House hunters would rather purchase a property that had previously been a drug den or a brothel than buy a home that didn't have access to high-speed broadband, according to a poll of MoneySavingExpert.com users.
The latest results from the poll, which closes tomorrow, show just how vital access to quick internet now is for many homebuyers, with respondents asked to weigh up a series of potential problems with a property and say which would prompt them to never buy even if offered a big discount.
Of the 6,300 people to have so far responded to the poll, 39% would be deterred from buying a house that didn't have access to high-speed broadband. By contrast:
- 38% would be put off by a house that was once a drug den.
- 27% would avoid snapping up a former brothel.
- 26% of respondents have a problem moving into a house that's allegedly haunted.
- Just 12% would let a recent death in the property stop them bagging a bargain.
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However, the poll also identified a series of risks which were more off-putting than a poor fibre connection, including the home being on an eroding cliff edge (86% would never buy), or there being a high flood risk (76%) or extensive damp (64%).
Last year, a North London flat sold at £100,000 less than similar properties in the area because a serial killer had committed murders there – however, this wouldn't have been a deal-breaker for the majority of our poll respondents, with just 41% ruling out purchasing a discounted property where a previous occupant had been a known serial killer.
Sally Francis, senior writer at MoneySavingExpert, says: "The results of this poll are another reminder of just how much we rely on the internet as a nation – it's one of the essential bills in most households. Clearly, not having high-speed broadband at your fingertips is a concept that sends most into a frenzy.
"While it's obviously not as key as finding out if a house is on a flood plain or has had subsidence previously, it could be a consideration for future buyers. We're becoming more reliant on the internet for day-to-day things.
"But when it comes to your broadband bills, always remember to make sure you get the best deal. Too many people tend to stick with their broadband provider through thick and thin, overpaying by £100s a year. If that's you, a little research and taking the leap is likely to boost your package and slice your bills."