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Good broadband is now more important than off-street parking for homebuyers

New report suggests high speed internet connections are higher on the 'must do' list than connecting the gas supply

Decent pubs, shops and off-street parking are lower priorities when buying a home than a really good broadband connection.

The figures come from a study of 1,500 homebuyers carried out by broadbandchoices.co.uk who report that independent estate agents have been testing the impact of broadband on the buying decisions of home movers by including internet speeds on their advertisements.

One in five had checked broadband speeds when evaluating a house purchase before looking round the local area, while a poor internet connection was a dealbreaker for one in ten.

“In this digital age, a fast broadband connection is becoming more and more important for home-hunters," said Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove. "People don’t just rely on a good internet connection for browsing the web, but also television entertainment and working from home. As the consumer technologies which rely on internet connection in the home expand, the need for a strong internet connection will be added to more and more home mover wish-lists.”

Overall, 19% of new movers said they arranged an internet provider before connecting their gas or television – setting up a broadband connection was second only to finding a new electricity supplier.

Rob Delaney, managing director of Delaney’s Estate Agents in Essex who included broadband speeds as part of the particulars in the trial said that viewing requests for properties showing these speeds were twice as high as those without.

“As with south-facing gardens and good schools, people are now on the hunt for homes with fast broadband. It’s a sign of the times," he said.

Indeed, one in five prospective buyers said they would be happy to pay more for a property – a third claimed they would pay between two and five per cent extra – to have a high speed broadband connection.