Updated September 12, 2018
If you're "used to" the noise, will potential renters or buyers view the annoying sound as a plus? Will they have stipulated to their agent that they prefer a home in the runway noise path?
Effects of Airport Noise on Housing Value
In 1994 the consulting firm of Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc. prepared a report titled The Effect of Airport Noise on Housing Values: A Summary Report for the Federal Aviation Administration. The report describes a methodology for evaluating the impact of noise on housing values. The methodology essentially compares market prices in similar neighborhoods that differ only in the level of airport-related noise. In pilot studies using this method, Booz-Allen found that the effect of noise on prices was highest in moderately priced and expensive neighborhoods.
In two paired moderately priced neighborhoods north of Los Angeles International Airport, the study found "an average 18.6 percent higher property value in the quiet neighborhood, or 1.33 percent per dB of additional quiet." (See Bibliography: Impacts of Noise on Property Value.)
A 1996 study funded by the Legislature of the State of Washington used a somewhat similar methodology and found that the proposed expansion of Seattle-Tacoma Airport would cost five nearby cities $500 million in property values and $22 million in real-estate tax revenue. The study of single-family homes -- all in "very good" condition, with three or more bedrooms and two or more baths, and excluding the most expensive and inexpensive units to provide more representative comparisons -- found that "a housing unit in the immediate vicinity of the airport would sell for 10.1 percent more -- if it were located elsewhere."
The Washington study also concluded: "all other things remaining equal, the value of a house and lot increases by about 3.4% for every quarter of a mile the house is farther away from being directly underneath the flight track of departing/approaching jet aircraft." (Details can be found in Sections 9.01 - 9.07 of the study.)
In 1997 Randall Bell, MAI, Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, licensed real estate broker, and instructor for the Appraisal Institute, provided the results of his own professional analysis to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Comparing sales of 190 comparable properties over six months in communities near Los Angeles International Airport, John Wayne Airport, and Ontario Airport, Bell found a diminution in value due to airport proximity averaging 27.4 percent. (See the full report.) Bell has also developed a list of over 200 conditions that impact real estate values -- airport proximity is categorized as a "detrimental condition."
Disclosure of Airport Noise to Buyers
California law requires sellers to reveal noise and other nuisance factors in a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement prior to sale, permitting prospective buyers to look elsewhere or to lower their offers.
As of January 1, 2004, residential property owners in California are required, under certain circumstances, to disclose to prospective buyers that the property is in the "vicinity" of an airport (Assembly Bill 2776, 2002). (See AB 2776.)
IMPORTANT! DO NOT BRING THIS TOPIC UP WHEN WE'RE IN COURT! Lawyers have advised that this is too difficult to prove; please avoid it.