Survey results: What are you looking for when you go house hunting?

A nice backyard featured strongly in the list of priorities for house hunters.
A nice backyard featured strongly in the list of priorities for house hunters.

WHEN it comes to choosing the right neighbourhood to live in, it seems crime and affordability are up there as our biggest concerns.

Another important factor when sizing up the right home is a good sized backyard.

These were among the findings in a new study commissioned by Westpac which investigated the value Australian home owners place on different features of a home and its surrounding area.

The research included:

51 per cent of home owners say a backyard is an essential feature of a home

66 per cent say safety is paramount 

80 per cent say staying within budget is rated the most important consideration - up five percentage points since 2015

55 per cent are looking for somewhere that's quiet.

39 percent are focused on access to public transport.


Secondary level of essentials included the home's proximity to the owner's place of work (26 per cent), educational facilities (25 per cent), parks and/or recreational facilities (25 per cent), and family and friends (21 per cent).

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."

The research also uncovered what people at different stages of life value most when it comes to buying a home. 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 per cent), after staying within budget (84 per cent). However priorities appeared to change as people approach retirement, with off-street parking (70 per cent) and a home that is 'move-in' ready (38 per cent) becoming more essential.

"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.

"I recommend taking the time to research the neighbourhood thoroughly, to make sure it offers what you're after now and in the future. This might be accessibility to schools, parks or public transport."

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