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Availability of high-speed Internet influencing home prices

Logged-in and loading: House hunters want their Internet and they want it fast.

It’s another must-have for those keeping up with all the trappings of a post-modern digital world and a necessity for have-nots struggling with the digital divide.

At the same time, new studies suggest digital demand is having an impact on home prices as Internet presence, or lack thereof, becomes a deciding factor for some homebuyers.

Unlike telecom companies that are legally obligated to make telephone service available to all residences in their service areas, there is no law requiring the same of Internet providers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, real estate agents are seeing more buyers turn away from available homes without fast Internet access.

In response, amid unspoken but assumed conveniences such as electricity and phone service, some agents are now highlighting Internet availability in their home listings, and getting more inquiries as a result.

Citing findings from researchers at the University of Colorado and Carnegie Mellon University, the Journal reports speedy Internet through fiber optic connections can add more than $5,400 to the price of a $175,000 home, close to the added premiums placed on a fireplace or half the value of a bathroom.

Another study, conducted by the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater in 2014, found Internet access could add almost $12,000 to the value of a $439,000 vacation home in Door County, Wisconsin.

Researchers for the University of Colorado-Carnegie Mellon study also noted that the impact of Internet speeds and home sales were found to be most significant in rural areas where Internet speeds tend to fluctuate.

As of 2013, according to the Federal Communications Commission, 92 percent of urban areas had high speed Internet, compared with 47 percent of rural areas.

Join Realtor Diane Brennan for That Real Estate Show Sundays at 8 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM.