trends in Brisbane property

Brisbane property and high value ‘walk-ability’

Real estate is all about location, or so we’re told. But what does that really mean anyway? If you’re choosing a home to buy or rent, your idea of a perfect position will be different to mine. In recent years Brisbane’s inner city has however seen a clear consensus emerge on one common theme: walk-ability.   Being able to leave the car at home and stroll to work, dining, entertainment – it’s such a highly valued part of buyers’ location criteria that it’s now a big factor in property prices.

So what’s your property’s ‘walk score’?

The appeal of Brisbane’s urban villages isn’t new and spending time in our favourite ‘third places’ (after home and work) is a huge part of the reason so many people choose our inner city as their home. We want to be handy to cafes and bars and shops and parks. And, with more and more families turning their backs on suburbia, being close to schools is also important for many. Walking about in our neighbourhoods is also an important part of building our sense of community.

And this trend isn’t unique to Brisbane. A study of 1 million homes sold in the USA last year showed those with high walk-ability had a large price premium. According to new data from Walkscore.com, “Homes within walking distance of schools, shopping, parks and other urban amenities sell for an average of 23.5%, or US$77,668, more than comparable properties that are car dependent.”

brisbane real estate agentThere’s no similar data for Brissy just yet but Bees Nees Realty’s Sales Manager Rebecca Herbst says many buyers simply won’t consider a home that’s outside easy walking distance from their favourite spots. “We find that buyers are definitely willing to pay more for properties that are walking distance to the lifestyle choices that city living has to offer. The more value to them in the location – walking distance to the cafes, restaurants, and theatres, the higher value they put on the home. For example, proximity to walk to South Bank with all the entertainment options available and not have to worry about a car or parking.”

Walkscore.com “analyzes hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities. Points are awarded based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within a 5 minute walk (.25 miles) are given maximum points. A decay function is used to give points to more distant amenities, with no points given after a 30 minute walk.”

It’s not just a US site and we use its calculations in Bees Nees rental property ads like this one.  It’s no surprise this South Brisbane apartment scores 100 and is tagged a “walker’s paradise”! Most of South Brisbane earns similar walk-ability scores given the smorgasbord of amenities on the doorstep. As you’d expect Brisbane CBD scores the highest Walkscore for our inner city, followed by Fortitude Valley and Spring Hill.

Brisbane is definitely getting more walkable with new bridges. The Neville Bonner Bridge is now under construction between South Bank’s big wheel and the CBD’s new Queen’s Wharf resort. And Brisbane City Council has another 5 green bridges in planning for our inner city. Properties that get a walk-ability increase from these new connections could expect a value uplift.

Check your own property at the Walkscore website and see how it compares!

And share your opinion in the comments below. Do you consider ‘walk-ability’ when you’re choosing a home?!