Home Prices Boosted by Faster Internet

By the Numbers: Broadband in rural remote counties: 94% of the houses had access to download speeds of 200Kbps. 63% had access to 25 Mbps, the FCC's definition of broadband. 38% had access to 100 Mbps. 9% had access to 1,000 Mbps. 6% on average, of houses had no fixed internet availability beyond dial-up.Access to speedy internet service increases the market value of homes, according to a first-of-its-kind study reported online by the Daily Yonder.com.

The study evaluated 887 “remote rural” counties, which are those not adjacent to a metropolitan area. And it evaluated data such as median housing value, housing characteristics, income growth, employment and more.

Speeds of 25 Mbps or less can make a dramatic difference in overall home values. A 10% increase in the percentage of residents with access to at least 200 Kbps — far slower than the speeds now offered by many rural telcos — would raise the average housing value by $661.

“These may not seem like massive numbers, but when applied to the aver-age number of households in each county, they add up to significant increases in property values, which would likely have meaningful impacts on county property tax collections,” wrote the study’s authors, Brian Whitacre, of Oklahoma State University; and Steven Deller, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The authors pointed out additional benefits of increased broadband adoption, including residents who become more civically engaged, reduction of social isolation and even income generation.