Can the speed of a home’s Internet connection affect its value?
At least in Britain, the answer appears to be “yes.”
That’s according to an online survey conducted by ISPreview.co.uk, an Internet-technology information website serving the United Kingdom.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they would turn down an otherwise ideal home if its broadband speed was too slow, while close to a quarter said they’d negotiate a lower price on the home.
Only 5 percent said they weren’t concerned with a home’s broadband performance.
The results of the survey, which received 2,119 responses, likely exaggerate the influence of Internet speeds on homebuyers’ thinking and property values.
It was administered only to ISPreview.co.uk readers, a group that probably cares much more about broadband speed than people who don’t read a website devoted to covering Internet technology.
Nonetheless, the study highlights a property characteristic that may impact a home’s appeal more than some sellers or real estate agents are aware of.
Count Google among those who maintain that Internet connection speeds can affect property values.
When it launched its lightning-fast Internet connection, Google Fiber, in 2012, it claimed the service could drive up a home’s value by $2,000 to $5,000.
ISPreview.co.uk’s found that only around a quarter of respondents said they would be willing to pay extra for a home with “super-fast” broadband, which tends to be defined by the United Kingdom government as download speeds greater than 24 megabits per second (Mbps).
But that still suggests there may be situations where broadband speed could sometimes push up a home’s value.
In the U.S., any home price premium associated with “super-fast” broadband might be magnified if the service is offered through Google Fiber. Google Fiber can provide download speeds that are up to 40 times faster than the minimum download speed that qualifies as “super-fast” in the United Kingdom.
Google Fiber is currently available in only a handful of cities, including Kansas City and Austin, Texas, but it’s expanding.
The service’s basic plan offers seven years of download speed of up to 5 Mbps for a one-time fee of $300, or $25 a month over the course of one year.
That adds up to about $900 in savings over seven years compared to other basic offerings, according to Google. You’d think that some of those savings might realistically factor into a home’s value.
Google Fiber’s “Gigabit Internet” plan, which costs $70 a month, boasts up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download speeds, which is 100 times as fast as its basic plan.
It’s not difficult to imagine that some people might be willing to pay a premium to live in neighborhoods with access to such high broadband speeds.