A recent survey conducted by Rent.com.au revealed that 91 per cent of Australian Renters identified location as their number one criterion when choosing their next home, followed by access to public transport and proximity to the CBD.
As location plays such a significant part in the rental search, Rent.com.au has partnered with Walk Score®; a tool that promotes walkable communities across several countries, in a bid to provide Australian renters with more information to make choosing a property easier. Walk Score® will feature on every Rent.com.au listing (around 80,000 properties, Australia-wide) and display a walkability score, a Transit Score and commute times.
Rent.com.au Chief Executive Officer, Greg Bader said Rent.com.au and Walk Score’s® visions were aligned: “Our users are always looking for extra information to help determine the best property suited to their lifestyle. We love being able to deliver new features, such as Walk Score, to help our customers make smart
and informed property decisions.”
Walk Score’s® Aleisha Jacobson said: “We want to make it easy for people to evaluate walkability and transportation when choosing where to live. The partnership with Rent.com.au delivers this vision at a property level, this will certainly help people searching for a home to make the right decision for them and for
The Walk Score® is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address, from zero being “car dependent” to 100 being “a walkers’ paradise” where daily errands would not require a car. The score measures the distance from specific addresses to neighbourhood amenities, such as restaurants, schools,
libraries and coffee shops.
The top 10 suburbs rated as “Walkers’ paradise” in Australia are Melbourne City (VIC), Darling Harbour (NSW), Haymarket (NSW), Kings Cross (NSW), Darlinghurst (NSW), Surry Hills (NSW), Fitzroy (VIC), Carlton (VIC), Collingwood (VIC) and Chippendale (NSW). Ms Jacobson said suburbs with a high Walk Score offer several health and economic benefits: “Walkability
matters,” she said.
“It offers surprising benefits to our health, the environment, our finances, and our communities. Neighbourhoods with poor walkability are barriers to physical activity, while research has shown that people will walk more if they’re living in a walkable neighbourhood.”
Mr Bader said whether renters were renting, investing or working towards home ownership, they would notice the benefits of properties with a high Walk Score.
“As the country’s population grows and cities become congested, the importance of easy access for errands without total dependency on a car becomes a decision factor for many people,” he said. “In fact, we are seeing more properties with limited or even no parking being advertised, so Walk Score becomes a valuable guide”.
Mr Bader said Rent.com.au was continuously looking for ways to better serve Australia’s growing renting population (around 7 million or 30 per cent of Australia’s population). “The market needs more advocacy and recognition,” he said. “Our focus is on building equity in this space. For us, Walk Score is the start of many innovations to come, designed to make the entire renting process easier and friendlier for all involved.”
Rent.com.au has made it simple for Renters to factor walkability into their rental search. Renters can click on a property listing, look beneath the property description and add their commute destination (i.e. work) Walk Score® will then display the approximate time required to walk, drive or bike to the destination.