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Fast broadband takes priority over house prices and proximity to work for UK home buyers

Broadband is now so important to our lives that access to fast home broadband connectivity and a good mobile signal could potentially sway decisions when buying a new home.

A new survey commissioned by Broadband Genie has found that a significant number of people consider access to fast broadband a bigger priority than property prices or living close to their workplace.

The study, carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Broadband Genie, asked 2,000 UK adults which commonly desirable features were less important than fast broadband.

For 19% of people living near to work is not as important, while 18% consider fast broadband to be more important than proximity to family members. And 14% of respondents said that they thought the price of a property was less important than broadband.

Other features considered less important than broadband were a parking space or garage (12%), number of bedrooms (13%), school catchment areas (32%) and space for pets (24%).

49% of respondents said they wouldn’t purchase a property without access to fast broadband, while a similar number (48%) would also rule out a home without good mobile reception. In both cases there were also a similar number who said they weren’t sure, so potentially as many as 80%+ would not move in to a property that lacked mobile phone signal or fast broadband.

However despite the importance of broadband many people may not realise they can’t get good broadband until it’s too late: 31% said they did not know how to check broadband availability at a property.

How to check broadband and mobile signal availability

Checking broadband coverage takes very little time so if this is important to you it’s well worth spending a few minutes researching when considering a new home.

You can phone and ask your current ISP, but of course they’re only going to tell you about their services. Fine if you’re planning on sticking with the same provider, not much use if you’re interested in switching when you move.

Broadband Genie offers a postcode check on all our Wi-Fi deal comparison pages. This is a quick way to see what type of broadband connectivity you might be able to get.

For a more detailed coverage analysis use the SamKnows availability tools. SamKnows maintain a database of telephone exchanges and includes information on a wide range of broadband services beyond BT and Virgin Media fixed line connections.

For the most accurate results you can check home broadband availability with a phone number as well as an address. Searching by postcode tells you what’s supported at the nearest exchange, but this does not mean that a particular type of broadband will actually be available to your home. Many of us live close to exchanges so the postcode check is sufficient, but it's important for rural locations where the exchange may be very far away.

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