An estimated third of employees spend at least some of their week working from home with high speed broadband rising up the criteria list for new house buyers. Evidence suggests that broadband speeds could affect the price that buyers end up paying for their next move.
An analysis of average house prices and broadband download speeds by local authority reveals that buyers spend, on average, 17% more for properties in areas with superfast broadband compared to areas where average speeds are less than 25 Mbps.
Some of this will be related to where broadband providers have historically focused their investment, ie, in more affluent areas, but with the major providers increasing their coverage, this effect will become more diluted. Indeed, the Government has committed to provide superfast broadband (at least 24Mbps) to at least 95% of UK premises.
There are a myriad of factors that affect local property prices but the influence of broadband speeds should not be underestimated with its importance to buyers set to continue to increase.
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According to the July 2015 Land Registry data, there was a monthly increase in average house prices across England and Wales of 1.7 per cent. The East region experienced the greatest monthly price rise at 2.8 per cent, followed by London at 2.5 per cent, while only Wales experienced a fall at minus 0.3 per cent.
The East also showed the highest annual change in prices at 8.9 per cent, followed closely by London and the South East. The North East saw the lowest annual change at 0.4 per cent but no region experienced a fall. The overall annual price change now stands at 4.6 per cent, making the average house price in England & Wales £183,861 and in London £488,782. By property type, semi-detached properties showed the highest annual increase at 4.9 per cent; the lowest was seen in flats and maisonettes at 4.2 per cent.
In greater detail, 14 counties and unitary authorities saw an annual fall in prices, one more than in June, the greatest being Blaenau Gwent at minus 5.5 per cent; Reading experienced the highest annual rise at 13.6 per cent. The strongest monthly growth was seen on the Isle of Anglesey with an increase of 3.4 per cent, while Pembrokeshire had the most significant monthly drop at minus 3.2 per cent. Eight counties and unitary authorities saw no monthly price change.
Of the metropolitan districts, Trafford again showed the largest annual price increase at 7.1 per cent; four saw a fall, the greatest being Bradford at minus 1.7 per cent. South Tyneside saw the highest monthly price increase at 2.3 per cent, while seven saw a drop, the largest being Wolverhampton at minus 1.4 per cent.
Of the London boroughs, Hillingdon saw the highest annual price rise at 14.6 per cent, while Camden experienced the lowest at 0.1 per cent. On a monthly basis, Barnet showed the highest increase at 2.6 per cent, while Hammersmith & Fulham saw the biggest monthly fall with a movement of minus 0.4 per cent.
The volume of properties sold in May 2015 was 15 per cent lower than a year earlier in England and Wales and 24 per cent lower in London; falls were seen across nearly all price brackets. Properties sold for more than £1 million across England and Wales as a whole fell by 21 per cent and in London by 26 per cent over the same period.
Month on month, the total number of properties sold across England and Wales rose from 57,180 in April to 65,619 in May, an increase of 14.8 per cent, chiefly seen in properties valued under £500,000. The number of property transactions from February 2015 to May 2015 averaged 61,283 per month, compared to 70,029 over the same period a year earlier.
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