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Study Claims Slow Broadband Could Wipe 24% Off UK House Prices

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 (9:41 am) - Score 1,115
price and cost rises uk

A new study from Housesimple, which examined average UK house prices on streets with some of the slowest broadband ISP speeds (under 1Mbps) and then compared prices on those with neighbouring streets within the local area, has claimed that “ultra slow” speeds could knock 24% (average) off the value of a property.

The research revealed that houses prices were on average 24% lower on the streets with the slowest broadband speeds (i.e. £182,983 compared to £240,031 for the overall postcode district). For example, home broadband speeds on Coppice Farm Park, in St. Leonards (Tring) are a dismal 0.719 Mbps and average house prices there are £211,333, which is 62% lower than the postcode district average of £556,974.

Similarly broadband speeds in Blackstone Avenue (Glasgow) are just 0.669 Mbps and average house prices there are £90,834, which is 45% less than the average for that postcode district of £165,505. The study also claimed that “pedestrian broadband speeds” may also have contributed to reduced house sales on these streets (i.e. across the 20 slowest streets, just 27 properties were sold in the past 12 months).

Sam Mitchell, CEO of Housesimple, said:

“Broadband is now considered the fourth utility after water, gas and electricity, such is our reliance on a fast internet connection at home for everyday tasks such as food shopping and watching the television. And having a fiendishly slow internet connection at home can really affect the saleability of a house.

Buyers may be reluctant to purchase on a street where broadband speeds are so slow that they can’t do simple tasks such as open multiple web pages concurrently, speak to friends on social media channels and download movies, let alone work from home.

It is often one of the first questions asked by buyers when viewing – how fast is the broadband connection? – along with the quality of the local schools and reliability of the transport links. As with any purchase, buyers need to do their due diligence. It is worth asking if the internet is slow for any reason, most sellers will be happy to explain why that is, and be able to provide the best advice on your broadband options, to ensure the best connection possible.”

However this is a very simplistic way of looking at such things and it doesn’t tell us the whole story about other differences that may exist between the areas. For example, there could be significant differences in terms of council tax bands, school catchments, quality or size of housing, availability of gas, crime rates etc. Assuming that broadband is the primary factor in all this would be risky, hence why correlation is not causation.

On top of that Housesimple appears to be using data from uSwitch as its base for comparison (see our original article), which is very flaky because the comparison site was using consumer speedtest based data (i.e. more reflective of service take-up) and this is an entirely different consideration from that of actual local network availability. Not to mention that it can also be impacted by other issues, such as slow WiFi.

For example, a number of the slowest streets in uSwitch’s comparison actually had significantly faster connections available and availability is important because that’s what house buyers will be looking at. Suffice to say, take the following results with a sizeable pinch of salt.. like a whole beach of the stuff.

Address Postcode Average download (Mbps) Average house price, street (£) Average house price, postcode district (£) % difference (street vs postcode)
Poplar Avenue, Oldham, Greater Manchester OL8 3TZ 0.221 105,977 116,033 -8.7
St David’s Close, Worksop, Nottinghamshire S81 0RP 0.290 107,819 185,936 -42.0
Milton Road, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Hants PO8 8LD 0.338 270,134 329,028 -17.9
Cross Lane, Bebington, Wirral, Merseyside CH63 3AD 0.354 195,553 231,846 -15.7
The Willows, Acaster Malbis, York, NYorks YO23 2XE 0.463 215,593 356,282 -39.5
May Tree Lane, Waterthorpe, Sheffield, SYorks S20 7HA 0.467 108,782 185,681 -41.4
Turnpike Road, Connor Downs, Hayle, Cornwall TR27 5DT 0.483 282,182 256,084 10.2
Rothbury Gardens, Plymouth PL6 8TU 0.492 241,516 224,665 7.5
Lancaster Road, Out Rawcliffe, Preston PR3 6BN 0.549 236,558 262,371 -9.8
Moseley Wood Gardens, Cookridge, Leeds LS16 7JB 0.551 250,796 339,084 -26.0
Blackstone Avenue, Glasgow G53 5DW 0.669 90,834 165,505 -45.1
Fosbrooke Road, Small Heath, Birmingham B10 9JS 0.679 147,905 153,421 -3.6
York Crescent, Stourbridge DY8 4RT 0.718 226663 224,042 1.2
Graham Park, South Dell, Isle of Lewis HS2 0SP 0.718 86,679 118,718 -27.0
Coppice Farm Park, St. Leonards, Tring HP23 6LG 0.719 211,333 556,974 -62.1
Oak Close, Little Stoke, Bristol BS34 6RA 0.831 230,314 259,671 -11.3
Maesyrhendre, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA18 2BW 0.839 81,399 142,626 -42.9
Phoenix Boulevard, York YO26 4WX 0.853 250,205 305,653 -18.1
Gratrix Lane, Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale, SYorks HX6 2PX 0.922 123,098 188,444 -34.7
Laburnum Drive, Milton of Campsie, Glasgow G66 8HY 0.948 196,328 198,557 -1.1

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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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19 Responses
  1. Avatar TheFacts

    S81 0RP – VDSL Range A (Clean) 38.8

    • Avatar IMayBeStillHere

      As per what the article says about taking this with a pinch of salt.

      Why? Because like with your example postcode, they have taken the lowest speed and not the fastest speed and comparing the price at that postcode (which mostly comprises of affordable/social housing) and comparing it go the whole district (which contains housing up to 6+ bedroom properties).

    • Avatar TheFacts

      1 ST. DAVIDS CLOSE – VDSL Range A (Clean) 27.4
      20 ST. DAVIDS CLOSE – VDSL Range A (Clean) 32.4
      43 ST. DAVIDS CLOSE – VDSL Range A (Clean) 38.8

      So not based on available speeds?

