Whilst good connectivity has always been a factor in the property decision-making process it is becoming increasingly important to home hunters in the UK. In 2021, approximately 94.2 percent of the UK population will have internet access. This is projected to reach 95.7 percent by 2025 according to Statista.
John Gravett, Head of Real Estate Management and James Hyman, Head of Residential at Property Consultants Cluttons have both explored what this means for the residential property market for those buying, renting and selling.
According the ONS, the pandemic resulted in over 46% of adults working from home which has amplified our reliance on a strong, fast and uninterrupted broadband connection. Though there is much debate over the future of offices it does seem that the way we work has changed and that working from home, at least in some degree, is here to stay.
This is beginning to have an impact on the residential market as potential buyers and renters look for reassurance that they’ll be able to continue working seamlessly from home. Unreliable connectivity is enough to put the brakes on a potential deal.
Tips for buyers and renters
It’s easy to check the internet speed and the internet providers available to any properties that you are considering. All you need is the property postcode and Ofcom allows you to check the highest download / upload speeds available. The app allows you to run a test on your broadband and Wi-Fi to check its speed at any given moment. It can also check mobile availability to see what your network coverage is like in the area.
If your fixed line broadband is slow, particularly if you’re in a rural area, you may find mobile broadband is a faster option and saves you paying line rental for a landline you may not need. You can connect other devices to it by hot spotting so mobile broadband doesn’t limit you to your phone as the name suggests.
Whether you rely on mobile or fixed line it is worth doing your research on the providers available to you at any property you are considering.
Tips for sellers and landlords
As a seller it’s a good idea to use the Ofcom speed test (also available on a range of other websites) at different times throughout the day so you can try to pre-empt any issues. If your connection is slow there are a few easy steps you can take to see if you can improve it:
- The location of the router can have a big impact. Make sure it is in the part of the property where you are most regularly going to be online and have it out in the open. Signal is affected by walls and furniture so try to remove as many of these between your demand hotspots and the router as possible. Also try to locate your router as far from other electronic devices as possible, especially those that use wireless signals such as Bluetooth.
- The age of your router can also play a part. Is it a case of your router needs upgrading to a newer, more powerful model? A small financial investment may help to sell / let your property.
- If your signal is still slow you may want to consider WiFi Range Extender. As the name suggests, it can help extend the range of WiFi i.e. the areas it covers in a property, but they can affect speed, so you need to do your research on the best models available.
If you’re trying to sell or let a property, perhaps merely providing research on download speeds and availability could make the difference in successfully clinching the deal.