Shopping for best location
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