The Department of Housing, jointly with the Department of Planning, in Australia, commissioned a rather large survey of property buyers. The objective was to identify the housing preferences of West Australians.
The study went deep into property buying patterns and queried 1000’s of real estate buyers and investors. The result of the study was a clear picture that every property seller was looking for (but could not find). It answered questions like: What type of housing do buyers prefer? What are they willing to sacrifice when their budget falls short? And more.
I read between the lines and came up with a list of factors that should help Sorrento property sellers determine their property’s selling appeal. Some information may seem obvious, but is important nevertheless.
Here we go: Factors That Will Help Determine A Sorrento Home’s Selling Capability (in order of importance)
1. Location: Couples and families preferred easy access to work because they perceived the time taken in commuting to be wasteful.
Families with children preferred buying a home that had easy access to their children’s school.
Singles and childless couples wanted easy access to nightlife so that they could save on taxi charges.
Older property buyers desired homes that were close to supermarkets and shopping areas. Many folks in this demographic wanted accessibility to public transport to reduce dependence on their own car. Older and working people who favoured driving their own car wanted ease of access (wide roads, easy accessibility to property) to the CBD.
2. Price: Though we are currently operating in a buyer’s market, the correction in home prices has likely been priced in.
The study was generated some time back, price has, is and will always be a major factor for investors (for obvious reasons) and a somewhat important factor for other buyers. Properties are now going at affordable rates and many experts reckon that now is the time to buy property especially in suburbs like Sorrento where home availability is gradually drying up.
A typical issue faced by most buyers is that they were unable to find a pleasant location within their budget. But that’s a universal problem and every buyer has to make a few trade-offs before striking the deal.
Though younger people preferred a house, they were okay in buying an apartment because it was within their budget.
Owner-occupied housing was preferred over rental housing – maybe because buyers felt that owners take better care of their properties (and they are right).
3. Neighbourhood: Factors such as lots of trees, a pleasant ambience, nice, friendly neighbours, area reputation, number of families living in the area, and quality of housing were evaluated by almost all home buyers. Newly developed areas were perceived to be of “low character” by most buyers.
It’s a no-brainer that there is a lot of noise in a neighbourhood full of singles. On the flipside, a neighbourhood full of families is most likely a calm and peaceful area.
4. Home Design and Features: House buyers also attached a lot of importance to indoor space and outdoor facilities.
Many buyers (and all investors) considered the property’s investment potential as very important.
Older properties in peaceful and populated areas were regarded as full of character and therefore as better investments.
Indoor design factors such as well placed rooms, fixtures, insulation, sun/breeze penetration, orientation, factors that help reduce the need for cooling/heating, rain water harvesting, and solar panels helped sellers bump up the price.
Pensioners, singles and those who live on fixed incomes generally avoided homes/apartments with high maintenance charges.
Migrants and younger people were willing to live in apartments — others preferred houses.
5. Detached Dwellings v/s Apartments: When this study was conducted, most buyers preferred detached dwellings over apartments. This holds true even today. Families with children wanted them to play outdoors and in close proximity.
Home buyers, and even investors, hated noisy areas and considered living in apartments as living in a “noisy zone.” However, people from other countries were okay with buying an apartment – they could live with the noise.
Many home buyers also did not prefer apartments because the strata fees were very high, though some buyers were okay with them because they got access to facilities like a swimming pool and a gym.
Renters, however, preferred apartments over detached dwellings. Renters also preferred a 2-bedroom apartment over a 1-bedroom unit because if the rents got too high, they could sublet one room to lessen the blow.
Older folks with grandchildren desired low maintenance charges and lots of space – which made for a difficult combination.
Older folks also did not prefer retirement living villages because their families would find these too far to pay a visit.
Reasons for buying a home (according to the same study)
There were many reasons why buyers were in the market to buy a home, and you may not have considered some of these:
- For investment purposes (most property experts reckon that Sorrento property prices will rise)
- They may have gotten a job in your location
- Because they were downsizing and want to move into a smaller home
- Because the home was situated in a better location (closer to public transport, school, work, nice neighbourhood, facilities, etc.)
- Personal circumstances (marriage, divorce)
- Having saved up enough, a renter may have wanted to become a buyer. Or maybe the buyer had reached that stage in life where he would be more comfortable if he had a roof over his head.
- If buying a home could have helped saving money.
- The new home was bigger and better – both outside and inside.
After reading this guide you will understand how home buyers think while evaluating your property in Sorrento or anywhere else.
Use this guide to figure out your home’s selling appeal and as a handy tool to understand buyer psychology – but do not forget to evaluate current market trends or talking to your real estate agent before setting your selling price.