Shop­ping for best lo­ca­tion

Herald Sun - Property - - OPINION -

LO­CA­TION is every­thing in real es­tate, it is the one el­e­ment that can­not be changed.

The sur­round­ings can be al­tered over time, but that ge­o­graph­i­cal pin­point is the sin­gu­lar prop­erty feature you have no con­trol over what­so­ever.

There are myr­iad fac­tors that con­sti­tute a good lo­ca­tion.

Within an ur­ban set­ting a 30-minute walk to a train sta­tion might be con­sid­ered too far, whereas within a sub­ur­ban area the fact it is ac­tu­ally walk­a­ble and that close can be seen as a huge ad­van­tage.

The block at the very end of a street within a built-up area with dis­tant glimpses of bush and rooftop views can give that lo­ca­tion a fi­nan­cial lift. In ar­eas of lower den­sity, big­ger blocks and open space, that view wouldn’t even reg­is­ter.

A generic barom­e­ter of any home’s lo­ca­tion is of­ten mea­sured by the prox­im­ity to a big city CBD and we’ve all heard the sto­ries of house trans­ac­tions and prices be­ing fu­elled by buy­ers de­ter­mined to en­rol their chil­dren into par­tic­u­lar ed­u­ca­tional es­tab­lish­ments, but what do buy­ers re­ally want with a lo­ca­tion when seek­ing a new home?

Realestate.com.au looked at buy­ers search­ing for prop­er­ties on­line, to find the most com­mon key words used re­lat­ing to lo­ca­tion.

I’m happy to re­veal the ac­tual dis­tance to a CBD didn’t get top place. I find that quite re­veal­ing, es­pe­cially as so much em­pha­sis is placed on this el­e­ment by ex­perts and the mar­ket alike.

Could this re­ally be the start of an ac­cep­tance for many it isn’t as vi­tal as it once was? Per­haps the in­crease of be­ing able to work re­motely and the cre­ation of out-of-town in­dus­trial and busi­ness zones could all be hav­ing their im­pact.

So with that fac­tor re­moved from the sce­nario, what else was de­sir­able? A beach­side lo­ca­tion per­haps? That did get a place, which makes sense, but the top re­sult was a de­sire to be close to shops.

Al­most 60 per cent of prospec­tive buy­ers listed this and to me that is quite a re­veal­ing re­sult. “The shops” by most peo­ple’s def­i­ni­tion is ide­ally a se­lec­tion of re­tail, eat­ing out, plus use­ful pro­fes­sional ser­vices out­lets, much of which could sim­ply be or­dered on­line, yet we still want to leave the home, in­ter­act with each other and ac­tu­ally have an ex­pe­ri­ence.

Maybe it’s an al­ter­na­tive way of say­ing buy­ers want to live within some­where with a heart, an area cen­tre, a meet­ing place, a fa­cil­ity. I am de­lighted by this as I be­lieve it makes per­fect sense.

The schools, trans­port, a beach and the city in that or­der are the run­ners up, but the win­ner was ef­fec­tively the de­sire for any area to have a phys­i­cal amenity point.

It’s re­ally en­cour­ag­ing data and sur­pris­ingly, given the pop­u­lar­ity of in­ner ur­ban lo­ca­tions, houses with prox­im­ity to the city do not typ­i­cally have higher lev­els of en­gage­ment. This find­ing sug­gests that as long as a lo­ca­tion has a high level of ameni­ties in terms of shops, schools and trans­port, the ge­o­graph­i­cal prox­im­ity to the city is not so vi­tal — I say hur­ray!

This bodes well for new hous­ing es­tates on the fringes of our cities, as well as re­gional lo­ca­tions, pro­vid­ing very care­ful at­ten­tion is paid to cre­at­ing real com­mu­nity hubs, cou­pled with good trans­port op­tions and ac­cess to schools.

For many ar­eas of Aus­tralia, be­ing close to the beach and city are far less im­por­tant, which is lucky as those el­e­ments are the truly ex­pen­sive ones!

So if you’re sell­ing and your home re­ally is “close to shops” en­sure that ex­act word­ing fea­tures in your sales text.

Andrew Win­ter is the host of on Life­style

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