Signal failure: the importance of being connected
-Nikki Ackerley, Managing Director at Property House Marketing
I’ve seen a lot said about the positive impact of Crossrail on the prices of homes. I’ve seen even more said about the ongoing failure of train companies to provide a service that isn’t hampered by signal failure. Transport connections have always had an enormous influence on house prices, but it seems that another kind of connection jostling for position of top priority is high speed internet.
The Berkeley Group has recently announced its plans to ensure all of its sizeable new housing developments – which is most of them – are connected with ‘full-fibre’ technology. Customers now expect high-speed broadband to be available from the day they move in, and Berkeley believes buyers are put off purchasing if this isn’t a part of the offer.
The issue goes further, especially in leafy Surrey. I’ve been witness to my daughter-in-law moving into her new home to find that, unless she stands at the end of the road waving her mobile aloft, she can’t send an old-fashioned text message, let alone make a phone call. What’s more, the height of the surrounding tees makes neither Virgin or Sky viable either. However, a decent broadband connection and the use of the right apps for communication and TV streaming now negates the need for a new pylon to remedy this.
It seems that the usual checklist for moving into a new home could do with a refresh. While we’re used to choosing carpets and kitchens, and checking the EPC rating on our new home, perhaps more developers need to follow Berkeley’s lead and consider what’s important to buyers in the digital age.
I had the pleasure of meeting Philip Hammond recently, who reinforced his belief that productivity lies at the root of many of the solutions to better fiscal security; our infrastructure, including broadband connection has a big part to play in this.
While high speed railways are a vital component in the house-buying decision, high speed broadband is becoming the top priority for buyers now.