Cafe culture a hot buyer brew

Hip restaurants and cafes are on the menu for homebuyers hungry for tasty local attractions.

Perth’s buzzing foodie scene is having a flow-on effect on property prices, as WA buyers splash out to be close to their eateries of choice.

Analysis of property prices in cafe and restaurant hot spots, such as Leederville, Victoria Park, Bassenden and Maylands, show values have risen as new venues open their doors.

And with Perth’s food scene continuing to grow, buyers are now prepared to pay a premium to live on a street near a cafe strip, agents report.

The Economy of Shopping Small Report, commissioned by American Express, has shown Australian homebuyers were willing to spend almost $30,500 more on a home to live close to a shopping area.

The average price in the median price for homes close to shopping villages was $178 for each small business available, the report found.

And suburbs with double the number of small businesses had a 10 per cent higher median price when compared with suburbs with a similar population density and distance from the CBD.

Swanbourne, 9km from the Perth CBD, has seen a boost in its median price of 9.7 per cent over the last 12 months, according to the CoreLogic RP Data figures. The increase coincided with the opening of entrepreneur Scott Taylor’s $3 million restaurant, The Shorehouse.

The median price in Bassendean has risen 23 per cent since 2013, in line with the opening of new eateries all within the past two years.

Victoria Park’s cafe strip has also continued to attract buyers, with the median property price rising 21 per cent in the past three years.

Peard Real Estate agent Tash Welburn, who works in the East Victoria Park area, said the location’s cafe culture was the No. 1 factor attracting buyers.

“In the past two years, the restaurant scene here has really taken off to the point where we’re wondering how many more there can be,” Ms Wellburn said. “It’s attracted more of a family demographic to the area and young professionals. They’d rather be near the food scene than the night-life itself.”

Ms Wellburn said buyers were prepared to pay $50,000-$80,000 in streets next to the cafe strip.

Abel McGrath principal Simon McGrath said the opening of popular boutique eateries could have just as big an effect on property prices as major infrastructure.

“One example that springs to mind is Deli Chicchi, in Mount Claremont,” he said. “For years the area was yearning for a good cafe. The cafe has become the glue for neighbours to get to know each other and has the right street vibe.

“Once it opened, Mount Claremonth became more popular.

“It’s not just the matter of any cafe opening, but a venue that truly suits the demographic of an area.”

Research conducted by consultants Urbis for The Sunday Times also revealed that being near a cafe was one of the big factors for apartment development.

Urbis director of economics and market research David Cresp said that the newer apartment developments in Perth, the average distance to a cafe was just 360m.

He said food venues were a priority for developers when picking new sites.

“When they’re looking to move to an apartment building, people are trading off a large house and backyard for a smaller internal living area, but higher amenity features,” Mr Cresp said.

“[These include] within the complex pools and gyms, and very importantly locational amenity such as cafes and restaurants.”

Source: News Release, Government of Western Australia, 17 January, 2015

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