17 Mar

Growing importance of broadband for buyers

Growing importance of broadband for buyers

It would appear that reliable broadband access is becoming a must-have property feature.

Research from home insurance provider Gocompare showed that buyers are increasingly placing internet services above friendly neighbours. Therefore, estate agents may have to start listing broadband speeds on property details alongside the number of bedrooms and parking spaces.

Those in Wales showed particular interest in ensuring any new home offered a good internet connection, while Londoners tended to prefer good local shops and amenities.

A decent mobile phone signal also made it on to the must-have property list, with 34 per cent believing it was an important feature of any home, while 43 per cent of London residents required a good and reliable signal.

Ben Wilson from Gocompare said: "The important role technology plays in our everyday lives, from interaction on social media to online shopping, also shone through the survey with access to a good broadband connection and mobile phone signal making it into the top 20 must have home features."

"Good internet access is now seen by many as the fourth utility alongside mains gas, electricity and water," he added.

Recent research from Rightmove found that a lack of superfast broadband could lead to a 20 per cent reduction in the value of a property because people are becoming increasingly reliant on the web to doing shopping, banking and enjoy social activities.

The study confirmed that some estate agents have seen buyers pull out of a purchase because they have discovered superfast broadband is not available. In many cases, it was placed above transport links and schools as an important factor in moving to a certain area.

A number of rural homes in the UK are only able to access slow internet speeds of two megabits per second, although the government is investing heavily in expanding superfast services but the expansion has faced a number of delays, especially in remote areas.

It is expected 95 per cent of the country could enjoy speeds of up to 30 megabits per second by 2017, but at present around 25 per cent of homes are unable to access such services - and it would appear this is placing them at a disadvantage when it comes to selling and attracting buyers.  The only alternative for these people is to look at expensive options such as satellite internet connections or wait until the upgrade reaches their area.

The research from Gocompare also discovered that 73 per cent of home buyers require an efficient central heating system, 72 per cent are looking for double glazing and 71 per cent need a potential home to have secure doors and windows.

It would appear buyers are increasingly looking for homes on the market to offer energy efficiency attractions as there was also strong support for cavity wall insulation and a good eco-efficiency rating.

Mr Wilson explained many buyers are putting practical options above the appearance of a property and there is a need to find a new home that offers such benefits, especially as gas and electricity prices, fuel and financial economy are an ongoing concern for many households.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801703688-ADNFCR

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