When it comes to the property market, one of the biggest factors that determine price is the location. You are not just buying a house, you are buying into a suburb and the surrounding lifestyle it contains. So what features make a great suburb?
We've compiled a list of items that are worth keeping an eye out for. While ticking all the boxes may prove impossible in some cases, or outside of your budget, it's important to align the ones that have the highest value to you as a property owner so that you can be sure to get your must-haves list completed while also backing up your purchase for that long-term gain.
There are common factors that suburbs with increased value typically have Australia wide. So while beach-front views or walking distance to a zoo might be big-ticket items in some areas, this list goes above local advantages and covers high-value additions that work no matter that location. Knowing what these are may help you plan your next home purchase or property investment with more confidence and focus.
Read through and get familiar with these traits that typically make a suburb more valuable.
1. Hub Location
The location is always going to the number one thing that sets the price and demand of a property, it's also the most permanent part of a property since the rest can be remodelled and rebuilt but the block the land is on is there to stay. Typically the closer the location to the hub, the higher the price. A hub might be a CBD, a famous strip for views, attractions or prestige. As well as being highly valued, these properties will usually be highly sought after and in low supply.
If you are buying to a budget, chances are the prices of these properties will be out of reach, however, it's well worth looking in the suburbs that are in the surrounding areas which may be better priced and will usually come into their own with time.
It might not be a beachfront per se, but a good view will still add some extra value to your home and you can find them in all sorts of locations. Wide, leafy streets, natural landscapes, including man-made ones like parks and golf courses, or the twinkling lights of the city in the distance have a quality feel that adds lifestyle value. Don't forget that coming down the street to get to the property is a view in itself so pay attention to street atmosphere, green nature strips, big healthy trees and street appeal is part of the sale.
Having shops and retail options nearby are important. If you have to travel to another suburb to get your basic living requirements met appeal and demand will drop. The more essential the better, so food, GPs or medical facilities, chemist, vet etc. As well as those basic needs, little luxuries count for a lot so be sure to give them a second look. A choice of coffee shops or bakeries within walking distance can add appeal. Even small and bright shopping strips that include options like a hairdresser or beauty salon, newsagent and pet grooming can give a suburb a boost in appeal. Look for supermarkets and healthcare facilities (of any size) as well as relative proximity or ease to get to bigger shopping hubs or medical support in the area.
You want to have a range of things in the suburb that offers variety and easy access. Look for suburbs that have a range of different housing options (old, new, renovated units rather than the cut and paste estates where all the homes are the same type and age. Suburbs that perform well have a mix of dwellings, workplaces and retail outlets, a mix of good quality parks and gardens that are well maintained for recreation. Those best performing suburbs have all this and a gem. What that gem is will depend a lot on where you are but it could be a sporting ground,
Or the ocean...in fact when it comes to water in close proximity, it's usually a plus. Even if it can't be seen from the home windows it's advantageous to have a lake, river, ocean or waterway in walking distance. Be sure to scope out hiking or biking trails.
5. Employment opportunities
This is partly what makes CBD suburbs so appealing, they are close to a huge range of offices, universities and places of employment. It makes it attractive to a wide range of people who want to live close to work. Suburbs that are near employment hubs are really attractive and you can find office hubs out of the CBD and in those inner suburbs areas. Another way that employment has a big impact is in the economic growth of regional areas. Having great long term, year-round employment will make for a more strong return both down the track for own/occupiers as well as attracting tenets for investment buyers.
One commodity in huge demand is great schools. Getting into certain high performing schools (see an app like MySchool for detailed school listings) can be incredibly difficult with parents having to meet all kinds of criteria for their children to attend. One of these criteria is zoning. Homes that are in the catchment zone for these desirable schools, especially those homes that are well suited to families can help increase demand and value.
7. Growth and development
Ideally, you want a suburb that will have population growth and demographics to support financial gains. This will tie in that employment factor as well as schools and amenities. On the flip side, you don't want to end up with a toll road over your backyard or have views completely crowded out by a sudden eruption of high-rise buildings. The demographics of a suburb can have an interesting impact on a suburb's performance, for example, if there are a high number of ageing homeowners in an area, their homes will all date together and properly go on the market at similar times. Suburbs that are prominently office workers with good wages are those that seem to perform consistently well.
8. Public Transport
Not all public transport is created equal. Suburbs that have several different train line services with reliable transport can do well, even those with good access to rapid bus services and night-time services are seen in a good light. As well as good access to public transport a high-value investment also has well-maintained roads with good traffic flow, with easy access to main highways, freeways and toll roads. Especially for those outer suburbs where people will want to commute to work.