Broadband internet impacts Nelson County housing market
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- With the expansion of broadband internet in Nelson County, a rural area that once struggled with internet connection is now seeing an influx of out-of-town buyers.
“Five to seven years ago, Nelson was a great place to be. Beautiful breweries and vineyards and all that stuff. But since Firefly has done their fiber rollout it’s become a haven for people who are trying to escape Charlottesville, Albemarle, and places all over the country,” said Jim Duncan, associate broker with Nest Realty.
More interest, more sales, higher prices.
“Prices in Nelson have gone up. When I was pulling numbers I think Albemarle County over a five-year stretch was up about 39 percent, on average pricing and Nelson County is up closer to 60 percent. It’s remarkable because you now have buyers from all over the country have discovered Nelson and they’re able to pay, not whatever price people are asking but they’re able more comfortable in higher numbers,” he says.
According to U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2021 89 percent of households own a computer, and 74 percent of households have broadband. Duncan says he expects this number to grow.
“Work from home, hike in the afternoon. It’s an amazing place to be, an amazing place to live but now with high-speed internet, it’s something that 10 years ago it wasn’t really a consideration. People needed to be able to work from home sometimes. But, now people are working from home exclusively, it’s now another place to be that’s fantastic,” he says.
Duncan explains overall this benefits those who currently own homes in Nelson County because their home value has gone up, and they have better internet.
For those looking to buy in the area, homes are more expensive.