No one doubts property prices have a knack of rising where demand outstrips supply. Excellent schools, prolific parks and proximity to the city are well known for improving property prices, but there is something a little less glamorous that will also do the trick: public transport.
Commuting on buses and trains is a daily reality for many people, so it makes sense that transport rich areas gain a lot of attention in the housing market. Excellent transport improves livability for residents, allows greater connectivity with the city and surrounding suburbs, is good for the environment and has a positive effect on commuting times. Traditionally, areas with good transport networks show stronger growth than those suburbs with fewer transport options.
Toeing The Line
While it’s possible to reap rewards from transport infrastructure, it’s also possible to be a little too close
for comfort. Houses backing directly on to train lines tend to be more difficult to sell, given the increased noise and potential intrusion of hundreds of people whizzing past your back door every day. While it
might be convenient to have a bus stop on your doorstep, if that same bus stop is located on a five lane major arterial road you’ll have a sufficient amount of traffic noise which will raise concerns with buyers and tenants alike.
The key is to look for transport that won’t impact you going about your day-to-day life at home. An ideal position is within five or ten minute’s walk of a train station or bus terminal; this puts transport at your fingertips without impacting on your sleep cycle or sanity.
Knowing What’s Next
Successive governments have proposed all manner of grand plans for Brisbane’s public transport landscape, but it can be difficult to know what will stick and what will end up on the scrap heap come election day. Purchasing solely on the promise of future infrastructure is risky until the soil is turned on
a project, and even then you may have to contend with delays, changes to plans and potential disruption
to roads and services in the interim.
Another possibility (albeit rare) is that a major public transport project may require compulsory resumption of properties. For some investors this may be appealing, as it offers a guaranteed sale at a fair market rate.
Avoid The Black Hole
While property on the far fringes of a metropolitan area often seem attractive to investors because of lower costs, newer housing and less maintenance outputs, exercise caution when buying into areas without an easily accessible transport network.
Large commuter car parks for up-the-line bus and train services go some way in filling the void, but commuter demand often means available spaces fill quickly, as new estates continue to grow ahead of government spending and building.
Fortunately, Brisbane’s rail line and bus lines are generally hot talking points with governments and community groups, so expansions and improvements to our existing network are slowly but surely improving our connectivity, which in turn improves the livability and property prices of the greater Brisbane area.