By Max Clarke
A study has revealed that the availability of good broadband internet access really can add value to your home. The survey of some 733 respondents, carried out by ISPreview.co.uk, found that almost two thirds (69%) of UK internet users would be put off from buying a beautiful new house if it lacked a fast broadband connection and half (50%) would pay more for a house with faster connectivity than they currently owned.
The vast majority of respondents also felt that broadband was now "critically important" (74%) to their home lives, with 24% describing its importance as only "average" and less than 2% claiming it was "not important" at all. According to Ofcom's May 2010 data, the average broadband download speed in the UK is 5.2Mbps (Megabits per second), yet in our December 2010 poll just 37% of people described their broadband performance as "good".
"Clearly a strong appetite for faster connectivity exists within the UK," remarked ISPreview's Founder, Mark Jackson. "Homes that are able to offer this kind of access, especially through the new generation of superfast (25Mbps+) ISP products, potentially stand to gain in value by being significantly more attractive to an increasingly internet addicted population."
"Some estate have in the past voiced the importance of broadband equipped homes, although at present most of the available evidence is only anecdotal. The results could also have profound implications for remote and rural locations, where slow speeds are common due to the long distances between homes and their local telephone exchanges. The government has committed to improving the situation, although officially their minimum speed target for 2015 is still just 2Mbps," concluded Jackson.
However, it's not just house prices that can be affected by broadband. ISPreview.co.uk also asked respondents whether or not they would be willing to "pay more for a holiday/hotel with in-room broadband". Unsurprisingly most people take holidays to get away from work, although 37% still said that they would be willing to pay extra for it. Hotels that offer in-room broadband, especially as a free extra, could be on to a winner.
The results are important and follow shortly after the 'Nationwide House Price Index' revealed that UK house prices fell marginally by 0.1% in January 2011 (1.1% lower than January 2010).