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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LAND REGISTRY DATA: SEPTEMBER 2015 (released 28 October 2015)
The September 2015 Land Registry data showed a monthly increase in average house prices across England and Wales of 1.0 per cent. In London, prices increased by 1.8 per cent, well ahead of all other regions; the North East experienced a fall at minus 0.3 per cent.
The overall annual price change now stands at 5.3 per cent, making the average house price in England & Wales £186,553 and in London £499,997. London saw the highest annual change in prices at 9.6 per cent, followed by the South East at 8.5 per cent and the East at 8.3 per cent; the North East was the only region to see a fall at minus 0.3 per cent. By property type, flats and maisonettes showed the highest annual increase at 5.6 per cent; the lowest was seen in terraced properties at 5.2 per cent.
In greater detail, 12 counties and unitary authorities saw an annual fall in prices, the greatest being Darlington at minus 5.1 per cent; Reading continued to experience the highest annual rise at 15.3 per cent. The strongest monthly growth was seen in Newport with an increase of 2.2 per cent, while Merthyr Tydfil had the most significant monthly drop at minus 3.3 per cent. Only two counties and unitary authorities saw no monthly price change.
Of the metropolitan districts, Sandwell again showed the largest annual price increase at 9.1 per cent; three districts saw a fall, the greatest being South Tyneside at minus 2.7 per cent. Knowsley experienced the highest monthly price increase at 2.5 per cent, while South Tyneside and Sefton both saw the greatest monthly price fall with a movement of minus 1.3 per cent.
Of the London boroughs, Newham once more had the highest annual price rise at 13.6 per cent, while only Hammersmith & Fulham saw a fall at minus 0.5 per cent. On a monthly basis, Hounslow showed the highest increase at 2.1 per cent, while Hackney experienced the only fall at minus 0.3 per cent.
The volume of properties sold in July 2015 was 4 per cent lower than a year earlier in England and Wales and 10 per cent lower in London. Over the same period, properties sold for more than £1 million across England and Wales as a whole fell by 9 per cent and in London by 16 per cent. In England and Wales and in London, volume falls were also seen across all price brackets under £250,000.
Month on month, the total number of properties sold across England and Wales rose from 70,404 in June to 81,696 in July – an increase of 16 per cent. The number of property transactions from April 2015 to July 2015 averaged 71,766 per month, compared to 78,330 over the same period a year earlier.
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