The COVID-19 outbreak has seen a new ‘normal’ way of living for each and every resident of Tameside. Whether being placed onto the furlough scheme or simply working from home, one of the biggest strains within our homes over recent months has been internet usage. But just how important is it to consider internet needs when buying or investing in a property in our borough?
Companies across the UK have been realising over the past few months that working from home not only works but can also increase productivity and instill morale in its employees.
To those who use it for work, connectivity is not a consumer choice, but a factor of production.
Adding to the mix of working professionals are families of consumers. In the short space of three years, online streaming has blossomed. From Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to all the catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and Channel 4’s All4, appointment TV is now very much at the discretion of the viewer.
The overnight (ie “live”) ratings for almost every TV show pinpoint how central streaming has become. Eastenders, for examples, regularly got 10–12m viewers in 2010 but by 2018 only gets 5–6m, and similar patterns can be seen for almost all TV shows. There are more choices and less need to make “appointment” TV decisions.
Plus there are multiple devices – even our simplified buyer or tenant might have an iPhone, and iPad, a laptop, a Smart TV, and a set-top box of some kind. Now add spouses and kids. The number of devices in a single home will likely require an internet connection.
The key to this is robust, high-end connectivity.
Research conducted by OFCOM shows that during the lockdown, internet users spent 18 percent more time on the internet.
The increased importance of internet speed can be seen in take-up figures. In 2019, 74% of home broadband connections were superfast products compared to 66 percent in 2018, 58 percent in 2017, and 49 percent in 2016.
A recent Homemover Survey revealed that for 16 percent of buyers, broadband speed had become more important than before lockdown.
The same can be said for tenants, with many of my Tameside HMO landlords ensuring the fastest broadband rates are installed in their properties for tenant usage.
Even when out on viewings showing prospective tenants around properties, more and more of them are beginning to ask what the internet is like in the area if they are unfamiliar, or checking their phones to see the 3G/4G/5G strength.
When EE began rolling out its 5G areas, it was almost obvious that Manchester city centre and its immediate outskirts would benefit from this new high-speed form of connectivity. Surprisingly, however, our very own Ashton-Under-Lyne was also included in the list of towns to benefit; great news for those with compatible cellular devices.
Whilst celluar connections are great for mobile phones, they eat into our data allowances and aren’t always as reliable as a hardwire broadband connection. So with that in mind, what do the average broadband speeds look like across each town in the borough from some of the most popular providers?
Noticeably, Virgin Media has the fastest broadband speeds from any provider across Tameside; with the exception of Mossley where their services are widely unavailable. Their fastest average speed can be found in Hyde at 127MB/s.
Dukinfield on average benefits from amongst the fastest broadband speeds across all providers, whilst Stalybridge and Mossley are both amongst some of the slowest; most likely due to being situated on rural borders where internet connectivity becomes a whole different species.
With the ongoing pandemic having brought about many changes to our industry, such as Stamp Duty changes, eviction bans and seeing a rise in virtual viewings, perhaps one of the main considerations you need to take as a Tameside landlord or homeowner is whether or not your property is situated in an internet hotspot?
For more information on investing in Tameside property, I’m always happy to chat over the phone on 07709 505 442.