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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The July 2016 house price index data for the UK showed a monthly rise of 0.4 per cent, while in England the increase was slightly higher at 0.5 per cent. In London the monthly change was 1.0 per cent but of the English regions it was the North East region that experienced the highest monthly growth with a rise of 2.3 per cent. Falls were seen in Yorkshire and The Humber, the South West and the West Midlands, the latter seeing the greatest fall at minus 0.8 per cent.
On an annual basis the price change across the UK was 8.3 per cent, bringing the average house price to £216,750. In England the annual price increase was a little higher at 9.1 per cent and the average house price £232,885. London experienced a rise of 12.3 per cent making the price of an average London home £484,716. However, the East of England again saw the greatest increase over the year with a rise of 13.2 per cent, while Yorkshire and The Humber saw the lowest annual price growth at 4.7 per cent. Annual price increases by property type across the UK showed little difference, ranging from 8.1 per cent for both terraced houses and flats and maisonettes to 8.5 per cent for both detached and semi-detached houses.
Detailed statistics for local authority areas continue to show a wide variation but only five areas saw a fall in prices over the year, including the London boroughs of Camden at minus 0.6 per cent, Hammersmith and Fulham at minus 1.6 per cent, and Kensington and Chelsea at minus 3.0 per cent. The highest annual rise was seen in South Bucks at 22.7 percent, while Stevenage, Haringey, Hertsmere and Newham also saw increases above 20 per cent.
Completed sales for England in May 2016 totalled 49,795, a fall of minus 33.5 per cent compared to a year ago when 74,897 completed house sales were made.
Statistics relating to building status showed that the average price of a new build property in England in July was £295,039, down minus 2.2 per cent on June but up 16.4 per cent on a year ago. The average price of a resold property was £228,779, a rise of 0.7 per cent over June and 8.5 per cent higher than 12 months ago.
Statistics on buyer status in England showed that the average price of a house sold to a first time buyer was £195,484 and to a former owner occupier £264,184. Prices to first time buyers increased by 0.3 per cent over June, while re-purchasers saw an increase of 0.6 per cent. Over the year, prices for first time buyers increased by 8.9 per cent and for former owner occupiers by 9.2 per cent.
The latest figures on funding status, which compare average cash and mortgage prices, show that in England the average cash price was £218,331 and the average mortgage price was £240,233. The monthly increase in prices for cash buyers was 0.3 per cent, while mortgage purchase prices rose by 0.5 per cent. However, the annual change for cash purchases was 8.3 per cent, while for mortgage purchases it was somewhat higher at 9.4 per cent.
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