Rightmove reports that 18-35 year olds are certainly influenced by internet connection speeds with a survey indicating that fast broadband speed is now up on the list of desirable criteria with good transport links and high quality local schools. Not just with the younger generation but also those that find working from home offers more flexibility are beginning to consider broadband speeds as an important factor when choosing property. The Office for National Statistics reported in 2014 that 4.2 million people work from home, suggesting nearly 14% of the entire UK workforce will potentially be looking at internet speed when considering where to move. Not only the home-based workforce but those who regularly use social media, online shop and video stream require the need for an online presence meaning for the vast majority of consumers that the ability to access all media readily is becoming paramount.
Recently Virgin Media has cited the Fallowfield Brow – opposite Owen’s Park – as a targeted community for their network expansion plan. With the government aiming for 95% of UK homes to have superfast broadband available by late 2017, readjusted from its original 2015 deadline, it will be interesting to see how house prices are affected whilst there is such disparity between the availability of high-speed broadband. Given that surveys from Halifax and Hyperoptic found that 20% of home buyers would be willing to pay up to 11% more for a property in an area with superfast broadband, when taking the Manchester postcode of M20 as an example, with average property prices at £260,000, this equates to an additional £28,900.
Considering that superfast broadband is influencing property prices and often costs higher than a standard internet package it would be interesting to know how important superfast broadband would be to renters and home buyers. Will this encourage their purchasing decisions? Are students and professionals alike willing to pay more for the premium of a high-speed connection? Watch this space!