Homebuyers ditch location for lifestyle  

Once real estate was all about location, location, location, but now lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle is at the forefront of buyers’ decision-making, according to a leading property expert.

Valuer, property commentator and principal at Suburbanite, Anna Porter, said the recent Covid lockdown hiatus and huge pricing wars had caused a shift in buyers, pushing them away from the city and towards communities that promise a better lifestyle.

As such, she said there were many winners and losers in the property market.

One of the biggest losers has been Austral, in Sydney’s South West.

“We’ve seen Austral completely transform over the past decade but the planning is so poor that it is nothing more than an oversupplied house and land estate,” Ms Porter said.

“There has been little to no land reserved for hospitals, schools or other associated infrastructure let alone upgrades to the roads or access points.

“For the young families pushed out west for housing, this has not created a liveable or desirable location for the long-term.”

Ms Porter compared this to the Moreton Bay region in Brisbane, which she deemed a winner.

“The Redcliffe Peninsula, previously known to locals as ‘deadcliffe’ has witnessed huge transformations in recent years on a community level,” she said.

“The planning was right from the start but now the whole foreshore has been activated by the introduction of weekly street markets which turned the once non desirable location into a very family friendly hub.

“Planning has been a winner in Brisbane also, with the Queens Wharf Project earmarked to follow in the footsteps of Sydney’s Barangaroo, and become a real entertainment powerhouse for visitors and locals.”

Ms Porter noted Hamilton, in Queensland, where the old industrial precinct has been transformed into a buzzing night market with entertainment every Friday, Saturday and Sunday by the name of Eat Street Northshore.

“When buyers look for a place to call home they often do go and try a couple of local restaurants, get a feel for the vibe on the weekend, check the traffic, commutability and really dive deep into the important draw cards,” she said.

“Activating neighbourhoods with lifestyle amenities is more important than ever,” 

“If we look at the heavily criticised Lord Mayor Clover Moore shut down of George St for the pedestrian hub, we can clearly see the success as there has been a total revitalisation of the Sydney CBD.”

Ms Porter said the George St hub has had a different impact to that of Sydney Olympic Park.

“Sydney Olympic Park was successful for serving the Olympics, without a doubt, especially compared to its predecessors for having a life after the Olympics,” she said.

“But, they really missed the mark on the lifestyle aspect – in reality, its a dead hub unless there’s a concert on.

“Unfortunately, as a liveable, connected, engaging, active community in Sydney, it’s a complete fail for life after the Olympics.”

Ms Porter said ‘connectability’ was extremely important for those moving to the suburbs. 

“Melbourne’s Western Suburbs are much like Olympic Park in the sense they are also oversupplied, with houses as opposed to units, but the lack of infrastructure means they aren’t very well connected to transport corridors making it a failure in my opinion,” she said.

“The real winner in Victoria is Southbank in Melbourne’s city.

“This once undervalued pocket of real estate now has an active night life and thriving entertainment quarter on the rivers edge, perfect for bringing lifestyle to the area.”

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