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62% of Brits Might Not Buy a House Without Strong Broadband

Thursday, July 30th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 1,253
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A new survey of from low cost ISP TalkTalk has claimed that nearly two thirds (62%) of British people admit they would consider NOT buying a house if it didn’t have a “strong, reliable internet connection,” although they neglect to define what “strong” means (we suspect it’s likely to vary from person to person).

Overall 53% of respondents said they consider a “fast, reliable internet connection” a priority when house hunting (again there’s no attempt by the survey to define “fast“), which has almost doubled to 93% when answered post COVID-19.

Naturally the above result reflects the growing need for a better connection that can help to handle home working tasks (24% said they expect to work from home more frequently). Similarly, 45% of respondents admit they rely on their internet service 24 hours a day, compared with just 34% pre-lockdown.

The study also showed, unsurprisingly, that internet connectivity beats other desirable features including double glazing (46%), friendly neighbours (40%), nearby shops (36%) and good transport links (35%). With only a garden (75%) and a quiet road (56%), coming out higher.

On top of that the respondents admitted that setting up their internet connection, after moving into a new home, is “more important than any other task.” Two thirds said it was more important than putting up photos and décor (66%), painting the walls (65%) or buying new furniture (62%). Meanwhile 61% would prioritise it over meeting the neighbours (61%), making repairs (55%), unpacking boxes (40%) or taking meter readings (38%).

Sian Doyle, TalkTalk’s Consumer MD, said:

“Moving house is an incredible life milestone and Brits today are taking even more care when choosing a new property. With the working from home culture likely to stay, ensuring you have an internet connection you can rely on is vital.

The research has further demonstrated the importance of home broadband and we’ve been significantly investing in faster fibre technologies to give customers even more choice when it comes to picking the perfect package. And for busy households working from home, we’re introducing a homeworker broadband package with an additional line into the home to provide extra bandwidth for those all-important Zoom meetings with the boss.”

Hopefully it goes without saying that TalkTalk has a vested interest in the results of this survey, but the fact that they also fail to mention any details about its methodology or how many people were surveyed (and when) only serves to remove some of its credibility. We would have also liked to see a solid definition for “strong” and “fast” as such generalisations aren’t constructive (they mean different things to different people).

The above caveat is important because so-called 24Mbps+ capable “superfast broadband” networks are now available to over 96% of premises across the United Kingdom. As such it may now be more relevant to ask about the impact of having access to 1Gbps (1000Mbps+) capable “full fibre” (FTTP/H) connections, which cover around 15% of UK premises, and contrast that with 24Mbps+. Actually, let’s do something similar now with a snap poll (please try to be realistic, even though we know some people won’t be)..

What is the minimum broadband speed you would accept when buying a house?

  • 50Mbps (31%, 68 Votes)
  • 100Mbps (28%, 62 Votes)
  • 250Mbps (17%, 37 Votes)
  • 1000Mbps (12%, 27 Votes)
  • 25Mbps (10%, 21 Votes)
  • 10Mbps (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 218

As it stands today, most of the currently available evidence for the impact of broadband speed on house prices is fairly anecdotal, although a 2014 study conducted by the London School of Economics (LSE) did claim that property prices increased by an average of around 3% when the available broadband speeds doubled (here), but that’s now very out-of-date.

Ultimately the decision about how much you pay for a house will always come down to a matter of personal choice, which is of course different for everybody.

Leave a Comment
16 Responses
  1. Avatar Samuel says:

    A new build, full fibre. An older build FTTC/P 60Mbps+

  2. Avatar Kekkle says:

    It was certainly high on the list of requirements when we were looking for a house.
    Needed to have at least 50Mb/s FTTC available and ideally Virgin Media option.

    Ended up with a place that can receive 55Mb/s via FTTC and 500Mb/s via Virgin Media.

    Currently using BT.

  3. Avatar Aaron says:

    When I purchased my house earlier this year, it was one of the deciding factors.

    I would only buy a house in an area which has FTTP or Virgin Media available, due to working from home full time (before lockdown), this was essential for me.

  4. Avatar AnotherTim says:

    When I was looking nearly 7 years ago I took the risk of buying a property in an area that was in the midst of being upgraded to FTTC by the local BDUK scheme – roll-out was due to be finished a couple of months after we moved in. Needless to say we’re still waiting.
    As I work from home the lack of superfast fixed-line broadband continues to be something of an irritation!

  5. Avatar Jonathan says:

    Of course decent broadband is more important that double glazing. One can fix the later quickly and easily, you know what excepting in a month. Decent broadband even if you can pay for an FTTPoD connection (you might be on an exchange only line and not able to order) is likely to take many months, easily over a year.

  6. Avatar chris conder says:

    We have no proof it increases house prices, but what we do have is evidence from customers that they won’t view houses without a decent connection, and that a proper fibre connection (ie not phone line broadband) definitely brings in views, which means sales.It also means the price can be held if more than one buyer makes an offer.

  7. Avatar buggerlugz says:

    I bet the figure of people who won’t buy a house at all is higher than 62%.

  8. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

    When house hunting in 2004 I was looking in areas covered by Telewest and NTL. At that time I was a Telewest triple play customer and wanted the same services in my new home.

  9. Avatar Mike says:

    4G shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly in rural areas where FTTC speed is lacking or non-existent, 100Mbps+ speeds are still possible.

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      Depends on location, been around a lot of rural Gloucestershire and there isn’t much 4G or anything else.

    2. Avatar Samuel says:

      The 4G in my area is just as bad as the FTTC connection I have.

  10. Avatar Mark says:

    Must just be my area, but a lot like the idea of the slower life, certainly they don’t like mobile phone masts and aren’t interested in Broadband, I remember the Parish council saying “Broadband and mobile masts are no benefit to the area”. But then again they ate into hugging trees and Alpaca yoga.

  11. Avatar Bob the not so great builder says:

    We narrowed our search for a home to two places. A new build that had no broadband of any kind (developer said oh just get a 4G dongle until open reach moves in) and an older smaller more expensive place that had DSL and cable. We chose the latter.

  12. Avatar Burble says:

    Having done the survey you would think they would take notice of it and supply me with FTTP as BT can, instead of saying “sorry we can only give you a unreliable 9/0.80, best go to BT”.

  13. Avatar Rahul says:

    I voted for 100Mbps minimum. But I will definitely not buy a new house or flat if it had only ADSL up to 17Mbps because that would be a big mistake, especially if there are no plans for Full Fibre any time soon. I discard FTTC as that is unlikely to happen at this stage when the focus is on FTTP.

    While there may be no evidence that having Full Fibre does not increase house prices. One thing I can guarantee you for sure, if a house or flat had slow ADSL broadband on EO Line that constantly dropped out and people considered buying it for their own living (rather than rental business) they will not buy it!

    My flat before the FTTC cabinet upgrade on ADSL EO Line wasn’t reliable, but of-course it is not newly built we lived here for almost 30 years. But if I am being honest, if my residential building wasn’t upgraded to FTTC a few months ago, I would not recommend anyone buying a flat here. Simply because having an ADSL connection dropping out 2-5 times in 24 hours is not a pleasant experience. FTTC rectified the problem finally but waiting 10+ years for it was not fair.

    A newly built home without FTTP would be a scandal, given how expensive newly built homes are. If a property developer denies wayleave for full fibre in a newly built home, that would be incredibly inconsiderate and it would indicate that such authority cannot be trusted in other areas of the property that may need repair works as well.

  14. Avatar AN Other says:

    I voted for a minimum of 50mb/s but that is an absolute minimum if the house and price was right, ideally 100mb/s as a minimum.

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