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Impacts of Ground Water Contamination on Property Values: Agricultural Run-off and Private Wells

Dennis Guignet, Patrick Walsh () and Rachel Northcutt

Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 2016, vol. 45, issue 2, 293-318

Abstract: Few studies have examined the impacts of ground water quality on residential property values. Using a unique data set of well tests, we link residential real estate transactions to home-specific contamination and conduct a hedonic analysis of sales in Lake County, Florida, where pollution concerns relate primarily to agricultural run-off. We find that recent testing and contamination of ground water there correspond to a 2–6 percent depreciation in home values, an effect that diminishes over time. Focusing on nitrogen-based contamination, we find that prices decline mainly when concentrations exceed the regulatory health standard, suggesting as much as a 15 percent depreciation at levels twice the standard.

Date: 2016
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