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The Impact of Airport Noise on the Residential Real Estate Market


Throughout the country are residential communities that experience a tremendous amount of airplane noise on a daily basis. While the deafening noise does not bother everyone, it can have a definite impact on the real estate market. With an increase in the number of airports being constructed along with new routes added to existing airports, the problem of noise pollution has intensified.

Increasing Problem

Because this problem has becoming increasingly worse, a tremendous amount of research has been performed and documents created. As part of this, issues such as health effects and impact on the residential real estate market have been addressed. Interestingly, of the dozens of published studies, the conclusion is the same for each.

According to all the studies performed, homes located nearby or underneath airplane routes for both national and international airports have some level of market value decrease. The value is based on before and after market value of residential properties either damaged or taken.

Home Value

Of course, literally hundreds of different things can affect the value of real estate such as construction defects, economic decline, environmental contamination, natural disaster, and so on. Therefore, when looking at airplane noise and the way property value is impacted, it may not seem like a big deal until time to sell.

Even as a buyer, if you are thinking about purchasing a home that is close to or beneath regular flight paths for a major airport, you need to consider several factors. For instance, along with the price of the property, you would need to make upgrades in order to deal with the noise. This include things like:

  • A better air conditioning unit
  • Double or triple pane windows
  • Background insulation
  • Water feature installation

There are also human effects associated with aircraft noise. According to a number of studies in which engineers used various noise measurement methods, hearing loss, stress, and other health problems can develop when continually subjected to airplane noise. Keep in mind that the level of noise varies based on the amount of traffic, the types of planes, how low to the ground planes fly, size of the airport, topography, and prevalent wind direction.

To determine if a home you are interested in would pose any health risks, a professional would need to conduct an analysis taking all these factors and others into consideration. Although airplane noise may be nothing but an annoyance to some people, it has been proven to pose potential risk. Even though you have options to reduce airport noise, this comes at a cost.

The bottom line is that you need to weigh the pros and cons of any home within close proximity to a major airport. After all, in addition to risk of health issues there is a good chance that the property value will be less than compared to other areas. In addition, if more flights were added or larger planes flown, value would likely continue to decrease.

The challenge is that everyone has a different value system. Therefore, living in a residential community that experiences airplane noise does not automatically mean you cannot sell if wanted. However, the home may stay on the market longer while waiting for the perfect buyer to show up. Of course, having an excellent real estate agent marketing the home will have a significant impact on the results.

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