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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UK HOUSE PRICE INDEX: MAY 2016 (released 19 July 2016)
The May 2016 house price index data for the UK showed a monthly rise of 1.1 per cent across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, bringing the average house price to £211,230. In England the rise was slightly lower at 1.0 per cent but the average house price now stands at £226,807.
In London the monthly change was 1.5 per cent and the average house price £472,163, but higher monthly changes were seen in the North East at 2.1 per cent, the South East at 1.8 per cent and the East Midlands at 1.6 per cent. Monthly falls were seen in the West Midlands at minus 0.1 per cent, Yorkshire and The Humber at minus 0.2 per cent, and the North West at minus 0.3 per cent.
On an annual basis the price change across the UK was 8.1 per cent and in England 8.9 per cent. London saw the highest annual change at 13.6 per cent, followed by the South East at 12.9 per cent and the East of England at 12.8 per cent. The lowest rise was seen in the North East at 3.2 per cent. Detailed statistics for local authority areas show a wide variation but only nine areas saw a fall in prices over the year, notably the City of London at minus 9.2 per cent and Burnley at minus 6.2 per cent. The highest annual rise was seen in Slough at 23.3 percent. Broxbourne and five London boroughs also saw increases of more than 20 per cent.
Sales volumes for England in March 2016 totalled 102,597, an increase of 52 per cent compared to a year earlier. In terms of property type, flats and maisonettes saw the greatest annual increase in prices both across the UK as a whole at 9.2 per cent and in England at 10.1 per cent.
Statistics relating to building status showed that the average price of a new build property in England was £293,461, up 9.6 per cent on the preceding month and up 17.9 per cent on a year ago. This contrasts with resold property, which has an average price of £222,455, just 0.4 per cent higher than a month earlier, and 8.3 per cent higher than a year ago.
Statistics on buyer status in England showed that the average price of a house sold to a first time buyer was £191,099 and to a former owner occupier £256,593. The monthly and annual increase in prices was broadly similar for both: first time buyers saw monthly increase of 1.1 per cent, while re-purchasers saw an increase of 1.0 per cent. Over the year, prices for first time buyers increased by 9.1 per cent, while former owner occupier experienced an annual change of 8.8 per cent.
The latest figures on funding status, which compare average cash and mortgage prices, show that in England the average cash price was £212,618 and the average mortgage price was £233,971. The monthly change for both cash and mortgage purchases was much the same at 1.0 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. However, the annual change for cash purchases was 7.9 per cent, while for mortgage purchases it was rather higher at 9.4 per cent.
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