British buyers want a good broadband connection, research shows

A good broadband connection is now one of the must have facilities for home buyers in the UK above off street parking and access to local amenities, a new study shows. One in ten house hunters admitted they have walked away from properties with poor internet connections, while one in five has checked broadband speeds when evaluating a home.

The findings follow a nationwide study of more than 2,000 homebuyers carried out by broadbandchoices.co.uk and property expert, Henry Pryor.

And in the first trial of its kind, independent estate agents have tested the impact of broadband on the buying decisions of home movers, by including internet speeds on their adverts.

In the study, knowing that a property had good broadband speeds was routinely ranked as more important than traditional selling plus points such as off street parking, access to amenities like shops and a local pub and even proximity to a doctors’ surgery.

The UK government recently announced a £114 million investment in broadband across key cities to make Britain’s broadband the fastest in Europe by 2015. But in 2012, broadband speed varies greatly across the country, and these variations are having a huge impact on the property market.

‘In this digital age, a fast broadband connection is becoming more and more important for home-hunters. People don’t just rely on a good internet connection for browsing the web, but also television entertainment and working from home,’ said Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove.

‘As the consumer technologies which rely on internet connection in the home expand, the need for a strong internet connection will be added to more and more home mover wish lists,’ he added.

To prove how important buyers consider a good broadband service, one in five, some 19%, of new movers revealed they arranged an internet provider before connecting gas or TV at 10% and 8% respectively. Setting up a broadband connection was second only to finding a new electricity supplier.

The research also found that over a third of house hunters, some 35%, think that estate agents should include broadband speeds in property adverts.

In a trial carried out by broadbandchoices.co.uk and independent estate agents Delaney’s in Essex, broadband speeds were included online, along with price, number of bedrooms and room sizes. Viewing requests for those properties showing broadband speeds were twice as high as those without.

Analysis of online traffic figures also revealed these properties attracted up to 40% more views than those without.

‘As with south facing gardens and good schools, people are now on the hunt for homes with fast broadband it’s a sign of the times. But we were still really surprised with the results of this trial. We’re now displaying broadband speeds on all our property details going forward, as it’s clear that’s what customers are looking for,’ said Rob Delaney, managing director of Delaney’s Estate Agents in Essex.