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Study: Homes adjacent to small cell wireless facilities retain value

report coverJuly 14, 2021 – Joint Venture Silicon Valley today announced the publication of Economic Impacts to Residential Real Estate from Small Wireless Facilities. The study focused on whether objective evidence in real estate sales records shows residential real estate valuation impacts from small wireless facilities or “small cells”. It concluded that small cell facilities do not have an appreciable effect on nearby property valuations.

Authored by David Witkowski, executive director of Joint Venture’s civic technology initiative and Ralph B. McLaughlin, chief economist and senior vice president of analytics at Haus, the study examined the question, “Do wireless small cell sites have an effect, either positive or negative, on the valuation of residential real estate?”

The authors applied a spatial difference-in-differences approach, an economic analysis method used to estimate the impacts from proposed development in and near residential areas. The study used a dataset of 1,734 small cell sites installed in the State of California over the time period from 2010 to 2020, and a dataset of 11,684,458 real estate transactions statewide over the same ten-year period.

The study also found some evidence that residential real estate valuations increase within 10 kilometers after construction of a small wireless facility.

“The pandemic pulled back the curtain on just how limiting and inequitable connectivity is for far too many people – even in Silicon Valley,” said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture. “Cellular broadband was a lifeline during quarantine, with distance learning and a workforce that required that link from home. Unfortunately for some, there are coverage gaps.”

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