We know that most consideration is given to the purchaser’s budget and serviceability of the proposed mortgage, but what lies deeper beneath this in a buyer’s thinking and motivations? Whilst there is no one single factor, community and lifestyle are increasingly at the forefront of thinking.
Purchasers are increasingly taking into consideration the position of a property in relation to public transport links, particularly in the larger eastern capital cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Being within a five to 15 minute walk of a metro rail station, agents tell us, is becoming a popular purchasing factor for the full range of suburbs, both inner and outer, as our cities continue to grow and road traffic becomes increasingly congested. Rail access not only provides a link to the CBD hub from home, but access to other parts of a city, be they major sporting grounds or to friends and family located in other suburbs.
In other cities, the lifestyle factors shift. For example, Perth, being the sunniest capital in the country and blessed with some of the world’s best beaches (ok, I used to live there!), some buyers are motivated by the outdoors and being within close proximity to the coast together with desirable amenities of cafes, established schools and shops. Suburbs such as beach-fronting Scarborough and Mullaloo have transomed over recent years to be highly sought after for their coastal lifestyle.
Many cities and major regional centres have their own unique neighbourhoods built on a sense of community. Areas such as bohemian Fremantle in Western Australia, Brunswick in Melbourne and cosmopolitan Marrickville in Sydney are drawcards for purchasers who want to live amongst a like-minded community. This has recently informed government policy around growth, where in Victoria the idea of the 20 minute city has emerged.
Plan Melbourne 2017–2050 is the Victorian government’s long-term planning strategy, guiding the way the city will grow and change until 2050. Plan Melbourne is supported by the principle of 20-minute neighbourhoods and is about living locally and enabling people to meet most of their daily needs within a 20-minute return walk from home.
Circling back to a purchaser’s budget, the market has seen sustained downward pressure since the commencement of the interest rate raising cycle in May 2022. The latest data has revealed that inflation has peaked and is finally beginning to soften with the RBA signalling we may be near the peak of the rate cycle. Potential residential purchasers may now return to the market with a renewed confidence, seeking out property be it close to a beach, a train station with city access or indeed with their tribe in their desired suburb.