Brits will buy more expensive homes to get faster broadband

Report commissioned for Halifax finds many people are prepared to pay more for a home with superfast broadband

Superfast broadband has become a key selling point when it comes to moving house, according to a study carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf of high street bank Halifax, the UK’s largest residential mortgage provider.

The report showed up to 20% of adults would pay more for a home with a better broadband connection – 20% in urban areas and 19% in rural areas. Meanwhile, 23% said they would attempt to negotiate a seller or landlord down if they knew the property still had slow internet.

People in the East Midlands were found to be the most likely to try to reduce the price, while the Scottish were the least likely. Those living in south-east England were the most likely to say they would pay more for superfast and, again, those living in Scotland were the most likely to grin and bear it.

More than a quarter of the people surveyed said they had suffered with slow or unreliable internet connections at home.

Reflecting the growing importance of reliable and fast broadband as more and more services go online, the report claimed slow broadband is now one of the most annoying issues faced by homeowners, second only to noisy neighbours, but ahead of leaky taps and creaking floorboards.

Predictably, the report found good quality broadband was a higher consideration for younger age groups, with 29% of those aged between 25 and 34 saying they would consider the quality of the connection when moving home, compared with just 10% of those aged between 55 and 75.

Halifax’s Craig McKinlay said alongside outside space, private parking and good transport links, a strong broadband connection is quickly becoming a significant aspect of looking for a new home.

“As superfast broadband is now the norm at work and on our mobile phones, there is a growing expectation we should be able to enjoy a good broadband connection at home too,” he said.

The bank’s report also looked into the most popular uses of domestic broadband, noting whilst many would be prepared to fork out more money for a better connection, broadband was still not really regarded as a useful working tool.

Only just over a quarter of respondents to the survey said they mainly used their connection for home or flexible working, but clear majorities tended to use the internet for online shopping and social networking.

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