Property investors should avoid buying an apartment that does not come with a parking space, says investment adviser Monique Sasson Wakelin.
Sasson Wakelin says there are plenty of developers and estate agents “flogging carspaceless apartments” who are happy to tell would-be investors that it is a good idea to buy these sorts of properties.
“They talk about the paradigm shift away from car ownership and all those tenants happy to limit car use to the occasional hire vehicle for weekends away,” she says in a News Limited newspaper column.
But while there are some people who are happy not to own a car, they remain in the minority.
Wakelin says this is borne out in the 2011 census data, which shows that more than four-fifth (81%) of households own one or more cars.
Among those who live in apartments and flats, the figure is slightly lower at 75%.
Sasson Wakelin says her advice has remained steadfastly constant on this issue: “Don’t handicap your investment property by restricting the pool of potential tenants and future owners. A car park space is a must."
Delving further into the census data shows that 77% of Australian use a motorised vehicle to get to work and only 12% take public transport – the rest cycle, walk or work from home.
But Sasson Wakelin says investors being close to public transport is still important for an investment property.
She says being close to public transport is a “major plus” for investors because 1.7 million Australians work in the city or in the surrounding inner suburbs, making it “neither desirable nor feasible for everyone to drive to their place of work”.
Demand for property remains high in suburbs that have good public transport options because it means they can choose between their car and catching a bus, train, tram or ferry, says Sasson Wakelin.