The features homebuyers want and what they’ll pay to get them
SOME buyers are almost stepping out the distance to the nearest train station when they’re looking for a new home.
New research from Westpac has confirmed Victorian buyers are willing to pay nearly $44,000 more when buying a house within a 30-minute commute to work.
According to the research, in today’s Westpac Home Ownership Report, buyers are also happy to pay more than $22,000 extra to get a double lockup garage.
Collectively, almost three quarters of Australians would be happy to pay more for a property with a double lockup garage, according to the research.
It’s not earth-shattering news that properties closer to the city are more expensive, but experts say proximity to train stations and freeway on-ramps do come at a higher price because people want to be closer to work.
Woodards, Oakleigh, agent Chris Karantzas said the difference in the value of property within Hughesdale and Oakleigh — which have zone one train stations — and Oakleigh South — which doesn’t — is about 10 per cent.
“That equates to anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000,” Mr Karantzas said.
He said agents now made a point of advertising the walking distance to zone one train stations.
“When we do open for inspections, people actually get off at either Oakleigh or Hughesdale stations and walk to the property,” Mr Karantzas said. “I asked them how long it took and they said ‘five minutes’. There you go.”
Mr Karantzas said the closer people lived to transport, the quicker they got to work.
“That’s why Ringwood and those suburbs up there have changed in the past few years,” he said. “EastLink has opened up and Eastland is spending a bucketload upgrading their shopping centre, which is why that suburb has taken off.”
WBP Property chief executive Greville Pabst said demand for family homes in Melbourne had remained strong despite pressure coming off the market for properties under $1 million.
“Family buyers are looking for specific things, like proximity to schools,” he said.
He said recent big sales in Kew were a prime example.
“In that location, they share five of Melbourne’s best private schools,” he said.
“That proximity, whether it’s the Balwyn High School zone, Sackville Ward in Kew or Glen Waverley High School zone, always holds up well.”
But Mr Pabst said proximity to a village and access to amenities like cafes, restaurants and particularly train stations, were key drawcards but were “not the be all and end all”.
“There are some suburbs that don’t have public transport but are still stellar performers,” he said. “Elwood is one suburb that doesn’t have a railway station and Balwyn North is another, but you still attract good results.”
Mr Pabst said car parking added more value to a property the closer it was to the city.
“If you are within that inner ring of suburbs (within 5km of the CBD) car parks can be worth up to $30,000 to $40,000, adding to the value of a property,” he said.
“I think a garage is a desirable feature, but as you get into the suburbs, car parking is less restrictive. While it is more desirable to have one, it doesn’t attract the same premium as in the inner city.”
The Westpac research showed a safe area was essential for seven out of 10 buyers, while a quiet, non-industrial area away from busy roads was a must for 62 per cent. A pool was essential for just 5 per cent of Victorian homebuyers.