Estate agent Rightmove finds broadband speed has become a key factor for prospective homeowners when considering a property
Sluggish broadband speeds could knock 20 percent off the value of your house, according to research by estate agent Rightmove
According to a survey of user searches by over 3,000 Rightmove customers, details of the broadband access available in a property was ranked as a more important feature than information regarding transport links and nearby schools.
The company will now include information concerning broadband speeds on its property listings following a successful two month trial.
“We’re always considering new developments to our website and mobile platforms, to make sure we provide Rightmove users with the best property search experience”, said Bernard Phillips, head of consumer platforms at Rightmove. “We already offer a number of tools to help consumers make informed decisions about a property including local schools and transport links, and we’re pleased to be the first to add data on broadband, something that has become ingrained in people’s lives and an important factor when choosing a home.”
When viewing a property’s page on Rightmove, users will now be able to access a speedometer-style display showing the home’s average broadband speed in Mbps. The page will also let users know if the property is able to upgrade to superfast broadband and the providers who offer the service in the area.
Rightmove, which says that more than a third of its traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets, says that the new information is already proving popular for its users, currently attracting over 400,000 page views a month.
As people become more and more dependent on internet connectivity, a fast and reliable connection is a must for many, especially combined with the rise of flexible working hours. Recent figures from Ofcom show however that despite the service costing less now than in the last ten years, superfast broadband is only available to three in four homes in the UK.
The government has made the rollout of superfast networks (up to 30Mbps) a priority, setting out a plan to make such a connection available to 95 percent of the population by 2017, rising to 98 percent by 2018. Overall cost of the public-private plan is quoted as £1.2bn.
Last week the government revealed the destination of the most recent £250m of broadband funding, with England receving £184m to fund specific, local projects. The grants will be awarded on a matched funding basis, meaning that local authorities will contribute another £250 million to the roll-out budget to provide further resources.