HOMEBUYERS and renters value a good neighbourhood above any other property feature, a new survey has found.
Nearly 70 per cent of respondents made this selection in a recent Aussie Home Loans questionnaire.
The results were generally in line with what professional valuers consider to be the property features which add most value to a home.
A modern kitchen was the third most sought-after feature, appealing to 63.4 per cent of respondents.
This was pipped by that man haven and all-round storage space, the garage (63.7 per cent).
More than half said they were on the lookout for big bedrooms, airconditioning and a modern bathroom.
Lifestyle features such as a swimming pool (11.3 per cent) or a home cinema (3.9 per cent) were a long way down the wish list.
The main factors that deterred buyers were tobacco odour (67 per cent), a busy street location (65.8 per cent), a dirty interior (61.6 per cent) and noisy neighbours (60 per cent).
Herron Todd White Perth managing director Brendon Ptolomey said location was the biggest factor in determining a property’s value.
For example, a 4×2 in Peppermint Grove was not going to be the same value as a 4×2 in a new estate.
After location, valuers would rank modern kitchens, modern bathrooms, parking spaces, alfresco areas and extra bedrooms as the biggest value add-ons for a home, Mr Ptolomey said.
“There is a massive emphasis on kitchens from the market place,” he said.
“People are much more aware of what’s in there, and they’re aware of features like the size of the oven or finishes like stone benchtops.”
Extra features added to a kitchen’s value, but storage was a bigger factor.
Valuers would rank a garage further down the list, but in newer suburbs an enclosed garage could add between $20,000 and $30,000 to a property, Mr Ptolomey said.
The number of bathrooms also added value. He said valuers were seeing more homeowners put in a third bathroom.
“It could be a powder room with a shower, or a laundry with a shower,” he said.
“People tend to want to shove teenagers down the end of the house.”
A second bathroom added more value than a third, however.
“A second bathroom is almost essential in today’s market,” Mr Ptolomey said.
Parking space could also increase the value of a property.
“The closer you get to the city and the more difficult it is to park, then it can add anything from $20,000 to $50,000,” Mr Ptolomey said.
“We certainly see a difference in value between one and two-bay apartments in the city.”
A patio upgrade could virtually be relied on to lift the value, provided the job was well done.
“There are not too many homes without an alfresco it’s pretty important to the market,” Mr Ptolomey said.
“It can be a massive selling point.”
Valuers said it was difficult to judge the dollar benefit of an extra bedroom.
“There’s no perfect formula – you can’t say a fourth bedroom will add $10,000 to a property,” Mr Ptolomey said.
“But they always get used as a bedroom or a study, or most often as the junk room.”
But he said living area was vital and the space taken up by a fourth bedroom might be at the expense of a lounge room.
Curtin University property studies professor Andrea Constable said bedrooms were also subject to the “law of diminishing returns” – a fourth bedroom would be likely to add value but a ninth bedroom probably would not.
REIWA president David Airey said storage was an underrated influence on value.
“We are living in smaller households but accumulating more possessions,” Mr Airey said.
“Homes with plenty of storage space are likely to be more valued.”
But extra features, such as swimming pools or outdoor kitchens, were likely to be an overcapitalisation.
Mr Ptolomey said a swimming pool could cost $30,000 to put in and add only $15,000 to the property’s value.
Top 5 killer features
“A well-designed, functional and spacious kitchen with quality draws and cupboards, benchtops and appliances is an increasing priority for home buyers.” – David Airey
“The market values a second bathroom and toilet or ensuites very highly due to the convenience and privacy they offer.” – David Airey
“The closer you get to the city and the more difficult it is to park then it can add anything from $20,000 to $50,000.” – Brendon Ptolomey
4) Undercover al fresco area
“We see everything from a BBQ shoved under a patio to an extensive outdoor kitchen, under patios with high ceiling fans. It can be a massive selling point.” – Brendon Ptolomey
“Many homes today are occupied only by one or two people. Regardless of this shrinking household size the desire for larger homes remains strong and the market tends to put higher values on four-bedroom houses and three-bedroom apartments. Extra bedrooms offer flexible lifestyle options such as a home office or guest room.” – David Airey