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Walkability: The latest factor for Australian property investors to consider

Investors looking to buy into new property developments in Australia should be considering the walkability of the homes on their radar, as this is the latest big concern for the country's residents.

Walkability is essentially the ability to walk out of a home and be within easy walking distance of local amenities including shops, bars, restaurants, the gym, workplaces and maybe even the beach. Millennials increasingly want to be able to walk everywhere so they don't have to spend money on public transport or navigate driving in busy cities.

A recent report in Australian property publication Domain looked at how walkability was a key factor in the development of the new Lavender Bay apartment complex in Sydney.

With the city's population expected to reach more than six million over the next ten years, an influx of new residents would lead to huge traffic congestion problems if they needed to travel from their homes to work via Sydney's transport networks each day.

But by being able to walk everywhere, this benefits the environment thanks to fewer carbon emissions, allows people to fit some physical exercise into their daily routine and means they aren't contributing further to infrastructure issues in Australia's busiest cities.

In addition, walkability creates a village feel for residents for whom it is most convenient for work purposes to live in one of the bigger cities, particularly if they have left a quieter area behind when moving there.

Dr Andrew Wilson, chief economist at Domain, explained: "This will only increase with demand for high-rise living.

"Walkability will become increasingly a focus for planners and developers to ensure this emerging trend is consolidated."

Property investors wanting their homes to appeal to millennials therefore need to bear walkability in mind when looking at developments. However, it is also important that they are considering affordability at the same time so that they aren't excluding the younger generation from properties that have the walkability factor and could be ideal for them.

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