We Australians may love our sunburnt country, our droughts and flooding rains, but I’m sure we definitely love it a little bit less when it’s a 40 degree day. In a nation with weather as volatile and unpredictable as ours, it should come as no surprise that us Aussies are willing to spend a little more on our houses to make sure that we can live comfortably through the more difficult seasons.
Interestingly, the general population seems to have the same idea, as new research is showing that a majority of Australian adults (65 per cent) are willing to fork out a bit of extra cash on a house, to ensure that they can sleep soundly in the peak heat of summer in the comfort of air conditioning.
Finder.com.au conducted a study of 1,043 Australians and found out the top features buyers look for in homes. At the bottom of the list came garden gnomes and water features, with only two per cent of adults interested in these, followed closely by a built-in BBQ at four per cent.
The top 5 features Australians value most in their home are:
- Air conditioning (65%)
- A carport (60%)
- Garden (52%)
- Solar panels (33%)
- Deck or pergola (24%)
Interestingly, there were gender and even state differences within the results. Overall, South Australians considered air conditioning (80 per cent), to be more important than any other state and 15 per cent more than the nationwide average, 50 per cent of Northern Territory respondents prefer to pay that little bit extra for a swimming pool.
While solar-panels were the fourth most sought after item for both men and women, generationally nearly 40 per cent of Baby Boomers (aged 55-74) preferred them as a top feature. Despite the fact that female buyers were more interested in backyards than men were (55 per cent as opposed to 48 per cent), Aussie men still lived up to their man-cave stereotypes, preferring a garage more than women did (62 per cent compared to 58 per cent).
Why these results?
Well, the air conditioning really isn’t much of a surprise. But the solar panels? Australian Electricity Market Operator has found that our average electricity price has gone up from $38.89 in 2014-2015 to $61.25 from 2015-2016, an increase of almost $22.36, so it's not difficult to see why Aussie home buyers are eager to find ways to cut electricity costs.
For those looking to purchase a home, it’s good to look for qualities, such as air conditioning, that you know will make you more comfortable while you’re there. For those looking to buy an investment property or renovate, perhaps some of these in demand features might help you to secure tenants and boost your resale value.
It’s important to do your research when looking to make improvements or changes to your home. You're the one that has to live with it every day after all!
Bessie Hassan is a property specialist at finder.com.au, one of Australia’s largest comparison websites.
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