Is slow broadband killing house prices?

A good home broadband connection has never been more important. With more of us than ever forced to work from home because of the pandemic, we all need a reliable and fast connection to ensure we can all work, rest and play.

It’s even been forecast that telecommuting could become the new normal for millions of us, at least for part of the working week. A fast connection is now vital to the way we live.

But could having a slow broadband connection knock thousands off the value of your house?

Superfast broadband pushed house prices up

Regular readers of the blog might remember how, back in 2017, we reported on house prices were being given a boost by having superfast broadband installed. Here’s a quick reminder:

House prices in the UK have rocketed by an eye-watering 181% since the start of the millennium. Getting on the property ladder is now arguably tougher then ever, with prospective buyers now expected to stump up an average of £211,000 for their first home – almost three times than the amount needed back in 2000, when the average spend was £75,000.

Our expectations of what we look for in a property have also shifted in that time, and while things like off-road parking,  and a new kitchen or bathroom can all increase the value of a house, there’s another, less obvious factor that could push up the price of a property – a superfast broadband connection.

But new research has found that the flipside could also be true, and that having a slow broadband connection could actually knock tens of thousands off the cost of your home.

Slow broadband dragging house prices down

Fast internet is one of the top three priorities for prospective house buyers. Would-be purchasers would consider slower speeds but only if the property price was reduced by a whopping 19%. Those are the revealing findings from Compare Fibre research, one of the UK’s leading broadband comparison sites.

  • Slow broadband could knock £46K off the value of your house
  • Fast broadband could add £7K to the value of your house
  • 2% of respondents value fast broadband more than a downstairs bathroom
  • 7% of respondents value fast broadband more than a garage
  • Slow broadband lowers the value of your house; this is the bottom line

With the current stamp duty holiday planned to come to an end on 31st March 2021, Compare Fibre set out to understand the current state of the mindset of 5000 potential property buyers and what they value most in their criteria for a next dream home.

The independent study of UK residents asked respondents to rank the most important criteria for their next house purchase.

Garden – Perhaps unsurprisingly, a garden came top of the list, with 53% of people identifying outdoor space as their most important thing to look for in a new house. Research has found that a neat and tidy garden can add up to 20% on to the price of properties for sale.

Open Plan Living – Second was open-plan living at 32%. Open-plan living has been an interior design trend for some time but heightened by the current climate. Now more than ever, we need to be able to use our indoor space for multiple purposes. Lockdown life led many of us to double dining areas as home offices, living rooms as home schools and spare corners as exercise areas. Open-plan interiors allow for flexible and adaptable use of space.

Buyers are increasingly looking for usable space in a house. It is estimated that a 10% increase in available floor area can add 5% to a property’s value. An open plan kitchen and dining area are now a must for home buyers and can increase a house’s value by six per cent.

A fast and stable broadband connection has never been so important. We browse, stream TV and movies more than ever, but the internet is now essential for those who work or learn from home.

24% of respondents to the Compare Fibre survey stated that speeds of 30Mbps or greater would be on their list of features considered essential in a new home.

30Mbps is the rate that Ofcom considers to be “superfast” broadband, yet only 69% of British households can achieve this speed. 27.8 million households in the UK, which is 8.6 million homes, cannot enjoy speedy WiFi connections. Around 1.2 million houses are sold each year in the UK, so nearly a third come with slower broadband for buyers.

Nathan Hill-Haimes, Co-Founder of Compare Fibre said, “What this research demonstrates is that fast internet speeds are increasingly considered an essential. Buyers expect fast broadband – estimates suggest that the existence of a superfast connection will add 3% to the value of your home. But if the absence of it knocks off a huge 19%, then that suggests viewers will walk away once you reveal your sub-par speeds.”

Even more astonishingly… Two per cent of survey respondents said they would consider buying a house with fast broadband to be more important than a downstairs bathroom, and seven per cent would rate speedy WiFi as more important than a garage.

Slow broadband lowers the value of your house. This is the bottom line on broadband.

The average house price in the UK is £245,443 (as of October 2020).

Respondents to the survey were asked to determine the amount they would offer on a house with slow broadband.The average price reduction a buyer would expect when considering purchasing a new home was 19%.

That means a slow internet connection could wipe £46,634 off the value of your house.

Let’s put that into perspective. Studies have shown the following:

  • Living next to a McDonald’s can knock 24% of a property’s price
  • Living next to identifiable “nuisance neighbours” could cost you 13% off your home’s value
  • An unkempt front garden instantly wipes 5% off the price a buyer will pay
  • Living in a house unluckily numbered 13 knocks 4% of its value

What does seem certain is that fast broadband is increasingly likely to be a deal-breaker when selling houses.

If you are selling a house, be as prepared to have to explain to viewers the megabits per second rate of your property as well as the energy efficiency rating, council tax band and detailed description of how lovely the people next door are.

Don’t let slow broadband speeds stop you from keeping in touch

Remember, offers a free conference call service for up to 100 UK-based participants, using a simple landline connection or mobile phone signal – no need to worry about buffering or a dodgy broadband connection dropping the call on you.

And if you have overseas participants, our wide range of dial-in numbers mean they can also make cost effective conference calls with us.