Broadband boosts UK property values

People in Britain are willing to pay more than the market price for properties with fast broadband - but how much more? Let's find out...

Fast broadband's not just useful for streaming movies, downloading music and laughing at adorable cat videos - it can also raise the value of your property.

That's according to a new study from the London School of Economics (LSE) and Imperial College Business School. A research team compiled statistics over a period of 15 years - from 1995 to 2010 - and found that house prices across Britain jumped by 3% where internet speeds doubled.

While moving from speeds of up to 8Mb to up to 24Mb only boosted property value by around 1%, when properties move from really slow speeds to fast speeds property value leaps up.

Londoners were found to be more willing to pay for more for property with fast broadband than people in other parts of the UK - they're happy to pay up to 8% more than the market price for a property where they can get very fast speeds.

"Speed matters," said Gabriel Ahlfeldt, associate professor of urban economics and land development at the LSE, channelling the spirit of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Traditionally, broadband providers target urban areas like London, where use for both work and play will be high, but there's growing pressure on both providers and the government to provide high-speed broadband to everyone.

"The European Commission has set a target by 2020 that every European citizen will need access to at least 30Mb and at least 50% of households should subscribe to internet connections above 100 Mb," explained Ahlfeldt.

BT recently announced that its fibre network has expanded to cover more than two thirds of the UK. Almost three quarters (73%) of households can now get superfast broadband, so if you're looking for faster speeds you well be able to get them. And in doing so, you're not just getting a broadband package - you're getting an investment.

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