Brits on the lookout for a new property are most concerned with the number of bedrooms, the speed of the internet in the area, and its proximity to a pub, a new survey has found.
Indeed, the research from Hyperoptic shows that, for both owners and renters, a spacious living room is more desirable than a modern kitchen, while storage space is beaten by proximity to local shops in order of importance.
30% of those surveyed also wanted to be close to a train station, while 32% prioritise a nearby corner shop. More than a quarter stated the importance of having a post box in the vicinity.
Meanwhile, the research found that 40% of people see the WiFi speed as a dealbreaker, while two thirds admitted that they would be more likely to decide against buying a property in an area with poor broadband connection.
Additionally, more than a third have seen their priorities change over the past five years when it comes to house hunting with almost a quarter relying on the internet more, a third having had children and one in five moving jobs.
Speedy broadband is now ‘essential’ for around three quarters of buyers, with the majority saying that they need the internet to carry out day-to-day errands such as online banking, while a third use it for online shopping.
A further quarter said they work from home and therefore rely on broadband, while one in six said access to the net is important to keep their kids entertained. What’s more, almost half of respondents want a decent broadband connection to keep in touch with their friends and family, and four in 10 use it for streaming TV shows and films.
72% say that they have felt frustrated by a slow internet connection either in their own home or in someone else’s, while one in eight admit to accessing their neighbours WiFi at some point in the past.
Overall, a good internet connection made 545 of respondents ‘more likely’ to select a particular property, while owners are typically willing to wait three weeks for their property to be fitted with WiFi, while 38% stick with the existing provider.
In future, three in five would welcome the idea of a traffic light system being introduced to indicate the quality of the broadband in the area, with 40% agreeing that buyers don’t currently have enough information available to them when looking for a property.
‘The results show an interesting change in home movers’ preferences in recent years. People rely on the internet so much nowadays for everything from entertainment, to working and keeping in touch with others,’ said Charles Davies, managing director of Hyperoptic.
‘The rise in flexible working and the number of people working from home is likely to have had an influence on homeowners needs, such as speedy broadband. It’s interesting to see how WiFi is in the same list of priorities as parking and garden sizes,’ he added.