Date Published 01 October 2012
Over one-third of home hunters want estate agents to list broadband speeds in all property adverts.
The call emerges in a study which shows that poor broadband connection can lose a sale.
It also found that one in ten prospective buyers have walked away from properties with bad internet connections, one in five checks out broadband speeds whilst evaluating a property, and one in five say they would pay more for a property with a high-speed broadband connection.
The study, of 2,000 home buyers, shows that a good broadband connection is now more important than off-street parking and local amenities, and that one in five of recent movers arranged an internet provider before connecting gas or TV. Setting up broadband was second only to connecting to electricity.
The study was carried out by comparison website Broadband Choices, with the help of property expert Henry Pryor, and was backed by Rightmove.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: `In this digital age, a fast broadband connection is becoming more and more important for home-hunters. People don’t just rely on a good internet connection for browsing the web, but also television entertainment and working from home.
`As the consumer technologies which rely on internet connection in the home expand, the need for a strong internet connection will be added to more and more home mover wish-lists.`
In a trial carried out by independent estate agents Delaney’s in Essex, broadband speeds were included online, along with price, number of bedrooms and room sizes.
Viewing requests for those properties showing broadband speeds were twice as high as those without – although that could have been because the properties showing broadband speeds were newer to the market.
However, Rob Delaney, managing director, is convinced. He said: `As with south-facing gardens and good schools, people are now on the hunt for homes with fast broadband – it’s a sign of the times. But we were still really surprised with the results of this trial.
`We’re now displaying broadband speeds on all our property details as it’s clear that’s what customers are looking for.`
Dominic Baliszewski of Broadband Choices said: `When it comes to buying a property it seems that it’s more a case of broadband, broadband, broadband than location, location, location.`
In response to the findings, the firm has launched a postcode search tool which lets home buyers check the available broadband packages by price and speed. It also tells users if their chosen postcode has access to superfast fibre optic services alongside standard ADSL packages.
The site also offers a broadband speed tester which allows users to check their existing connection speed from anywhere in the UK – useful for those selling their homes. Both services are free at http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk