Good internet speeds are today as important in the choice of a home’s location for Millennial ns as the availability of electricity and hot water once was to their grandparents, an online property service has found.
Young renters are now willing to pay up to $30 more for an area with fast internet with NBN already connected or about to be connected.
“We’ve found that fast internet is becoming an ever-more important utility for young people are they want to spend their spare time streaming Netflix and services like Spotify,” says Peter Esho, CEO of tech company CRIBZ.
“It’s also a priority that they be able to work from home, set up businesses at home and have more flexibility in their work lives. Fast, reliable internet speeds are now as important a utility as hot water and electricity were once in the past. Of course, we can’t live without those, but the internet is now just as important.”
CRIBZ, a company that helps younger people with their home search, has polled its users and gathered their comments and held focus groups to assess the new importance of fast internet services.
Finding they’re now ranked as one of the top five elements in the decision about where to live, they’ve compiled a new “tech-friendly” measure, using NBN rollout data and fibre availability, to rank each neighbourhood in Sydney.
The top locations for connectivity, they’ve discovered, are Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay, Woolloomooloo, Tamarama, Kirribilli and Milsons Point, and Palm Beach.
Those areas lagging behind, suffering the slowest speeds and worst reliability, are Cronulla,Lane Cove, Maroubra, Newtown and Enmore, and Rose Bay and Dover Heights.Related: Brisbane’s fastest suburbs for internet speedsRelated: ‘s best high-speed internet suburbsRelated: Millennials taking up the #vanlife
“This is a variable that no one has tried to capture before in terms of where young people choose to live,” says Mr Esho. “It’s particularly important in the rental market, which is where the majority of Millennials are, as it’s easier to choose between areas which are fibre-ready and those which aren’t.
“We’ve found it’s lower in the main concerns of Millennial buyers of property because they’re less prepared, or perhaps less able, to pay thousands of dollars extra on their mortgage for better internet.”
Researchers have found internet speeds have now risen to as high as fourth place on Millennials’ list of priorities in choosing where to live, behind budget, mobility – which includes being close to public transport or roads – and social amenity like proximity to shops, cafes and restaurants.
Connectivity is now rated as far more important than elements like car parking, apartment facilities such as gyms, and having open spaces and parks nearby.
“We’re not seeing these things as key trigger points any more,” says Mr Esho. “Many Millennials are entering a different workforce compared with their parents, with more options to work from home or start their own internet businesses.
“In their spare time, video and music streaming services like Netflix and Spotify are now essentials. High-speed internet makes a world of difference to them, and with slower-than-expected NBN rollout times and cost blowouts, many more are looking at this kind of service to help them in the home search process.”
Joshua Thomas from Morton Woolloomooloo said that despite the suburb having some of the best internet speeds in Sydney, in his experience it wasn’t a concern brought up by buyers.
“Funnily enough, it might be more of a factor with tenants moving around the area”, he said. “They’re a bit pickier”.