Should you buy near public transport?

houseThe length of the daily work commute is a big consideration for a lot of property buyers. Most people want to live as close to their work as possible, however this is becoming increasingly difficult for a lot of people due to the increasing cost of living in major work centres around the country, namely Sydney and Melbourne.

Not everyone works in the city or needs to travel around using public transport, however that doesn’t mean you should discount the importance of local transport infrastructure when buying a property.

Proximity to major transport networks can have a major influence on property prices and, in general, the closer to adequate transport the better. It might be cheaper to buy property further away from major transport hubs, but it might not get the same level of capital gains in the future. Investors should also consider whether a property would be desirable to renters without having transport options available.

However, areas without current transport infrastructure in place shouldn’t be totally discounted, particularly if there are whispers of transport improvements in the future. Areas can flourish if better connections are introduced, and this can apply whether its new roads, rail or otherwise.

A major new transport development will often result in house price surges and an all-round transformation of an area. But investors should take note that often by the time a major development has been confirmed, house prices have already gone skyward, so sometimes you need to take a gamble on whether or not a new transport project will go ahead.

Of course, it can be hard to balance the right amount of distance from a bus or a train stop. People generally don’t want to have high frequency transport on their doorstep, but they don’t want to travel too far to get to a transport stop either.

A 2-10 minute walk to a transport stop is generally a comfortable distance. Any longer and people might start to think about driving, which is fine if there are adequate parking spots around, but sometimes this isn’t the case.

Whether buying as an investor or owner-occupier, it’s always worth keeping local transport in mind. It can have a major influence on property prices, not to mention on lifestyles and the time and effort needed to get around everyday.