There are a range of factors that should be on the top of your priority list when looking for the perfect property.
If you’re looking at buying an investment property, you’ll definitely come across capital growth and rental yield as crucial considerations.
However, something you might see less often is the importance of commuting.
A survey on commuting in Australia revealed that 55% of people looking to purchase a new home didn’t take the cost of commute into consideration.
Whether it’s driving to work or taking public transport, the average Australian spends over 264 hours a year commuting.
Commuting costs can also be very high, ranging from about $1,500 to $5,000 a year.
With numbers like that, commuting should be a priority for anyone buying a property.
Being able to advertise short commute times and cheaper travel costs will be attractive for any potential tenants that travel into the CBD for work everyday.
Every location will offer different access to public transport, motorways and other means of travelling.
New insights comparing different areas across Sydney have revealed how much you can save on your commute into the CBD by moving to a
The difference in lifetime commute time and costs is drastic between neighbouring suburbs, some barely a 5 minute drive from each other.
In some situations, the property is more affordable, commute times are shorter and travel costs are less expensive.
For instance, the median house price in Helensburgh is slightly less in comparison to Wollongong.
Despite the suburbs being a half hour drive apart, you would save 80 minutes and $3.86 in your daily commute to the CBD.
Over a lifetime, this would work out to be 1.5 years and more than $40,000 saved. More affordable property, shorter commute times and less expensive travel costs is also the case when comparing suburbs in the Inner West, Ryde, Sutherland Shire and Newcastle.
However, shorter commute times and less expensive travel costs sometimes
However, Chatswood residents would be able to save 30 minutes and $1.48 on their daily commute into the CBD compared to Middle Cove residents.
Over a lifetime, the time and money saved on commuting may be enough to offset the higher property price.
However, Chatswood shouldn’t be deemed better than Middle Cove in terms of investment based on commuting alone.
There are also cases where a shorter commute time will cost you more in travel costs as well as property costs.
For example, the neighbouring suburbs Redfern and Alexandria have a whopping 32 minute difference in commute time to the CBD.
It only takes Redfern residents 4 minutes a day to get to and from the CBD whereas it takes Alexandria residents 36 minutes.
However, it would cost $7.08 a day from Redfern and only $4.40 a day from Alexandria, adding up to a difference of almost $30,000 over a lifetime.
Median house prices are also more expensive in Redfern compared to in Alexandria, almost $20,000 higher.
With no direct correlation between better commutes and higher property prices, your best bet is to look for a suburb that offers better commutes at a lower property price.
Of course, factors such as capital growth and rental yield are incredibly important, especially if you’re looking to buy an investment grade property. In saying that, if you’re comparing two suburbs that have relatively similar growth potential and lifestyles such as Marrickville and Enmore, taking into consideration commute times can be used as a differentiating factor.
Both Marrickville and Enmore are considered part of Sydney’s most trendy suburbs with access to theatres, nightlife and an abundance of culture.
Being able to advertise a 26 minute travel to the CBD from Marrickville sounds a lot more appealing than a 40 minute travel to the CBD from Enmore.
Ultimately, with most people already spending so much time at work, being able to cut down on commuting time and cost can be a huge deal.
Before deciding on a certain suburb, it’s worth taking the time to compare property prices, commute times and travel costs in the neighbouring suburbs.
You might find that more affordable areas also offer better commute times without compromising on capital growth and rental yield.
Guest author: James Pointon is a Commercial Manager at OpenAgent.com.au, an online agent comparison website helping Australians to sell, buy and own property.