The Economic Impact of Eurasian Milfoil on Property Values

Eurasian Milfoil is an aggressive aquatic weed that upon introduction can rapidly fill the littoral areas of lakes impacting recreation and habitat.  It also can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of the lake by shoreline property owners.  Lakeside homes are often some of the higher valued properties in an area because of the perceived value of the lake access out the back door.

When that lakefront is choked with the invasive weed Eurasian Milfoil, this value can be severely impacted just as the enjoyment and use of the lake is impacted.  There are some recent studies that documents the decline in property values directly associated with the invasion of Eurasian Milfoil.

Congwen Zhang published a study in the journal Ecological Economics found that as milfoil invades a lake, property values diminish by from 1% to 16% as the invasion progresses.   That article can be accessed here Effect of Eurasian Milfoil on lakefront property value

A second study from King County, Washington that looked at the impact of milfoil on property values found that the presence of Eurasian Milfoil can have a significant negative effect on property sales price ($94,385 USD lower price) corresponding to a 19% decline in property value.  This study can be accessed here King County Study

Lastly, this report shows the impact prior and post treatment for Houghton Lake in Michigan where an aggressive treatment strategy restored value to the regions economy.  This article can be viewed here Houghton Lake Study



Leave a Reply