08.03.2016 Lifestyle

The Most Walkable Suburbs in Sydney’s East

The Most Walkable Suburbs in Sydney’s East

You will have seen real estate agents regularly advertise properties as being a “five-minute walk from” a certain amenity and for good reason.

People want to buy a home that is near the things that are most important to them, offering convenience and allowing them to leave their car in the garage to use certain facilities.

If you’re looking for convenience, then Sydney’s eastern suburbs are the right place to start. Already, Sydney is the most walkable large city in Australia, according to Walk Score.

This Walk Score uses walking routes, combined with data about retail hubs, transport, restaurants, cafes and other attractive spots to determine how friendly an area is to pedestrians. In other words, the higher a suburb’s score, the closer it is to amenities.

While the inner city naturally boasts the most walkable suburbs, including The Rocks, Surry Hills and Sydney CBD, there are many walkable hubs in the east that fall in the 90 to 100 range on the Walk Score bracket, or ‘Walker’s Paradise’ where your daily errands do not require a car.

In the top 20 most walkable suburbs in Sydney are these eastern suburbs hotspots:These areas offer some of the most attractive opportunities for property buyers looking for that added convenience of being able to walk rather than drive.

In Bondi Junction, for instance, there’s a Westfield with shops and eateries, local parks and a train station, all within close proximity to the homes in the suburb.

The impact on price

Everyone has a different view on what it is important to be located near to and this factor is largely immeasurable. For some homebuyers, being close to a bus stop, a hospital or near a retail hub is going to be critical.Others will happily sacrifice a nearby café for a good water view or for an extra bedroom. And some are willing to walk further than others to get to amenities they find important. These are factors that some buyers will pay a premium for.

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But as a general rule, walkability has actually been proven to have an impact on price and future capital growth, especially as congestion becomes an increasing problem on the roads. US-based real estate portal Zillow undertook some research that found a direct correlation between the Walk Score and the overall price people were willing to pay – in every US market examined, areas deemed more walkable outperformed.

From 2000 to 2014, homes in New York and Chicago in the most walkable areas increased in value 160 per-cent more than those in car-dependent areas.

As Sydney’s population grows and apartment living becomes more common, this trend can only be expected to continue – especially as fewer car spaces are built into apartment blocks. If congestion also increases, it’s clear why being a ‘walkable’ area is so attractive. It’s also likely that the south-east, in particular, will become more walkable as developments are introduced to improve transport.

A 2013 NSW Government report, Sydney’s walking future: Connecting people and places, pointed to the CBD and South East Light Rail project as having the potential to create new precincts and making the city and surrounding areas “an easier place for people to walk”.

This will likely continue to be a focus into the future as the east becomes more connected to the city.