According to some property experts broadband is now so important that a slow connection could knock as much as 20% off the price of a house.
That seems very high, but whatever the figure the fact is that broadband is now a key factor in house buying decisions. You wouldn’t move into a home that lacked water or electricity, and many are now considering the availability of fast broadband when they buy.
This is something you need to consider as either a seller or buyer.
Why fast broadband matters
More and more the internet is playing a central role in modern life. Aside from standard tasks like browsing the web, email and downloading files, many of us have turned to services like Netflix and Spotify for entertainment which place a far greater demand on the connection.
Home working is becoming increasingly common, whether you’re a full time home worker or use the home office as an occasional break from commuting to work internet access is vital. For remote working a fast connection will allow you to carry out video and voice calls through Skype and quickly transfer files, particularly useful when work could be hindered by the wait for a large download or upload.
And however you use the connection there’s a good chance you’ve got more than one device at home. Not just a computer but also a smartphone, tablet, games console, TV box… it all contributes to the bandwidth demands, especially for households where multiple hardware could be in use at the same time.
Moving from a home with superfast broadband to a location where it’s not available could have a very real impact on daily life.
ADSL is not enough
A recent poll we carried out found that 57% of broadband users consider speed to be most important when choosing a new broadband provider, so it seems very likely that this is something buyers will take into consideration when choosing a home.
The most common connection in the UK currently is ADSL, which provides speeds of up to 16Mb. While this is sufficient for many tasks, it will struggle as you add more users or devices, and the actual speed delivered is highly variable depending on location and line quality.
But superfast cable and fibre broadband is becoming more widespread, fibre in particular is now available to a large percentage of the population. Both offer vastly improved performance and will prove an attractive selling point.
You can check what services are available at a location by using the Broadband Genie postcode search tool. This will provide detailed information on the current availability of broadband services.
If fibre is not presently offered, you may be able to see the date when BT is planning to install it. Cable broadband is more limited, Virgin is not presently expanding their network so if the service is not on offer at a premises this will probably not change any time soon.
In many instances faster services will be available now or in the near future, it’s only in more remote rural locations where broadband is really lagging behind. However, the ongoing Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project is aiming to change this: by 2017 the government is promising to offer at least 24Mb to 95% of the population, with a minimum 2Mb for the remaining 5%.
To read Garrington Associate Rod Tabor’s blog with regards to buying a house with poor broadband speed, please click here.
This is a guest blog, courtesy of Matt Powell from Broadband Genie