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Decent broadband is a top priority for home movers

Broadband has become so important that house buyers are prepared to pay for fast internet. Slow broadband is now considered a significant blight, a factor that could affect how much buyers are willing to pay. In fact, they might be looking for a discount.

In our survey, we found that 95% of people would be unwilling to move to a dream home with slow broadband.

Why broadband is important

Broadband has become incredibly significant over the past decade, with its importance accelerating in the past five years. Fast internet speed goes beyond home entertainment. It is now desirable for educational purposes (online classes, for example) and vital for home working. Whether you work from home full-time or have a hybrid approach, faster broadband means better results. Meetings look better, research is quicker, and collaboration is more effective.

Table 1: Full results of UK home movers top 'blights' and the discount buyers expect

Blight Percentage willing to live with or near Discount expectation

Rubbish tip

3.1% 23%
Sewage plant 3.2% 25%
Flood plain 3.8% 25%
Japanese Knotweed issues 3.8% 21%
A prison 4.9% 22%
Power station 4.9% 20%
Poor broadband area 5.3% 18%
A motorway / busy road 5.4% 19%
An electrical pylon 6.6% 17%
On a cliff facing coastal erosion 7% 26%
Poor mobile phone reception 7% 17%
Derelict land that could be developed on 7.8% 16%
Airport / flight path 9.2% 21%
A 5G mast 9.4% 16%
A railway Line 14.3% 16%
A wind turbine 14.9% 15%
A noisy bar or restaurant 17.7% 14%

A noisy school



Looking close at the results

The importance of broadband to house buyers is now on a par with a property’s proximity to a motorway, power station, or prison. Using any online house search tool will give you the nearest schools, and you can easily gauge distance to shops and transport links. Property reports from estate agents often provide information on fuel bills and council tax, but plenty of deal-breakers are overlooked.

Living near a rubbish tip or sewage plant is considered worse than slow broadband. Having a home near a flood plain, or affected by Japanese Knotweed, was also felt by respondents to be worse than slow broadband.

Incredibly, more people were willing to live on a cliff with coastal erosion than put up will slow broadband.

Regional variations were also interesting.

Table 2: Percentage of people willing to move to an area with poor / slow broadband by region

Region % willing to move to an area with slow broadband
Wales 2.1%
West Midlands 3.4%
South West 3.4%
North West 4%
Scotland 4.2%
East Midlands 4.7%
Yorkshire and the Humber 5.4%
North East 6.1%
South East 6.1%
East of England 6.3%
Greater London 8.1%
Northern Ireland 12.5%

The survey has revealed how people feel about slower broadband, too. People living in Northern Ireland (12.5%) and Greater London (8.1%) would move home even with the prospect of slower broadband. Meanwhile, just 2.1% of people living in Wales feel the same.

Table 3: Percentage of people willing to move to an area with poor / slow broadband by region by city

City % willing to move to an area with slow broadband
Glasgow 1.2%
Plymouth 1.8%
Cardiff 2.7%
Nottingham 3.5%
Liverpool 3.7%
Birmingham 3.9%
Manchester 3.9%
Leeds 4%
Southampton 4.1%
Newcastle 4.7%
Norwich 4.9%
Bristol 5.9%
Brighton 7%
London 7.3%
Edinburgh 7.3%
Sheffield 7.8%
Belfast 12.5%

Meanwhile, Glasgow (1.2%) and Plymouth (1.8%) have the fewest people prepared to move to a slow broadband location. Conversely, Belfast residents (12.5%) were more likely to swap their current home for slow broadband.

Mobile reception is also important

Unsurprisingly, feelings towards poor mobile reception are also strong. 93% of people asked stated they would be unwilling to move to an area with a poor mobile signal. Given the increasing importance of mobile internet for social networking (and its use as an alternative to poor broadband) this makes sense.

Poor mobile reception can also have an impact on house prices. Among those surveyed, a discount of 17% off the property’s asking price due to poor or inconsistent mobile reception was expected.

Expected discounts

Once, discounts might be expected for poor roofing or lack of off-road parking. Our survey found that not only have the reasons for demanding discounts increased, home movers are increasingly prepared to ask for them.

An immense 17.7% discount is expected for moving to an area with slow broadband, which is equivalent to £66,398 off the price of an average property. (This would translate to a £61,276 discount in the UK’s slowest city, Canterbury.)

Broadband landscape for the UK

Given the way the United Kingdom has come to rely on fast broadband over the past few years, none of this should come as a surprise.

Ofcom’s Connected Nations report, updated in Spring 2024, reveals that 80% of UK homes have access to gigabit-capable broadband. That’s a speed of 1Gb, equivalent to 1,000Mb. Meanwhile, full fibre broadband (300Mb to 1 Gb) is available to 62% of homes.

Just 3% of the UK cannot get 30Mb internet (known as “superfast” broadband), whereas 57,000 premises are stuck below 10Mb. That’s equivalent to early 2000s speeds.

With this considered, the UK’s reliance on fast internet and its importance when it comes to moving house is no surprise.

How can I check the broadband speed and mobile reception of an area?

If you’re planning to move home soon, you will need to do your own research to learn more about broadband speed and mobile reception in the desired area. While the current homeowners will probably have broadband internet, they may not have the fastest package available.

To check that, use the Broadband Genie comparison tool. Simply input the postcode or address to learn what the fastest deals are for your prospective property.

Want to know more about the mobile reception in the area you’re thinking about moving to? The website www.signalchecker.co.uk provides a good overview of which mobile providers serve an area, and which speeds are available. It also links to the broadband checkers of some individual providers, for more specific results.

In 2024, you will find that most issues concern missing 5G, as that is limited to cities and metropolitan suburbs. While that should improve in coming years, you will also notice some providers are switching off older 3G mobile speeds.

What to do if my dream house has slow broadband

Sometimes, a house is just too good to turn down. If your dream home has slow broadband, and you need it to be significantly faster, you still have options.

The best option is to embrace mobile broadband. Three’s 5G offers speeds of 150Mb, while its 4G package is 40Mb. This relies on your dream home sitting in an area with strong mobile reception, mobile broadband is a suitable option. It also reduces the number of wires you need coming into your property.

If that isn’t an option, consider Starlink. This is a satellite broadband provider offering speeds averaging 80Mb, although latency issues make it unsuitable for online gaming. It is also expensive, with setup costs around £299 and monthly subscriptions £75. While that might be similar to some gigabit broadband deals (with the TV and phone bundled in), for the speed it is not a good deal.


As our survey shows, broadband speed is a major factor when buying a new house. If you have only thought about fuel prices, school location, and bus stops and train stations, buyer’s remorse may strike.
Buying a house means conducting full research into a whole host of things. Primary among these is broadband speed and mobile internet reception. Take the time to look into these, along with the other potential deal-breakers in our survey. Be prepared and avoid a big headache. (And look out for some opportunities to knock down the sale price!)

  • Methodology

    • Broadband Genie research into property eyesores was conducted by Censuswide from 20th to 22nd May 2024 using a survey of 2,004 respondents weighted to be nationally representative.
    • To find the top ‘blights’, respondents were asked ‘Which, if any, of the following would you live in or around if it was your dream property or the only property you could afford?
    • Respondents were then asked ‘How big a % price discount, if any, would you want on the property because of where it is/what it’s next to?’

Meet the author:

Broadband Expert

Alex came on board in October 2016 and in that time has risen to Broadband Genie’s resident broadband expert. For the last 7 years, he has appeared all over the UK press, giving expert advice about anything and everything related to broadband.

Specialist subject: Fighting the consumer's corner on all things broadband.

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