To full paper (Hebrew)

Watch Elad Demalach, an economist at the research department describe​s the mainresults (Hebrew)



 ·     In the past few decades,
the deployment of cellular sites in Israel has expanded greatly.  These sites may have a

       negative external
effect on home prices.

·    The effect of cellular
sites on the prices of homes in their proximity was estimated for the years
2000–2011, using a method that takes into account the possibility that the
placement of the sites was not at random.

·     Proximity to cellular
antennas was not found to have a statistically significant effect on home
prices.

 

The
sharp increase in mobile communication services in Israel since the end of the
1980s has been accompanied by the widespread deployment of cellular sites.  These sites may have negative external
effects on the prices of real estate in their proximity, derived from concern
over health problems caused by radiation and from aesthetic hazard,
particularly from antenna poles that stand out from their surroundings.

A
study conducted by Elad Demalach and Noam Zussman of the Bank of Israel Research Department, together
with David Genesove and Asaf Zussman from the Economics Department at the
Hebrew University, estimated the effect of proximity to cellular sites on home
prices.  The database for the study
included the Israel Tax Authority’s file of residential transactions between
2000 and 2011, as well as comprehensive information on the location and
characteristics of cellular antennas in Israel over the years, kindly supplied
by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

A
common problem in this type of study is that the placement of cellular sites is
not necessarily coincidental (“selection bias”).  It is possible that the placement operates in
tandem with other characteristics that, on their own, also have an effect on
home prices.  For instance, there may be
a stronger tendency to place antennas on buildings with residents or neighbors
from relatively weak socioeconomic backgrounds, due to less opposition on their
part to the antennas’ placement or due to lower cellular company payments to
the residents.  In those areas, home
prices are apparently lower in any case.

In
order to deal with the “selection bias”, the tendency to place cellular sites
next to homes was calculated first. 
Then, the effect of proximity to cellular sites on home prices was
estimated, while controlling for the tendency to place sites in the dwelling’s
environment and the characteristics of the dwelling, the neighborhood and the
time.

Without
considering the “selection bias”, it was found that proximity to cellular sites
is correlated with a decline of 1–2 percent in home prices, similar to the
findings of other studies around the world that did not devote enough attention
to the problem.  After taking the
“selection bias” into account, proximity to cellular sites was not found to
have a statistically significant impact on home prices.  This result is also valid regarding antenna poles
which, as stated, are more prominent. 
The result also remains when examining repeat transactions in the same
building or dwelling.  The effect was not
different between areas of higher or lower socioeconomic ranking.