A new report has revealed that house prices have surged by up to £3,500 in certain parts of the UK after a long-awaited Government scheme arrived in the areas.
According to new, independent research, the roll-out of superfast broadband in the most ‘commercially unviable’ areas of the UK has sparked a significant rise in home values in the affected areas. The installations have also brought economic benefits and job creation to the areas too.
The Government’s £2.6 billion scheme is designed to make superfast broadband accessible to parts of the UK that have been badly left behind on the connectivity front because the installations were not profitable for the broadband providers.
The programme saw the UK government join forces with councils and devolved administrations to ensure superfast speeds were made available to areas across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where no plans for superfast broadband installations were in place.
According to the data, since the rollout, more than 96 per cent of homes and businesses are now able to access superfast broadband that provides a minimum of 30 megabits per second, which is fast enough to allow multiple people to hold video calls, watch high-definition movies and enjoy online gaming at the same time.
The findings suggest that the programme led to an increase in house prices of between £1,700 and £3,500 – 0.56% and 1.16% uplift in prices respectively. At a programme level, land value uplifts have contributed to between £742m and £1.52bn. This estimate represents how much house buyers valued access to a superfast broadband connection, accounting for many of the programme’s indirect effects such as enabling greater remote working and reducing commuting times.
We, at Propertista, have certainly see homebuyer’s priorities change since the onset of the pandemic, with 62 per cent of first-time buyers stating that fast broadband is now even more important than ever in a recent survey. The independent review of the Superfast Broadband Programme, conducted by Ipsos MORI, which secured faster connections for 5.5 million homes and businesses, found it had created £2.7 billion in economic benefits since starting in 2012, including:
- A surge in the value of homes sold in programme areas between 2012 and 2019 by up to £3,500, a rise of 1.16 percent, worth £1.52 billion
- 17,600 more jobs in programme areas, including 2,100 lifted from long-term unemployment creating an increase in gross value added (GVA) by £125 million
- £1.1 billion gained in GVA through increased workplace productivity
The availability of faster coverage also helped power businesses and sparked a £1.9 billion increase in total annual turnover for firms based in areas upgraded through the programme.
But as the government prepares to kick off its new £5 billion programme to roll out even faster gigabit broadband, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden highlights that 11 million – or two in five – homes are yet to upgrade to superfast despite it being available in their area.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “96 per cent of us can now access superfast broadband, but 11 million homes are still missing out on faster speeds available in their area. I encourage anyone fed up with slow loading times or shaky video calls to check with their provider or an online switching service and see if they can join the superfast lane.”
Gareth Williams, CEO at Gigaclear, said: “For our part, 2020 saw us extend our network footprint to over 150,000 premises, all served with ‘full-fibre’ gigabit-capable connectivity. A large part of that has been delivered through the Superfast Broadband Programme, connecting areas that, without the support of the programme, would be unlikely to receive this service due to the high cost to connect them.”
Openreach CEO, Clive Selley, said: “Great connectivity’s more important than ever to our economic and social wellbeing – and it’s going to be critical to building back better and greener, post-pandemic.”
These research findings chime with a detailed study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) which found that nationwide Full Fibre broadband would boost UK productivity by £59 billion by 2025 – and updated modelling suggests it could enable nearly one million more people to access employment including over 300,000 carers, nearly 250,000 older workers and 400,000 parents.
The Government is now focused on delivering even faster ‘gigabit’ connections to all homes and businesses through a new £5 billion rollout programme. More details on the first areas to benefit from the scheme will be announced soon.
Have you benefited from the Government’s Superfast Broadband Programme?