Could a 5G mast devalue your home? Proposals for 50ft-high 5G masts leave homeowners fearing house price drop

A cellular tower overlooking towers
Some homeowners are concerned that 5G masts near their home could affect their house prices (Image credit: Getty Images)

Some homeowners are concerned that mobile telephone 5G towers in residential areas will devalue their property.

The issue hit the headlines when householders in Downswood, Kent, protested against a 5G mast next to their homes, claiming it will be an eyesore and that the house prices in the area could be significantly reduced.

They claim the installation, which has been proposed by WHP Telecoms Ltd on behalf of the Three UK network, could be placed in a less obtrusive spot.

What are 5G masts and why are they being installed?

5G is the latest generation of the mobile network. It follows previous generations of mobile technology such as 3G, which led to the launch of smartphones, and 4G, which enabled faster browsing, allowing us to do things like watch videos on the move.

All four major UK mobile networks have launched 5G services. Technology firms are also rolling out 5G-ready devices.

However, conspiracy theorists believe that 5G can directly affect the health of people living nearby, although these claims are only backed by suspect ‘sources’ and — so far — little science.

All mobile operators ensure that their radio base stations, and masts are designed and built so that the public are not exposed to radio frequency fields above the strict safety guidelines, which govern and limit public exposure to electromagnetic fields. In fact, base stations operate at low levels, emitting levels of radio waves many times lower than the guidelines.

Why are homeowners fearing it could devalue their homes?

Resident Rob Hansen told the Daily Mail: “This proposal for Downswood seems to be the most ridiculous of the lot due to the location they have selected. It's right in the heart of the neighbourhood and really close to houses with no potential at all for it to be disguised.

“My house is only about three metres away which doesn't seem right at all. Thousands of pounds would be wiped off the value of my property.”

UK planning law states that the installation of telecoms infrastructure would normally count as development and require planning permission. However, communications network operators have certain permitted development rights.

Whether or not a mobile mast is permitted development will depend on its height and location. As of April 2022, new ground-based mobile masts up to 30 metres in non-protected areas and up to 25 metres in protected areas (such as conservation areas and national parks) are permitted.

Could a 5G mast devalue your home?

Kristian Derrick, MD of Mortgageable, said: “There is a general assumption that 5G masts can have a negative impact on local housing markets.

“This comes down to the aesthetics, health implications, and perceived negative effects of radio frequency (RF) radiation that have been raised by some individuals.

“These concerns, whether grounded in scientific consensus or not, can influence the desirability of a property for some buyers or tenants. The important point here is that does not include everyone. 

“It is important to remember that property value is influenced by a multitude of factors beyond the presence of 5G masts, such as location, property condition, local amenities, and market trends. The impact of 5G masts on property value should be assessed in conjunction with these other factors.”

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.