Having a superfast broadband connection or good mobile coverage is equal to a good view when it comes to what buyers look for in a property, according to the results of Knight Frank’s Buyer Survey which tracks the views of over 500 buyers active in the prime market.
Some 61.4% of respondents said good internet connectivity and phone signal was either very or fairly important to them when moving house. This compares to 60.8% who said the same about a good view.
It comes as the Chancellor, Philip Hammond prepares to announce more than £1 billion in funding to improve broadband speeds for households and businesses as part of an infrastructure plan to be detailed in the Autumn statement tomorrow.
Key headlines from the survey:
• Nearly half (47%) of said they would be more likely to buy a house in an area with good internet connectivity or superfast broadband
• A further 32% of respondents said they would research an area’s internet connectivity, or ask an estate agent about broadband speeds, before buying a house
• 41% of prime buyers have reduced their budget as a result of changes to stamp duty and a further 14% plan to stay in their next property longer as a result of the changes
• ‘Quality of life’ was the primary motivating factor for moving, followed by upsizing or downsizing
• Privacy and security and having a garden or access to land were considered the most important attributes of a new home among respondents to our survey
Further details and a more comprehensive breakdown can be found in the report.
Meanwhile, price growth in the prime country house market currently stands at 0.5% over the year to September 2016, down from a peak of 5.2% back in mid-2014.
While this headline figure suggests that the market has been relatively subdued, the slowdown in price growth is just a reflection of a market adjusting to a series of tax changes and, to a lesser extent, economic uncertainty resulting from the recent vote to leave the EU.
The wholesale reforms to stamp duty announced in December 2014, and subsequent introduction of a 3% surcharge for individuals purchasing additional properties, have succeeded in making buyers more price sensitive, and this has been factored in to asking prices and offers, something which is confirmed by the results of our survey.