How to measure your suburb’s liveability
A new ‘L’ word has cropped up alongside the old real estate mantra of ‘location, location, location,’ with more homebuyers focusing on the liveability of their prospective new home.
Ameasure of the living conditions in a city or suburb, liveability refers to factors that impact on daily life, such as safety, infrastructure and environment.
The Economist Intelligence Unit lists the world’s most liveable cities in their annual Global Liveable Cities Index, with Vienna this year usurping Melbourne’s top spot.
On a more local level, the CSIRO’s Centre for Liveability Real Estate helps real estate agents promote the features that improve comfort, decrease a home’s running costs, and enhance lifestyle.
Some developers also measure liveability within their communities, using resident feedback and customer research to inform and prioritise the design, planning and construction of the key community facilities that matter most to residents. The Stockland Liveability Index, which has been running since 2011, surveys over 2000 residents across 40 Stockland communities nationally.
When it comes to buying a new home, look beyond your property’s boundaries to the local area, community and amenities to see how your suburb ranks when it comes to liveability. Here’s how to measure your suburb’s liveability.
ARE YOU WELL CONNECTED?
The trend towards walkable neighbourhoods is spreading, as more people take up the lifestyle and health benefits of switching SUVs for sneakers. Are you able to walk to the shops to pick up a litre of milk or loaf of bread?
Communities awarded the Green Building Council of Australia’s highest rating of six green stars, have shown ‘world leadership’ across environmental, economic and social sustainability measures. Stockland is a national leader in
Green Star communities, with eight of its residential developments boasting 5 Star or 6 Star Green Star ratings.
Along with making daily drop-offs easier, living close to schools and parks means friends will be nearby, simplifying play dates and parties.
ARE THERE GREEN SPACES?
Whether you’re looking for a tree-change or an inner-city apartment, make sure there are places nearby where you can soak up some sunshine, see plants change through the seasons, or hear the birds singing.
The biophilia hypothesis, popularised by socio-biology theorist Edward O. Wilson in the 1980s, suggests that human beings have a natural affinity with nature, and subsequent research has found that people who live near parks or nature reserve have lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
Stockland found that a connection to the local natural environment, parks and open spaces is highly valued among residents and their enjoyment of their home and community, accounting for almost a quarter of all liveability drivers.
ARE YOU INSPIRED TO GET ACTIVE?
Picturesque walking trails, cycle paths, outdoor gyms, playgrounds and dog parks provide a strong incentive to get off the couch and explore your new suburb.
Amenities such as these are integral to Stockland’s developments, and the Liveability Index shows that they’re important to and embraced by residents.
DO YOU FEEL A SENSE OF BELONGING?
There’s nothing better than walking down the street and greeting your neighbour or receiving a friendly note in the mail to let you know there’s a party on next weekend. It’s these gestures that make you feel at home.
In a well-planned community, meeting your neighbours comes more naturally than deciding to knock on the door with a plate of cookies. Community recreational facilities, common areas like walking trails, and events are great ways to connect with fellow locals, providing ample opportunities to get to know the familiar faces in your area.
A truly liveable home requires out-of-the-box thinking – literally. By looking beyond your property’s boundaries to the local area, community and amenities, you’ll find the perfect home to improve quality of life for you and your family.
By looking beyond your property’s boundaries to the local area, community and amenities, you’ll find the perfect home to improve quality of life for you and your family.
Measuring liveability scores within existing communities helps to shape future projects. Picture: Highlands, Victoria.
A connection to the environment is highly valued when choosing where to live. Picture: Augustine Heights, Queensland.
Shared recreational facilities allow residents to connect with one another and feel part of something bigger.
Being connected and living close to parks and shops strengthens the community vibe. Picture: Highlands, Victoria.