(Updated March 2013)
Cell phone towers may bring extra tax revenue, greater reception, and security to a city or town. Despite these benefits, many remain skeptical of towers due to potential health risks, environmental aesthetics, and the impact on property values. (K. Stockert, Information and Web Content Specialist)
Cell Phone Towers and Property Values
Rent from Easements for Equipment Treated as Rents from Real Property, (Real Estate Taxation, 2012). Q
The Effects of Distance to Cell Phone Towers on House Prices in Florida, (The Appraisal Journal Fall 2007). Q
The Impact of Cell Phone Towers on House Prices in Residential Neighborhoods, (The Appraisal Journal, Summer 2005). Q
The Impact of Wireless Towers on Residential Property Values, (Assessment Journal, 2003). Q
Cell Phone Towers: Benefits
Palm Beach County School Board Waits on Decision to Allow New Cell Towers no District Properties, (WPTV.com, Jan. 25, 2012).
Cell Towers to Create Revenue for Sacramento Parks, (Sacramento Press, Nov. 7, 2011).
"No longer just for communicating and planning while away from home or the workplace, the cell phone is increasingly a landline substitute. Recent research by the Pew Research Center suggests that 23% of Americans have only a cell phone available for making calls and another 17% have a landline but receive most of their calls on their mobile phone. For some subgroups, the findings are even more dramatic; nearly one-third (30%) of Hispanics and 49% of adults 25-29 are cell-only," (Cell Phones and American Adults, Pew Research Center, Sept. 2010, p. 13).
(Source: Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2009, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 12, 2010).
The hidden taxable capacity of land: enough and to spare, (International Journal of Social Economics, 2009). Q
Outliers: Assides & Insides, (Modern Healthcare, Mar. 23, 2009). Q
Cell Phone Towers: Risks and Health Concerns
Community Hopes to Stop Approved Cell Tower at DeKalb County School, (CBS Atlanta, Nov. 28, 2011).
Lafayette to Take a Closer Look at Cell Towers, (San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 23, 2011).
Republicans, Democrats Skeptical of AT&T Deal, (Bank Systems & Technology, May 26, 2011). Q
Reflections on the INTERPHONE Study of Cell Phones and Brain Cancer, (CDC NIOSH Science Blog, July 26, 2010).
Study: Cell Phone Towers Not a Cancer Risk to Children, (PBS.org, June 23, 2010).
Mobile Phones Base Stations and Early Childhood Cancers: Case-Control Study, (British Medical Journal, June 22, 2010).
Opponents of New Cellphone Towers Try a Change in Tack, (New York Times, May 7, 2010).
Radio Frequency Safety, (U.S. Federal Communications Commission, n.d.).
Cell Phone Tower Aesthetics
Cell phone towers that are designed to blend in with their environment are often called stealth or concealed cell phone towers. Conducting an Internet search using the terms stealth, concealed, or camouflaged will yield up-to-date results on this topic.
Cell phone tower in Norton Shores build to resemble 155-foot pine tree, (The Muskegon Chronicle, Oct. 29, 2011).
Appeals Court upholds county permit decision on Franconia Township cell phone tower, (Chicago County Press, Nov. 10, 2011).
Making a cell phone tower into a tree, (WZZM 13 Muskegon, MI, Nov. 1, 2011).
City blocks expanded cellphone tower, (CBC News Calgary, Oct. 28, 2011).
Streaming Live Revenue, (Journal of Property Management, 2007). Q
Cell tower camouflage artists just want to blend in, (Network World, 2004). Q
Research on Your Own
To search for the most recent articles on this topic, click ProQuest at the bottom right of the Library’s home page and enter subject terms such as:
Cell towers and real estate
- Enter into ProQuest text box as SU(real estate) AND cell tower*
Many websites, such as Wikipedia, can be great resources to quickly get oriented on a subject before conducting more in depth research. However, anyone in the world can create and maintain a website or write a seemingly legitimate article and may, intentionally or unintentionally, publish false or "misinformation." When reviewing information on the Internet, you should always consider the ABC's:
- Accuracy. Is the information accurate? Can you confirm the same information using other resources published by a different author or organization?
- Author. Who composed the information? Can you easily identify the author and contact the author or website publisher?
- Bias. What bias might the author or author organization have?
- Credibility. What is the author’s or author organization’s credentials for publishing the information? What expertise, experience, or education does the author have in this area that makes him or her qualified to write on the subject matter?
- Currency. When was the web page last updated? Is it possible the information might have changed since this web page was last published?
- Critical eye! Remember to always use your discretion and critical eye to determine whether information you find on the web (or even in books and news sources!) is trustworthy. Putting websites to the ABC test will get you started in developing a strong critical eye.
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Real Estate Appraisal (Kindle and Adobe eReader)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.
The Impact of Cellular Phone Base Station Towers on Property Values, (University of Auckland, 2003).
Cell Towers: Wireless Convenience? or Environmental Hazard?, (Safe Goods/New Century Publishing, 2001).
Field Guides & More
These Field Guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:
Have an Idea for a New Field Guide?
Click here to send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.