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Property location power rankings: What Aussies desire most when looking for their next home

By Mo Zeitouneh

There is a time-honoured adage: “location, location, location”, and according to Real Estate Institute of Australia president Hayden Groves, it still rings true today.

Mr Groves said with the current market’s low supply levels, properties in good locations were hard to come by.

While the exact value placed on a location will often come down to personal preference, proximity to amenities are still at the top of buyers’ wishlists.

1. WATER AND GREENERY

Suburbs around the harbour or the water will always be front of mind for buyers. Picture: Supplied

According to McGrath Estate Agents chief executive and founder John McGrath, the current No. 1 location driver behind property purchases was beachside or harbourside living.

Mr McGrath said in the post-Covid market, with more buyers working from home, “people were re-prioritising lifestyle above access to the CBD”.

He also said tree-lined streets and parks attracted a higher price tag.

Advantage Property Consulting director Frank Valentic agreed, stating beachside living could add as much as a 30 per cent premium.

Mr Valentic said the ability to duck across the road for a swim or walk along the water was invaluable.

“Whether it’s Sydney, Adelaide or Melbourne, the closer you go to the beaches or harbour, buyers will pay that premium,” he said.

2. VIEWS AND ASPECT

Which way your home faces can be a big factor in what your value is worth.

Whether it be of the city, bay or a park, homes with attractive views are likely to be highly sought after.

Mr Valentic said there were “only so many homes that have views”, ensuring their ongoing demand.

“A nice view will always sell for more – you’ll always pay more but you’ll get a better return,” he said.

Mr McGrath added that the aspect of a home could also be a deciding factor. He said rear-to-north-facing properties would “often outperform south-facing by 20-25 per cent in value”.

3. SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL ZONES

Finding a home in a school zone is always front of mind for buyers with young children.

For many buyers, the education offering near a home can also be a major sticking point.

Mr Valentic said a home in a quality public school zone, such as Balwyn North in Melbourne, could offset the need for buyers to send their children to expensive private schools.

He said once buyers worked out how much they were splashing on school fees, paying an extra $200,000-$300,000 on a home was often worth it.

Furthermore, Mr Groves said such features could also “hold up the property’s value during downward property cycles”.

4. CAFES AND SHOPS

More emphasis is being placed on homes with vibrant local communities and villages.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr McGrath said buyers were “seeking out areas with vibrant local communities and villages”, which was particularly true with more people working from home.

“Cafe culture and local village shopping is more attractive now as people return to loving local more,” Mr McGrath said.

He added that Sydney’s Summer Hill, Marrickville and Putney were prime examples of suburbs with a vibrant cafe culture.

Mr Groves advised buyers to “buy property that needs work in a stronger location”, rather than a new home in the outer fringes of a city.

“Land appreciates, buildings depreciate,” he said.

• Room with a view

If your property boasts an attractive view, this could increase its value by up to 20-50 per cent.

• Beachside ‘burbs

Properties near the beach can sell for up to 20-30 per cent more, particularly in the holiday home market.

• School zones

A home in a quality school zone or in proximity to local schools can add 20-25 per cent to its value.

 Cafes and shops

Add up to 20 per cent to your home’s value by living near local shops, cafes and restaurants.

•Suss it out

If you’re unsure, websites such as walkscore.com can show you which key amenities are in a property’s immediate neighbourhood.

Source: Advantage Property Consulting director Frank Valentic

source: rea.com.au

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