RE agents caught in the crossfire as wealthy homeowners battle new flight paths

Despite rising house prices, wealthy residents are campaigning to get flight paths over their homes changed

It can be hard to make a complaint when the data is against you as the organizers behind a country-wide protest against altered flight paths are discovering.

Residents say the sudden appearance of noise is compromising their home values, but in several areas home prices are rising regardless of the nearby jet traffic.

Starting in 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began changing flight paths to and from major cities throughout the U.S., rising the ire of residents in some wealthy neighborhoods who suddenly found themselves under the airborne thoroughfares, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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But it’s not seeming to stop people from buying and prices from increasing–a phenomenon some attribute to real estate agents who are hiding the new flight paths from potential buyers.

The National Association of Realtors denies the charge and some agents fire-back saying that residents’ activism is more of the problem, with some potential buyers beginning to second-think listings after seeing signs as part of neighborhood campaigns.

To definitively prove whether noise from the new flight paths contributes to a depressed home value, a study costing about $50,000 would be required, according to the Journal.

The FAA maintains that any new noise prompted by altered flight paths is not significant. “Our noise modeling prior to the launch showed that there would be small increases in some places, small noise decreases in some places, and some places would see no change. We stand by that modeling,” a spokesperson told the Journal. [WSJ]Erin Hudson