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: JANUARY 2016 (released 26 February 2016)
The January 2016 Land Registry data showed a monthly increase in average house prices across England and Wales of 2.5 per cent and an annual increase of 7.1 per cent.
Regionally, the highest monthly increase was seen in Wales at 3.7 per cent, followed by London at 2.8 per cent; prices decreased in the North West and the North East by 0.4 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.
The average house price in England & Wales now stands at £191,812 and in London at £530,409. London saw the highest annual increase in prices at 13.9 per cent, followed by the South East at 10.7 per cent and the East at 8.9 per cent. The lowest annual increase was seen in the North East at 0.2 per cent, but no region experienced a fall. In terms of property type, flats and maisonettes showed the highest annual increase at 8.2 per cent, while the lowest increase was seen in semi-detached properties at 6.5 per cent.
In greater detail, eleven counties and unitary authorities saw an annual fall in prices, the greatest again being Hartlepool at minus 3.8 per cent; Reading continued to experience the highest annual rise at 16.1 per cent. The strongest monthly growth was seen in the Isle of Anglesey with an increase of 4.1 per cent, while Blaenau Gwent had the most significant monthly drop at minus 3.5 per cent. Six counties and unitary authorities saw no monthly price change.
Of the metropolitan districts, Knowsley continued to show the largest annual price increase at 8.8 per cent; only two districts saw a fall, the greatest being Sunderland at minus 3.2 per cent. Newcastle upon Tyne experienced the highest monthly price increase at 2.1 per cent, while Liverpool and Knowsley both saw the greatest monthly fall, each with a movement of minus 1.5 per cent.
Of the London boroughs, Hillingdon had the highest annual price rise at 15.5 per cent and the highest monthly price rise at 2.4 per cent. Camden saw the smallest annual increase at 3.0 per cent, while both Camden and Islington experienced the only monthly fall, each with a movement of minus 0.4 per cent.
The volume of properties sold in November 2015 was 2 per cent lower than a year earlier in England and Wales and 7 per cent lower in London. Over the same period, properties sold for more than £1 million across England and Wales as a whole rose by 14 per cent and in London by 9 per cent.
Month on month, the total number of properties sold across England and Wales fell from 79960 in October to 72167 in November – a fall of 9.7 per cent. The number of property transactions from August 2015 to November 2015 averaged 78,652 per month, compared to 81,656 over the same period a year earlier.
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