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Estate Agents Find Full Fibre May Help to Drive UK House Sales

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 (8:04 am) - Score 1,008
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A new survey of 294 UK estate agents, which was conducted by telecoms equipment manufacturer Omdia on behalf of Huawei, has found that the desire for “high-quality broadband” continues to be a significant factor for home buyers and access to gigabit-capable “full fibre” (FTTP) ISP connections seems to be particularly important.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, some 69% of agents claim to have witnessed an increase in queries about the quality of the broadband connection at a property and 74% of these queries have been concerned with the availability of full fibre connectivity.

Some 34% of agents stated their customers were typically looking for houses with speeds of 300Mbps+ (rising to 37% for new build properties) and this was particularly strong in the Northwest of England (43%) and London (42%). But some 24% of agents stated that typically clients were looking for speeds of 1Gbps (gigabit).

Furthermore, people are willing to pay more to get such speeds. For example, if we take an identical house, albeit one with no broadband vs a house with a connection of 300Mbps, then 37% of agents said the latter would be worth over £5,000 more and 9% stated over £10,000 more  – The highest regions were the North West, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland, where over 45% of respondents stated it would be worth £5,000 or more extra.

NOTE: In terms of broadband speeds, 70% of agents stated that buyers of new-builds in particular would expect speeds of more than standard xDSL services (70Mbps). In the Northwest this is closer to 90%.

However, we don’t think it’s particularly realistic to be comparing against a house with “no broadband connection” in this market, since around 97% of UK premises are estimated to be within reach of at least a 30Mbps+ connection and 65-70% will imminently be covered by at least one gigabit-capable network.

Summary of Other Findings

➤ Over the past 18 months, agents have seen a 71% increase in demand for property (existing houses and new build homes). This is particular high in the Northwest (91% stated an increase), Northeast (79%), Southwest (85%), and Scotland (90%).

➤ 30% of agents ranked “high-quality broadband” as the top of these features (from high-quality broadband, home office space, location to amenities, outside space, and off-road parking) that buyers were least willing to compromise on.

➤ After the overall size of the property (23%) and number of bedrooms (18%), having a high-quality broadband connection (20%) is the 2nd most important feature buyers look for overall. But 20% of agents ranked the availability of high-quality broadband as THE most important feature.

➤ 60% of respondents stated that government investment in high-speed broadband networks to every home would benefit buyers in their area more than investments in electric-car charging points or ecoenergy solutions such as solar panels. This increases to 70% in the Northwest and the Southwest.

➤ Virtually all (93%) agents selling new build properties state that broadband connectivity is essential.

Finally, 70% of agents believe delivering a gigabit broadband service to every home would boost or significantly boost demand for homes in their area. But this does rather overlook the fact that if everybody could get a gigabit connection, then it no longer becomes special (i.e. it becomes an expected necessity, like the availability of drinking water). As such, demand may not be relevant in a market that has achieved universal coverage, but by then we’ll probably be demanding multi-gigabit or terabit speeds instead.

Omdia-gigabit-broadband-demand-across-uk

As it stands, most of the currently available evidence for the impact of broadband speed on house prices remains fairly anecdotal and this survey doesn’t change that. We know it’s a key element for the majority of people, but what a buyer will tolerate in terms of connection performance (for some people this is about more than just speed, but also latency etc.) vs house price vs other factors does vary.

When yours truly was choosing his own house some years ago, it was a tricky balancing act between location, school catchments, price, quality of the house itself and of course broadband performance. As the editor of ISPreview.co.uk, broadband was certainly top of that list, but it still had to be balanced against those other factors and our alternative options for local properties.

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 and very hard to quantify.

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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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13 Responses
  1. El Guapo says:

    We’ve been hearing it for years. Surprisingly it isn’t law they should build FTTP on new builds. There are still developers knocking out their boxes on the hillside with no internet and no mast nearby either. I know because we moved to a new build estate and we were promised it would have FTTP and later Virgin Media, and in the end neither of them built there so we left.

  2. Patryk says:

    When I was buying a house earlier this year first thing I was doing after finding the ad was checking its postcode to see what broadband options were available. If there was no Gigabit available I didn’t even bother with that house. I just treated it the same as I would treat a house with no running water or electricity.

    1. Darc says:

      I did the same thing when I purchased our house. I don’t understand why people are buying houses without first checking the broadband status. Talked to someone the other day who brought a house I had rejected since it only had ADSL and they were complaining about the broadband!

      You can also can bet money that if the real estate agent knew the house had poor internet they wouldn’t mention it.

    2. nabs says:

      I’m exactly the same.
      I dismissed a near-perfect house a couple of months back because it didn’t have FTTP. It’s now the first thing I check, even before looking at the properties Home Report!

    3. Tom Foster says:

      I had the choice between a house 5 minutes from my mother, and sister, or one 40 minutes away with virgin media (I actually like them).

      It was a no brainer as the postcode checker said I could get Fibre 2 (70mbps)

      That was good enough, sadly my house is one of the few that actually only gets 20mbps.

      Would I go back and reject the house for that, despite working from home sucking on that connection? Heck no. Some things are now important than broadband. Plus as of last week a surveyor came down the road mapping out virgin media’s orphaned groundworks, so fingers crossed I’ll have that by this time next year

  3. Damien says:

    It helped our house sale – well knowing it was coming – was over paid by 15K! – they saw the road works and completed ( was about to pull out thinking it was all rubbish) – the guy now has 2Gbps

  4. Aaron says:

    I’d agree with this report, one of my deciding factors was whether the house we bought could get Virgin Media or Full Fibre, ended up with both.

    I would not have considered to buy a house with just ADSL connectivity…

  5. Philip says:

    I used to be concerned the value of our property would suffer as we had very poor a ADSL service due to long reach of phone lines & lack of BT FTTC. Thankfully Virgin Media built a FTTP service in 2017 & now local estate agent adverts mention high speed internet is available & often give the available speeds which have recently shifted to Gigabit.

  6. Jason Crump says:

    My sister has recently been caught like this looked at a house was told an Openreach CFP was in progress so completed now 9 months later the only progress is some blue nylon cord they pulled through some 3 months ago but nothing since.

    1. Fastman says:

      so that means the developer did copper at beginning or refused to do fibre or refused to upgrade the cabinet or any or all of the above — . — delivery for a CFP is 12 months from Contract signature (check when sighed) so if they have done blue rope that a good sign that progress is starting to happen

  7. Mark says:

    Really I’m sure in the exclusive areas of the UK that has little bearing, I can’t believe someone would not buy a house here in the Cotswolds because it doesn’t have FTTP.

  8. Madao says:

    and yet, so many landlords are resistant to FTTP and kick up a fuss if one of their tenants are trying to install it. (Many stories on various broadband sites) Which is ridiculous when it would increase the value of their property.

    1. Fastman says:

      FTTP in an MDU is a lot more complicated than a SDU (single Dwelling unit) and requries lost on internal wayleaves and more depending on what cabling has been run and by whom it it was originally run by

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