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Survey Reveals Cell Tower Turn Off

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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No matter how commonplace mobile phones are in society, the towers used to keep them connected are less than desirable when it comes to buying or renting property, a new survey finds.

In fact, a whopping 94 percent of potential home buyers or renters reported that nearby cell towers and antennas would impact both their interest in property and the price they would be willing to pay for it.

The survey, “Neighborhood Cell Towers & Antennas—Do They Impact a Property’s Desirability?”, was conducted by the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy in Washington, D.C. to determine if cell tower and antenna placement would impact interest in real estate property.

Wikimedia Commons

Cell phone towers are seen as less than desirable by potential property owners, even if they're disguised.

The survey, which circulated through email and social networking sites in the U.S. and abroad, was conducted between June 2 and June 28 and completed by 1,000 people.

Risk Awareness

“The results of the 2014 NISLAPP survey suggest there is now high awareness about potential risks from cell towers and antennas, including among people who have never experienced cognitive or physical effects from the radiation,” Jim Turner, Esq., chairman of the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy, said in a press release.

Lloyd Alter /

Eighty-eight percent of people would never buy or rent property with cell phone antennas attached to them. 

Of the 1,000 people surveyed:

  • 95 percent said they would buy or rent property with zero antennas on the building or property;
  • 79 percent would never buy or rent property within a few blocks of antennas;
  • 88 percent would never buy or rent a property with a cell tower or group of antennas on top of, or attached to, the apartment building; and
  • 89 percent were generally concerned about the increasing number of towers and antennas in their residential neighborhoods.

Some of the survey respondents commented that property valuation could potentially decline near antennas and cell towers.

“A study of real estate sales prices would be beneficial at this time in the Unites States to determine what discounts homebuyers are currently placing on properties near cell towers and antennas," Turner said.


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Residential; Smartphones

Comment from James Cohen, (7/17/2014, 8:10 AM)

Having worked on telecommuncations towers for many years, the low cost approach to tower design has typically made their aesthetics unappealing. With some investment in the structure and attention to appearances, it is possble to make these more of an art form and thus enhance, rather than detract from, a building's appearance. This would likely alleviate the large imbalance in the public's perceived risk from these facilities and reality. Little opposition was given to microwave towers and satellite dishes, which was undoubtedly assisted by their association with advanced space technology, notwithstanding the true risks associated with operating this equipment.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (7/21/2014, 9:19 AM)

Good point, James. Very little aesthetic design seems to go into the typical cell tower. If demanded by local authorities, you might grudgingly get some fake branches attached to the pole, as pictured in this article.

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