Evidence Grows to Suggest That Broadband Speed Affects House Prices and Rental Incomes

It’s long been said that us Brits are obsessed with property prices and knowing the current value of our homes.

The ability to quickly Google valuations via sites as Zoopla just adds fuel to the fire. We’re able to see the market fluctuate in response to a variety of traditional local and regional factors: Quality of schools; local amenities; transport links; employment opportunities and so on….but there is increasing evidence that broadband speed is having an increasing influence on property prices and desirability.

We’ve reviewed a number of sources and its becoming clear that internet connectivity (the Fourth Utility as it’s known) is now a key consideration for many when considering buying or renting a property. Here are some of the sources we’ve found:

  • ISP Review – conducted a survey which revealed that 71% of buyers would reject an “otherwise ideal home” if the available broadband did not meet minimum requirements, while 22% said they would attempt to negotiate a lower price. And 67% said the minimum acceptable speed was 50Mbps, significantly higher than the current UK average of 36.2Mbps (2017) and the government target of 24Mbps for 95% of premises. <br><br>Some respondents to the poll indicated they’d be willing to pay more for a home with faster broadband – nearly 6% said they’d pay 3-4% extra.
  • London School of Economics – undertook a comprehensive report using 15 years of data to examine the impact broadband had on house prices for over one million homes. The study showed that, on average, house prices increased by 3% when broadband speeds doubled.

The results unsurprisingly claim that the biggest improvement in property prices is usually experienced in areas that have previously only had access to slower connections, such as rural locations. Elsewhere, home owners in London were found to be the most willing to pay for faster internet speeds, which appeared to benefit from a boost that could be worth up to 8% above the market price.

  • Savills – the estate agent and lettings provider conducted a survey which found that nearly 70% of respondents said that slow broadband was a constraint on letting properties in rural locations.
  • Knight Frank – the firm of property consultants undertook a ‘Rural Sentiment Survey’ and found that around 70% of those questioned thought broadband speed was a big issue.
  • Rightmove – the property search website has added broadband speeds and availability to its lists of houses for sale, and the information is attracting 400,000 page views per month. Around 3,000 of its users have reported that speedy broadband is now more important than transport links or schools.
  • Daily Mail – in a headline grabbing news story the Mail announced that “Broadband has become so important to people buying a home that properties without a fast connection are worth up to 20 per cent less”. The article goes on to say “…Consumers now see broadband as a necessity – and some will even pull out of a deal if the property doesn’t have it.” Reporting in a separate article the Daily Mail headlined with “3 in 5 people claim fast broadband is more important than extra bedroom”.
  • Telegraph – reported on an estate agent moaning that “a buyer pulled out of bidding on a £6m house in the Cotswolds because the internet access was so poor”.

Obviously this is just a snapshot, and clearly there is variation in the surveys and reports listed above, but there is a consistent message that if you want to maximise the desirability and value of a property, the internet connectivity is an increasingly vital component.

With property search sites now implementing broadband speed checks there’s an increasing chance that buyers could overlook your property if they think that it has poor connectivity. And in the rental market, potential tenants are often spoilt for choice, so anything you can do to make your property more attractive by offering fast broadband will help your investment.

If you’re trying to sell, rent or buy property it might be worth initially checking what internet speeds are (theoretically) available in any postcode area. Use our availability checker.

If you want to measure the speed you are currently getting we recommend using the Think Broadband Speed Test

If you live in a rural or out of town location and your neighbourhood is suffering from poor speeds take a look at our EtherWiFi solution

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