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Happy neighbours make happy markets



Australian’s have always had a love affair with their backyards. Sprawling oases with barbeques and a pool along every second property. But what about the front yard? There has always been social and economic currency in the backyard but the strength of any home’s market value also lies in the strength of its surrounding neighbourhood. And what makes a neighbourhood gel together? The front yard.

This is where Angus Raine, Executive Chairman of Raine & Horne comes in. He has noticed the effect a single bad property on a street can have on the market value of surrounding houses and notes the case of a famous house in Bondi called the “hoarder’s home”.

“This is an extreme example,” says Mr Raine, “however it has been an issue for those living in Boonara Avenue, Bondi for many, many years, and has undoubtedly impacted the values of homes located near this controversial property.

“The streetscape is the visual identity of a neighbourhood and plays an important role in facilitating interaction between residents and creating a community. It also contributes to building the value of our properties, which for many of us, are our most important investment asset.”

The front yard is the opposite to a backyard. A backyard is a highly desirable part of a home because it provides privacy and space for owners. The front yard is what links the home to its community and as such is a much more public and interactive space. It affords people the chance to show themselves off as individuals while contributing to the vibrancy and image of their community as a whole.

This is where loving your neighbour is important. Loving your neighbour and building relationships so that people begin to feel a collective sense of obligation and worth in the upkeep and presentation of their homes on whole.

“To be fair, individual owners can do little about the collective streetscape, but the value of a good looking street, where all the gardens are well-tended, can have an impact on the sale-ability of a property,” says Mr Raine.

“It’s worth keeping in mind that by collectively maintaining the kerbside appeal of all properties in a street, owners can maintain and grow the values of their properties.”