Thursday, July 29, 2004
Bemidji State University study reveals water clarity is most important factor in determining lakeshore property values
By VINCE MEYER
Among the many factors affecting lakeshore property values, water clarity is the most important, according to a study by two Bemidji State University professors.
Prof. Patrick Welle and Prof. Charles Parson examined 1,205 properties sold between 1996 and 2001 on 37 lakes in six regions in northern Minnesota: Aitkin, Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Walker, Park Rapids and Bemidji. They found water clarity was the most significant factor in determining the purchase price in every region. The professors revealed their findings Thursday at the Brainerd office of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
"Now realtors can talk of location, location, location and clarity, clarity, clarity," Welle said.
The study, funded by a $100,000 grant from the Legislative Commission for Minnesota Resources, was modeled after a similar study in Maine in 1996-2000. That study, conducted on 36 lakes in seven regions, found that improving water clarity significantly increases lakeshore property values. A drop in water clarity had a corresponding negative effect.