How does internet connectivity affect home prices?

It’s not surprising that you can now add internet access to the list of things that affect house prices.

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Just like access to good transport, schools or a great aspect, buyers and renters see fast, reliable and affordable internet as one of life’s essential pieces of infrastructure.

Why do we want it?

We don’t just use the internet for accessing work emails anymore.

Increasingly, it’s an essential recreational and life tool. We watch TV through the internet, stream movies and music, read or watch the news, speak in real-time with friends and relatives overseas or interstate, access telemedicine in remote areas, book holidays, upload photos, do our shopping, and much much more.

The internet is a life tool, not just a work tool.

Looking for property on iPad

 

So good broadband connectivity is fast becoming an essential piece of infrastructure – like water, transport or electricity.

Ups and downs

We all want to be connected, so it’s only natural that access – or lack of it – to fast and reliable internet could affect home prices.

In big cities we often take good internet speeds for granted. But regional and rural areas are not always so lucky.

Dreaming of working from a hideaway in the country? It could be a very slow and frustrating business if you don’t have a decent internet access available. And many communities are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to see if it makes the promised difference.

The overseas experience

While the connection between internet speeds and property prices is well documented overseas, it seems we’re yet to see the same kind of clear cut impact of internet on property prices here.

A poll undertaken in the UK in 2012 (which is almost ancient history in tech terms) showed that home buyers there rank a fast broadband connection higher than off-street parking and local amenities when considering a new property. UK property experts say that properties with slow broadband speeds can be as much as 20 per cent lower than those with good speeds, and a dealbreaker in house sales. It’s one of the first services new home buyers or renters connect – often ahead of electricity, gas or other utilities.

Woman looking at iPad in front of the fire

 

It’s no different in the US, where a recent study found that the fastest type of high speed internet, fiber-optic connections, can add as much as $5,437 to the price of a $175,000 home.

The future

Fast, reliable and affordable broadband internet has the potential to fuel economic growth of all kinds – not just property prices. It can also drive improvements to local communities and economies, businesses and bring new opportunities, which is why the Government saw fit to invest in the NBN to start with.

Building Australia: How infrastructure changes the way we live

Fast, reliable & affordable broadband internet can bring new opportunities to communities.

But the jury is still out on whether the NBN has had – or will have – a tangible impact on Australian property prices. Experts say it’s too early to tell, and the change to fibre-to-the-node from the original fibre-to-the-premises plans will likely also have an impact.

As internet connectivity and our reliance on broadband becomes only more essential to, and entrenched within, our day-to-day life we can only wait and see what happens to the desirability of properties with super fast – or super poor – connectivity.

 

thanks REA.