in remote, unpopulated locations. To all the folks who have turbines on their property: Enjoy your $18,000 per turbine per year, because you will be giving most of the lease payments back (in much lower property value) when you sell.

“These monsters are very bad for Ontario,” he continued. “We all pay to subsidize the electricity they produce and they will also cause a significant loss of real estate value.”

Lynn Stein, a sales representative at Hartford and Stein Real Estate, lives and sells real estate in Prince Edward County, where a large-scale wind turbine project is slated to begin.

“The turbines that are proposed here are quite large,” she said. “The majority of the population here very clearly doesn’t want them.

“Put simply, if you were to buy your future home, given the choice, would you buy where you would have noise, shadow flicker, an industrial view, potential health issues caused by the turbines, and the possibility of a very difficult resale, or would you spend your money elsewhere?”

Banks call “NO DEAL” for those trying to borrow for
properties with turbines next door.

14 thoughts on “Banks Refuse to Lend for Properties Neighbouring Wind Farms

  1. Loss of asset value is a real disaster. A non-compliant wind farm near us has cost us heaps.

    The Waubra Wind Farm had two options: move the people or move the wind turbines. It helped some hosts out of their affected homes into homes far away. In one situation, a well known person who once lived in a home that was affected, was moved elsewhere. However, they then tried to put a tenant in the affected home but it was way too noisy and the tenant moved out. Normally, tenants would only have the protection that is to be applied to non hosts (like my family) but the re-location protection appears to be only when hosts own the property. In the end the tenant was moved to a another town some distance away – I suspect with the help of Acciona.

    I believe four homes in this town have been purchased as they were affected.

    Objective measurement testing was to be done at 10 homes at Waubra to investigates the complaints. The selected sites were the homes of 3 host families, 2 purchased properties and 5 non hosts.

    Based on a peer reveiw, subjective testing was not sufficient to satisfy the Planning minister that compliance could be met. So what does the Acciona, the developer do? They refuse to provide the evidence collected. Why were they in control of the evidence in the first place? Because local and state governments had let them.

    The planning minister then aborts this first testing to embark on what can only be described as a ‘fictional based testing’ in September 2013, and again with Acciona in hand, to test their own compliance. It is the biggest load of corruption imaginable – and I refused these people entry to my property to do the testing in early 2014.

    The Dean property of 150 acres is the only part left of a 1100 acre mainly irrigation property. It went to auction with only two people interested. One went to the bank and was advised by them that the property was a problem property. The price offered was basically land and water value – this was the condition of the bank to gain finance. The house had not been lived in for 5 years (although we had spent $4500 paying someone to tidy it up). The 25 squares home had been renovated, was very comfortable with new roof and extensions.

    On sale day I had to accept only the shire land value and the water value with provision for tidy up and selling costs from a neighbour who was only interested in the land use.

    So I was left with no money to replace the building assets lost. The replacement value is around $350,000 to $400,000 for a home, 4 car garage, large machinery shed, shearing shed, and hay/machinery shed. Then there is the relocation costs and all the loss of income, as we have not been able to farm due to my unexplained loss of hearing and persistent balance disorders since the operation of the turbines began as well as the many other impacts to the well being of my family members.

    Noel Dean

  2. If you want to live in an industrial zone you would look at homes around such areas and expect to pay a lower price for them because such places are not desirable to most people.
    If something attracts little interest from purchasers then the selling price reflects the lack of interest.
    While there are many people living in urban and city areas who consider Industrial Wind Energy Turbines are good for the environment and do no harm, these people may never have seen a so called ‘Wind Farm’ in action in ‘real life’, they may never have sat opposite someone suffering from the adverse effects and seen the pain in their eyes. They may never have stayed for a few weeks feeling the sensations or hearing the un-relenting noises being emitted, which seems to intensify during the night when other acceptable rural sounds are not present and may never have read or considered the cost financially these turbines are causing the nation and therefore themselves.
    But if they decide they want to move to a rural environment, you can bet they will never consider purchasing a house that looks out onto an industrial landscape, and if they did happen to consider it once they got close and heard the noise they would quickly look elsewhere.
    For the industry and its supporters to even consider these things do not cause house prices to take a dive is irrational and is another example of their desperate attempts at pulling the wool over peoples eyes.
    If the companies had to sign contracts with a clause which stated if a purchaser found the sight and noise of these things became unpleasant to them within 12 months then a full refund plus any interest on the mortgage of the purchase would be refunded, with no questions asked. I bet they’d keep quite and not tell such ‘porkies’.

  3. The Uniiversity of Guelph study was funded by MPAC, the agency in Ontario that sets property values for property taxes. One of the researchers now is a strategic policy analyst for Health Canada. MPAC has a vested interest in these property valuation studies. Its own study concluded that property values were unaffected.

  4. These weasels are the lowest form of life on this planet, they lie at the drop of a hat with no remorse at all.

    What comes out when you stand on a grub? That sums up the windweasel grub. Giant fans aren’t ‘saving’ us, instead they’re destroying our wonderful planet.

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