Features Your Buyer Will Most Appreciate

Published : 25 November 2016

Budget, backyards and safety are the top priorities for Australian home owners, according to Westpac’s 2016 Home Ownership report.

When choosing an area, a whopping 66% see safety as a major factor, while 51% of home owners describe a backyard as an essential feature of the home.

This new study took an in-depth look at the importance Australian buyers/home owners place on different features of a home and its surrounding area. Staying within budget is still rated the most important consideration and, at 80%, that's up five percentage points since 2015.

Aesthetic features, such as a modern kitchen or bathroom, are only seen as ‘nice to have’ and, since 2015, these have dropped in importance for home owners, by nine and seven percentage points respectively.

Commenting on the survey, Chris Screen, Westpac Group Head of Home Ownership, said when purchasing property, Australians are buying the lifestyle that comes with the home.

 “Our research indicates that in an increasingly competitive housing market, budget conscious home buyers are prioritising the enjoyment and lifestyle a particular home could bring. This may be through choosing a home with a backyard that has space to play in, or one in a safe and friendly neighbourhood.”

When it comes to choosing an area, those surveyed cited safety (66%) as the most important consideration, followed by quiet (55%) and access to public transport (39%). A secondary level of essentials includes proximity to the owner’s place of work (26%), educational facilities (25%), parks and/or recreational facilities (25%), and family and friends (21%).

Naturally, what buyers value most about a property changes according to what stage of life they are at. For example, for respondents intending to have a baby in the next two years, a home’s potential as a good investment was listed as the most important feature (66%), after staying within budget (84%). But as people approach retirement, off-street parking (70%) and a home that is ‘move-in’ ready (38%) becomes more important.

“It’s clear Australians place varied levels of importance on different aspects of a home at different stages of life, which is why when working out your budget it’s important to consider what the next few years may look like,” said Mr Screen.