Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Home Buyers Factor In Internet Connections : Fast Connection Closes the Deal

Who knew fast internet was so important that it will influence home buying decisions. I wonder to what extent a person will use the fiber optic availability to chose a home even to the extent of a bad location? Yikes!

But given how important ones ability to communicate and do so in a hurry is these days, it's no wonder the fast internet connection is playing an important part of home buying.

How Fast Internet Affects Home Prices
Source: Ryan Knutson, "How Fast Internet Affects Home Prices," Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2015.

July 7, 2015

As the Internet becomes central to the way Americans work and live, the availability of speedy Internet service is starting to affect Americans' biggest purchase: their homes, according to Ryan Knutson writing for the Wall Street Journal.

Fiber-optic connections, the fastest type of high speed Internet available, can add $5,437 to the price of a $175,000 home — about as much as a fireplace, or half the value of a bathroom. Telecom companies by law are required to make telephone service available to every residence in their service areas, but the same isn't true for all high speed Internet providers.

Phone lines can deliver DSL service, typically slower than 10 megabits a second. Satellite service is usually even slower. The impact is most acute in rural areas, where Internet speeds tend to drop dramatically.

As of 2013, 92 percent of urban areas had high speed Internet, compared with 47 percent of rural areas. In Western Massachusetts local officials are trying to solve the connectivity problem by building their own high speed networks. To accomplish that they're borrowing a tactic developed a century ago when the region was struggling to gain access to electricity. More than 40 towns have formed a cooperative of Municipal Lighting Plants, a type of public utility first invented to build electricity infrastructure, and are raising funds to build out fiber connections.

So far this year, 19 of those towns have passed bond measures to fund construction. More than 40 percent of residents in 14 of those towns have already paid a deposit for service. What people want in a home can vary a lot, and values can depend heavily on broader market forces. But broadband is starting to figure into that same calculus.

No comments: