The results of a 2015 survey by finder.com.au found that the majority of Australians are concerned with the walkability of the suburb in which they choose to live. A walkable neighbourhood must have easily accessible shops, public transport, schools, work places and be near the CBD. This type of neighbourhood is highly advantageous for our health, the local economy as well as our environmental footprint. After all, isn’t it wonderful to be able to leave the car at home and walk to wherever you’re going? But, is this important for property investors?
So what is a Walk Score?
A Walk Score is the measurement of the number of typical consumer destinations within walking distance of a property. Scores range from 0 (car dependent) to 100 (most walkable).
Some overseas studies show that properties with above-average levels of walkability command a sale price, and weekly rent, over properties with average levels of walkability.
The Brisbane property market reflects this, with some recent studies showing a strong correlation between a suburb’s Walk Score and a property’s investment performance.
It’s not surprising that property markets attach a positive value to living within easy walking distance of public transport, shopping, amenities, educational facilities and green spaces. We often see these written as things for property investors to look for. After all, they do make living in an area much more enjoyable.
Studies of Walk Scores also show that investment property values are higher when walkability is higher, particularly in more populous urban areas or areas with extensive public transit access. This suggests that people place high value on having alternatives to using their car for commuting.
What does this mean for Brisbane property investors?
It’s been found that the average Walk Score for the greater Brisbane area is currently 51 out of 100. It was 49 a few years back.
Matusik Property Insights recently did a study of roughly 89,500 private dwellings across 24 Brisbane suburbs. They found that places with higher walkability –
achieved higher prices;
grew faster in value;
attracted higher rents;
had fewer vacancies;
less properties listed for resale; and
resale listings also sold faster in high Walk Score areas.
So we can see that a Walk Score is yet another tool for us to use when evaluating potential property investments.
If you’re curious, you can work out your own Walk Score by visiting www.walkscore.com