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There has been a lot of research on the effect of sound on apartment and property values, especially in larger cities. When people can’t sleep, or work from home is disrupted, tempers flare and renting or selling those properties becomes difficult.
Some research recently completed by Agnieszka Szczepanska, PhD, a land management professor with a focus in acoustics, graphically depicts the issues that arise when apartments and other sensitive properties are placed near busy roadways.
As we’ve discussed in the past, most noise issues in apartments come through windows facing busy avenues. In zones with tropical weather, oftentimes the glass is glazed or laminated, and thus blocks more noise. As you move north, the glass is often older and thinner, and lets in large amounts of noise. Professor Szczepanska shows a strong correlation between noise levels (in dBs) and declining property values. Specifically, the value of your apartment diminishes approximately 2% per dB above the baseline level for your neighborhood. Near noisy roadways, the noise goes up by 20 decibels or more, meaning the value of apartments is cut nearly in half!
Although most tenants have little recourse to fix this issue, one after-market solution is the soundproofing curtain. Placed over a noisy window or opening, it can reduce incoming by noise by over 75%, as well as blocking heat and blacking out light. Used effectively it can greatly alleviate noise issues, and allow you to sleep comfortably in your own home!