Selling a Home? Better Have High-speed Internet

By Steve Anderson March 04, 2014

While the real estate market has always been one for fluctuations—prices can go up and down on seemingly very little in the way of rational justification—sometimes the strangest things can play hob with market prices. One of the newest developments, according to real estate agents, is that houses without access to high-speed Internet can sell for much lower than those with, and depending on location, by a pretty big margin.

Reports suggest that, in the U.K at least, houses without Internet connection or with slower speeds can sell for as much as 20 percent less than better-connected cohorts. Essentially, more and more homebuyers aren't looking for recently-updated kitchens or a pool, but rather a good fast connection with plenty of bandwidth.

To this end, some real estate companies like the property search website Rightmove—reportedly the first such company to do so as well--have started offering the ability to check connection speeds in an area to see just what's available when shopping for a home, and in many parts of the U.K—and beyond—that still remains a problem. Reports suggest that the U.K government's plan to connect 95 percent of the country at speeds of up to 30 Mbps is now delayed until 2017, and there are many places throughout the country—and throughout the world—where 2 Mbps speeds are regarded as the fastest that can be had. Worse, 73 percent of the country, based on regulator Ofcom numbers, is unable to reach 30 Mbps as yet, meaning that the government plan looks more like a pipe dream than anything else without some major effort in store.

The chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, noted that the numbers of people seeking help in terms of getting better Internet access was up substantially—fully 27 percent more since April of last year—and further noted, “A poor Internet service can shut people out of contributing to the national economy, and people living in rural areas can find unreliable Internet a particular struggle.” The issues haven't fallen on deaf ears, however, as Ofcom is said to be rolling out new fines and penalties for not repairing issues and for not putting up new service in a sufficiently rapid fashion.

Indeed, Guy is quite correct here. There are increasingly large numbers of uses for such services, and without the proper bandwidth to make use of said uses, those involved are merely left behind. With everything from government organizations to private business going online, and more and more employees called upon to work after hours from home, having access to high-speed Internet connections is just plain necessary to keep up. People conduct job searches online—many businesses have stopped bothering posting openings in want ads, instead turning to online equivalents—and that doesn't even start to mention the entertainment and educational options involved.

Basically, the Internet is an increasingly large part of our lives, and without the proper connection capabilities, that large part of our lives is unusable. So it's not surprising to see people start to buy houses based on the local connectivity; why buy a house without good Internet when a buyer knows that connection will be necessary to work from home? It's like buying a house without a working toilet.  As connections get better and more widespread, this may prove to be less important, but for right now, good quality Internet access is a big selling point for houses.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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