    • Avatar IMayBeStillHere

      They are based on available ADSL speeds and don’t take into account that they can get higher speeds through FTTC or even higher speeds with FTTP and the likes of Virgin Media.

  2. Avatar Brian

    I have it from the local valuation department, that the rest of the area being upgraded whilst properties outwith the village has no effect on the valuation of the property, just like industrial wind turbines being erected 500m from the property has no effect on its value.

    • Avatar Joe

      I don’t buy that for a second. While the values being claimed here are obviously misleading for a number of reasons if you have poor speed or a visible turbine from your house it will put some poeple off and prices are driven by demand.

  3. Avatar TheFacts

    SA18 2BW – VDSL Range A (Clean) 67.9

    • Also pretty useless giving hybrid fibre speeds by postcode as it varies by each premises within the postcode.

    • Avatar TheFarts

      BT BROADBAND AVAILABILITY CHECKER
      For Postcode SA18 2BW

      Availability Date
      WBC ADSL 2+ Up to 5 — 3 to 7.5 Available
      ADSL Max Up to 4 — 2.5 to 7 Available
      WBC Fixed Rate 2 — — Available
      Fixed Rate 2 — — Available

    • Avatar TheFacts

      It says ‘Postcode only checks will not return any result for fibre services (FTTP, FTTC:VDSL and G.fast).’

      Use specific addresses.

  4. Avatar chris conder

    As all statistics are taken with a pinch of salt, and many comparison sites are ‘subsidised’ or supported by some providers, so I wouldn’t give credibility to any of them. What is a fact though, is that if you can’t prove you are getting a decent speed to your property then people won’t even come to view. So you end up reducing the price, and the number of people who aren’t interested in broadband are dwindling. So to keep the value of your property and attract buyers you need to have a decent service.

    • Avatar AdamH

      But how do I get a decent service when there are no options at all in my area (rural Ceredigion, West Wales), other than sub-3Mbps ADSL or patchy 4G signals (only LTE Band 20 [800MHz], often sub-10Mbps downstream speed)? All the houses in my area are on long EO (Exchange-Only) lines, and there are no alternative network providers (like B4RN) in our area, and we’ve been excluded from the current & future BDUK upgrade programmes. So the future for broadband looks bleak here. Also surrounding areas have been upgraded to FTTC (or FTTP in some cases), leaving small hamlets (in our case, around 30 households) in between without any future upgrade.

    • Avatar Joe

      USO starts in end of yr so….

    • Avatar Liz

      More or less as others say, there is no, ‘I’ll be happy to have useless broadband if I save 24%’. Either you know what broadband is or you don’t. With poor bb the resale value will be negligible as in the future surely no-one will want your property. I am currently surveying house sales in my parish where we are surrounded by B4RN. Some houses are certainly not selling; generally they are not very nice but I’m pretty sure there is at least one decent property not selling due to village broadband. Why two properties have sold for £350k+ I cannot imagine. There are many flawed statistics like this, the answer is some houses are not selling and they somehow make an average out of this and say 24%, it used to be 20%. The truth is surely if no bb then no ££ not even for rental. And, anecdotally, several households have moved into the parish very recently and then decided they need hyperfast. They could have moved into hyperfastland last year but bought here, no doubt looking at cheaper £££. Let’s hope they put their hand in their pocket. And for the record I haved lived here for over 20 years and in those days all dial-up was pretty equal? And also for the record I am repairing but not improving my property until the hyperfast is actually here and I have had to dismantle my nice phone system to get my speed up to 32Mbps.

  5. Avatar Meadmodj

    If you take the Post Code YO23 2XE these appear to be 2 bed Park Homes and therefore will always be a lot less than bricks and mortar in the surrounding area. But even taking that into account major ISPs are quoting Superfast speeds on some of these properties and varying ADSL on others. So if low speeds are being experienced there will be some other reason like not upgrading to FTTC or simply the site layout.

    So on comparative property values and average broadband speeds this survey is fundamentally flawed and dishonest probably purely in search of a headline.

  6. Avatar A voice of reason

    Some of these are just drivel
    “For example, home broadband speeds on Coppice Farm Park, in St. Leonards (Tring) are a dismal 0.719 Mbps and average house prices there are £211,333, which is 62% lower than the postcode district average of £556,974.”

    Firstly there’s a DSLAM right outside Coppice Farm Park so they can all get circa 80Mb/s

    Secondly it’s a mobile home park so house prices with much lower than surrounding bricks and mortar properties.

  7. Avatar ash

    Richer areas get faster broadband.

  8. Avatar Roger_Gooner

    You can argue about the 24% property price reduction but you cannot argue that unavailability of decent broadband does put people off. It’s like internet access in hotels: would you book a room in one without WiFi?

    And it’s not just broadband: when I was househunting in 2004 I looked in areas with cable as I wanted TV as well. Without Virgin Media I’d be forced to have a satellite dish fixed to the side of my house, something that I’ve never wanted.

  9. Avatar Aaron

    This makes sense. If I had known we were going to have such poor Internet *before* we moved in to our new build, we might have reconsidered.

    When you start adding a smart doorbell, security camera, smart alarm system, etc. it renders the connection unusable when you only have a couple of meg to play with. Everything else suffers as a result.

    It’s frustrating that just 20 meters away, the street next to us has 150mbps fibre available to them.

    The new builds these days only lay the ducting and provide only the most basic of services. Granted, that may vary by developer. It is surprising that there is no legislation on providing usable Internet to new build properties.

    I could go on about all of the other things I think new homes should have: solar, charging points, etc. Sure we live in a nice new house, but it also feels like we’re living in the past.

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