NBN unlikely to make splash in property market

By Staff Reporter

While the government’s $37 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) has set some homes for high-speed internet ahead of others, with many speculating over the possible effect, a number of property experts do not believe the rollout will have an impact on the property market.

Martin Bregozzo, senior property manager and property economist at BIS Shrapnel, told Smart Property Investment that the NBN is unlikely to be a prime factor in buyers’ decisions, as it’s an infrastructure that will eventually be rolled out across Australia.

“If you take a medium- to long-term view of property, it shouldn’t matter if you’re getting the NBN in one or five years’ time,” Mr Bregozzo said. “Everyone is going to have it eventually.”

While some investors may be keener than others, Mr Bregozzo believes it will continue to be the fundamental factors, such as location and lifestyle amenities that will be the main influence in the purchase of a property.

“[The NBN] is extra bells and whistles,” he explained. “Whether or not purchasers are factoring them in, it’s hard to say.”

The network is expected to be available to 286,000 homes by June, and is likely to benefit some areas more than others. 

“For some more remote locations, it might have an impact,” Mr Bregozzo said, while pointing to small rural towns a couple of hundred kilometres away from rural centres where the rollout will have the greatest impact.

In the inner to middle ring suburbs, where there is a shortage of housing, Mr Bregozzo believes faster internet connection is unlikely to determine where people will choose to live.

“When there’s a housing shortage, you can’t really pick and choose,” he said, adding that tenants are more likely to factor in other features such as a good bathroom or location when seeking out a property.

Peter Kelaher, managing director at Sydney buyers' agent PK Property also believes that the NBN will not have an impact on the property market. 

Discussing whether tenants are more inclined to rent a property with high-speed broadband access, Mr Kelaher said when choosing two properties with similar features, a property with NBN connection may only add $10 to rental returns.

“At the end of the day, people aren’t going to buy a property because of the internet,” Mr Kelaher said. “[The NBN] is an added bonus.”

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