In the quest to buy a home, location is paramount and every homebuyer has different desires when choosing between city skyscrapers, beachside bliss and rolling hillsides.
When deciding on a location, you need to consider factors like affordability, employment, access to services and lifestyle. You need to ask yourself how much you can afford to repay, how far you’re willing to commute for work and what kind of lifestyle you want to lead.
This is especially important when considering whether to move to an urban or rural area.
Urban vs Rural
Urban refers to high density, man-made areas such as capital cities. People living in urban areas are more likely to be engaged in trade, commerce and services and have easier access to amenities, public transport and health facilities. Given the population density, they are also more likely to live in apartments and unit blocks.
Rural, on the other hand, is defined as a region located either on the outskirts or outside the boundaries of a city or industrial area. People in rural areas are more likely to work in agriculture, mining and trade services. For this reason, rural real estate often includes agricultural and lifestyle properties.
If you choose to live in an urban area, you can expect an abundance of public transport options at your doorstep. Trams, trains, buses and taxis will be aplenty, meaning you don’t necessarily have to own a car or have a garage.
In addition, you’ll likely live in close proximity to amenities, health facilities, shops and restaurants. You’ll have easy access to range of services that will improve your overall quality of life.
If you’re a parent, there will be a wide range of schools and universities for your children and an array of employment pathways once they’ve completed their education.
According to the latest employment forecast from the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the trend towards clustering jobs in urban areas will continue, with 75 per cent of all new jobs to be established in our capital cities.
Things to consider in urban areas
Affordability is one of the main drawbacks of living in an urban area.
According to the QBE Australian Housing Outlook, the median house price in Sydney over the five years to June 2017 peaked at $1,194,800. This is considerably higher than property prices in regional areas. For example, the median house price in Wollongong was $734,900.
Predicted job concentration and growth within our cities will put pressure on the housing market, potentially pushing property prices up.
Along with affordability, space is an issue for those living in urban areas. Owning a property with a backyard is a luxury, with higher density dwellings making up 40 per cent of all sales across capital cities. Noise levels and traffic congestion are also issues in urban areas.
Rural real estate is generally more affordable and is predicted to increase in value in the coming years.
According to the QBE Australian Housing Outlook, all regional cities in the report are forecast to see positive house price growth over the next three years. Some are also likely to benefit from the overflow and affordability challenges faced in urban areas.
Along with affordability, the rural lifestyle appeals to many homebuyers. If you choose to move to a rural centre, you can expect space, freedom and a strong sense of community. Being in a tight-knit community will make you feel safe and secure in your home, adding to your quality of life.
Rural real estate also offers the chance for you to live on acreage. Depending on the size and type of property, you can purchase animals like horses or even start a hobby farm.
Things to consider in rural areas
While rural regions offer freedom and space, they do have several drawbacks.
Rural areas generally lack public transport options and inclusive health facilities. Many people living in rural areas are forced to travel long distances to access the facilities they need.
In comparison to urban areas, there is less employment opportunity and diversity. Trade and agriculture are the main sources of employment, meaning some people might struggle to find work. The Department of Jobs and Small Business predicts that all states except New South Wales will see modest growth in regional agricultural jobs.
Geographical location can also pose certain risks. In many regions flooding, drought and bushfires are serious threats. Before purchasing a property, you should properly investigate the risk of natural disasters and consider their implications for land management, buildings and insurance premiums. For more information on premiums, visit BMT Insurance.
Still unsure? Read ‘What property type is best for me?’
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