Property market must consider broadband

If it hasn't arrived already, it looks like it is time to consider the impact of broadband on property markets.

If it hasn't arrived already, it looks like it is time to consider the impact of broadband on property markets.

Last Saturday's Weekend Herald ran a story in its property section, which noted that many Auckland landlords were having to offer broadband access with their city apartments as standard.

The tenants tend to be a pretty transient lot, the report noted, and don't lock themselves into a year-long contract with an internet service provider.

Thus, they now demand their landlord offers broadband as part of the rental agreement, just as it is commonplace for landlords to advertise rentals as "including power and water".

With broadband now simply being yet another "essential" utility, it looks like landlords can now be expected to offer it, though, of course, property owners will be able to recoup the money through the weekly or monthly rental.

This matter got me thinking about the resale market, too.

How important is the availability of broadband in the resale value of a home?

Now, I couldn't find any New Zealand stats, but it seems UK consumers are demanding super-fast broadband so much that it could make them want to pay more for a house if it is available.

Backing this view comes commentary from the US, which says a lack of broadband is depressing prices in rural areas.

There has been little said on the subject in New Zealand, but there ought to be.

Certainly, as we keep hearing, the impact of ultrafast broadband on our lives will be significant.

Already some real estate agents are starting to mention the availability of broadband for their developments, even or especially for rural projects.

But I would expect more of them to do so, especially as the roll-out of UltraFast Broadband (UFB) in New Zealand progresses and its ramifications sink in.

In time, I would expect the quality of one's broadband access to have as much a bearing on house prices just as much as good schooling in the area, handy road or rail access, or a nice view.

Supporters of UFB and the National Broadband Network (NBN) might want to cite its positive impact on property prices, though it seems too early to quantify percentages or values yet.

In the meantime, I am moving from provincial Hamilton to urban Auckland.

And it would be great if I too could find a rental that is inclusive of broadband, as I also want to keep my options open longer term!


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