Location has become an important facet of the house hunting process. While the condition of any place can be changed, you can’t change the property’s location.
According to Greville Pabst, Executive chairman of WBP Group, home buyers and investors need to move beyond the notion of a ‘dream house’ and instead, carefully consider the location as it drives value.
“Proximity to a desirable village is almost like another bedroom these days. In some cases, the neighbourhood can be more important than the property itself,” said Pabst.
“We all need a roof over our head, but fundamentally, buying real estate is a financial investment and we all want that investment to grow. So, you want to buy in a location which has a history of growth and performance.”
Amanda Jones from Hodges Sandringham in Melbourne agrees neighbourhoods matter. “We’re definitely seeing that buyers are willing to sacrifice certain features of a property, like the size for example, if the neighbourhood is the prime attraction,” she said.
The location of a property determines many things which will affect and influence its value. You should never sacrifice location, even if you think you have found your dream home. You must always think about the obvious geographic points, economic activities, social choices, commute times, and so forth.
We sat down with an and chill expert, Jacqueline Kwok, and asked her the following:
1. Why do you think location is of utmost importance in real-estate?
Location is a key factor that property buyers and investors carefully consider, always questioning how much the value of the property will rise over the years. Obviously, the surroundings will always matter – is it in close proximity to shops, cafes, public transport? These factors will inevitably determine how much they can get in return if they decide to proceed with a short term or long term leasing.
If you have a look at most of those off the plan project websites, one of the key tabs is “Location” which provides market insights, as well as descriptions that specify what is around such as schools and parks. It’s these factors that property buyers/ investors carefully consider.
2. Which do you think is more important – the location or property itself?
I think location is becoming increasingly more important, especially in areas such as Sydney CBD and Melbourne CBD. This is evident through the use of online accommodation booking platforms such as Airbnb, where the amount we pay varies from postcode to postcode.
Of course, the specifics of the property such as whether it is old or new, how many square metres is the living area, how many bedrooms there are, and so forth, are considered, but they are secondary factors.
It’s currently quite interesting to see the depreciation of the value of properties within the WestConnex regions. I remember reading that the median prices of homes in Haberfield have fallen by 17 per cent over the past six months. This is most likely due to the construction that’s occurring which is off putting for buyers. However, the outcomes of the WestConnex project are to be positive, creating links across the inner west. It will be interesting to see what this project brings and where the market goes from its completion.
3. What about a location makes it sellable to clients?
I feel like at the moment, it’s all about selling the entire lifestyle. It’s important to situate the property in terms of how far it is from the train station, and nearby shopping centres, while others choose their location based on schools and parks. It all comes down to individual needs.
Two key factors that I would consider include transport and schools. I find personally that transport becomes something of critical importance. Access to public transportation, service hours, routes and stops often comes about in discussion with clients. Schools make a very important part of your home’s location, especially if buyers have the intention to raise a family in the near future. With this comes considering the school district the place is located in.