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Survey Finds UK House Buyers Rejecting Homes with Slow Broadband

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 (2:31 am) - Score 1,358
house for sale with slow broadband warning sign

The latest survey of 2,119 ISPreview.co.uk readers has found that nearly three quarters (71.9%) of respondents would reject an otherwise ideal house if its broadband speeds were too slow, while 22.8% said they’d rather negotiate a lower price and only 5.1% weren’t at all bothered about Internet performance.

The study also found that most new property hunters would expect the house to support a minimum broadband download speed of 25Mbps or greater (50Mbps was actually the most popular choice) and some were even willing to pay extra for a house in order to get that.

When buying a new house, what is the minimum broadband speed you could tolerate?
50Mbps – 67.1%
25Mbps – 17.9%
10Mbps – 12.2%
2-5Mbps – 1.8%
I’m not sure – 0.7%

What would you do if the house, which might otherwise be perfect, offered lower speeds than your chosen minimum?
Reject it – 71.9%
Negotiate lower price – 22.8%
I’m not fussed – 5.1%

How much more would you pay for a house with superfast broadband?
I wouldn’t pay extra – 66.3%
I’m not sure – 7.2%
0.5% More – 7.1%
1% More – 6.6%
2-3% More – 5.8%
More than 4% – 4.7%
3-4% More – 1.9%

Back in March 2015 Halifax said that the average house price in the United Kingdom was £192,970 and 2% to 3% of that would add an extra £3,859.40 to £5,789.10 respectively to the total cost. Overall 26.1% of respondents indicated that they’d be willing to pay anything from 0.5% to over 4% extra on the asking price of a house in order to get one with “superfast broadband” (the UK Government defines this as download speeds of 24Mbps+).

Admittedly not everybody can afford their own house, but for those that can the purchase of a new home will probably be the single biggest investment that they will ever make and one that often lasts the longest. As such the desire to ensure that you’re moving into a place where the Internet, which is considered by many to be essential, runs at a good speed has become increasingly significant.

The Government are of course making speeds of 24Mbps+ available to 95% of the UK by 2017, although remote rural areas will be the last to benefit and clearly some may suffer a loss of value if they’re found to deliver less capable connectivity (this doesn’t just have to mean speed, support for low latency and big usage allowances is also important).

But we should stress that most of the currently available evidence for the impact of broadband performance on house prices is fairly anecdotal, although a recent study by the London School of Economics claimed that property prices increased by an average of around 3% when the available broadband speeds doubled (here).

Never the less, the decision about how much you pay for a house will always come down to the simple matter of personal choice, which is different for everybody, although for most people access to superfast broadband is clearly now a key part of that equation.

Meanwhile this month’s new survey asks whether or not your mobile, phone or broadband provider offers an online service status page? Vote Here.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. Avatar Kyle

    Interesting based on the criteria of (PICK CLOSEST) most people will only tolerate a minimum speed of 37.5Mb and higher from that result. I recommend anyone buying a new home carefully check what speed it will get as being in a FTTC area does not automatically guarantee that figure, nor unfortunately does the BDUK. 🙁

    • Avatar GNewton

      I know of quite a few cases where house on the market for sale can be almost next to a fibre-cabinet, yet you won’t be able to order VDSL (or Infinity, as BT calls it these days). A home buyer should always first do his homework and carefully check the broadband availability.

    • Avatar fastman2

      suggest you use the BTW Dsl checker for the address if possible — do not use the postcode as that is notoriously misleading

    • Avatar DTMark

      Tried that for our address. Somewhere between 15 and 36 Meg downstream. Even BT have no idea what speed it will achieve.

      Imagine if Virgin’s 150 Meg service came with the caveat “may only run at less than half this speed if the co-ax is knackered but we are not obliged to replace it as long as the telephone works”.

      As an aside I hope that the BDUK superfast premises are based on the Impacted – Low figure (15, above) since that is what BT are confident of delivering.

      They wouldn’t give one number to the LA’s and another to the ISPs, now would they 😉

  2. Avatar FibreFred

    All common sense really, check to see what speed you can expect from all providers… pretty straightforward stuff

  3. Avatar FibreFred

    And its very hard to believe that 67% wouldn’t accept anything less than 50Mbps when moving.

    Sure put it on a survey but if its a home you actually want and more importantly the one the missus wants I bet you’ll get a different %

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