Liveability: A new L-word in real estate


“Location, location, location” has long been a catch-cry in real estate. And while location is undeniably important, it’s far from being the only factor that buyers look for in a property, writes OBrien Chelsea’s Claude Makdesi.

A property’s “liveability” will help determine its value – if it’s got more of the things buyers are looking for, it will be more in demand.

But liveability means different things to different people.  

Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which looks at safety, health care, education, infrastructure and the environment.

Any of those factors can also apply to the liveability of homes – so which are the most crucial to buyers? Let’s take a look:


Firstly, location is still high on buyers’ wish lists.

Proximity to work, schools, public transport and services like shops and healthcare is important to most people.

We find that generally buyers don’t want to be more than about 40 minutes away from work.

It’s one of the drawcards of an area like Chelsea – it’s still affordable but it’s an easy commute to the CBD and major hubs like Frankston or Southland, and has great freeway links and transport options.

In bayside suburbs like Chelsea, being closer to the beach is also attractive to buyers.


When buyers look at a property, they think first and foremost about how it will work for them.

Does the floor plan suit their lifestyle; does it have the bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces they need?

They focus on the liveability of the home and how it’s going to best suit them in a really practical sense.


Buyers want to feel secure – both in the property and in the wider neighbourhood.

They look at security features of the home (think alarms, fencing, gates, locks etc), but they’ll also consider the local area’s reputation when it comes to crime and safety. They might also look at things like whether the street is a busy thoroughfare or has traffic-calming measures like speed humps, particularly if they are a family with children.

Quieter neighbourhoods with more family homes tend to be more “liveable” than those with lots of multi-development blocks.


Added extras

In our experience, convenience, comfort and safety are the three liveability boxes that buyers most want to tick.

Once they cross those off the list, they’ll start looking at what else the home has to offer – and that’s when liveability comes very much down to personal taste.

It might be energy-efficiency measures such as solar panels or double-glazing – or features like ducted heating, air-conditioning and outdoor entertainment areas.

The CSIRO’s new Centre for Liveability Real Estate believes a liveable home is healthy, efficient, comfortable and connected to the local community, and expects energy-saving features to be high on people’s wish lists in coming years.

Couple that with six-star energy requirements for all new homes, and energy efficiency is fast becoming a liveability factor to watch.

Want to speak to OBrien Real Estate Chelsea about your property? Fill in the contact form below and we’ll be in touch. Read more from our team on how to interview your real estate agent and local real estate trends in 2018.

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