Property news roundup: Nearly three quarters of househunters take internet speed into account when looking to move

Plus, repossession rates down, and worry problems worse for fortysomething renters

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Around 71 per cent of homehunters in Britain take internet speed into account when looking for a new home,

The report from broadband and telephony provider KC suggests the importance of a good connection is the result of the growth in homeworking and increased use of tablets and other desirable gadgets such as games consoles and smart televisions.

Last year RightMove added typical broadband speeds to homes listed on its website.

"Homeowners are a lot more reliant on technology and good internet provision now than in previous years,” said Jan Hÿtch, President of the National Association of Estate Agents. "This need for high performance connectivity means internet speeds can often play a big part in the purchasing decision. For some house hunters, good, reliable and high capacity broadband can be more important to them than having a driveway, a garden, or even being close to local amenities, which is why in certain areas buyers are prepared to pay a premium for an exceptionally good internet connection."

2013 repossession rate lowest since 2007

The number and proportion of mortgages ending in repossession was lower in 2013 than in any year since 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. At 28,900, the number of repossessions represented 0.26 per cent of outstanding mortgages.This compares with 33,900 repossessions and a rate of 0.30n per cent in 2012.

Mortgage arrears have also declined. At the end of 2013, 1.29 per cent of all mortgages were in arrears to the value of at least 2.5 per cent of the loan balance (i.e. at least £2,500 arrears on a £100,000 loan). At the end of 2012, the figure was 1.40 per cent.

CML director general Paul Smee said: "Mortgage arrears and repossessions continue to fall, with low interest rates, relatively strong employment, and lender practices all combining to keep most people in their homes even if problems arise. Lenders recognise that temporary changes to circumstances can knock households off track - we only need to look at the experiences of households affected by flooding right now to realise that life can contain unpleasant and unforeseen shocks."

Worry gets worse faster for over-40s who rent

The level of worry renters aged 40 or more experience rises faster with each passing year than it does for anyone else, suggests a new report from Hitachi Personal Finance.

"Renters are less likely to be optimistic about their finances, job prospects and the economy and our data shows these insecurities get much worse with age," said Hitachi Personal Finance managing director Gerald Grimes.

In its Comfort Index, mortgage-holders came out top, followed by people who live with family or friends, while those who rent scored only just above people in temporary accommodation.