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Is commercial property near green space more desirable?

By Greg Bell

There are many factors that influence commercial property value. Capital growth and yields are two more tangible measures of performance, while there can be many others that are less apparent.

For example, Finder research from last year indicated that something as abstract as having the street number 13 could be a deterrent for as many as 6 per cent of Queenslanders. However, we're not here today to debate people's willingness to act on superstition. The City of Gold Coast has recently revealed some interesting new data about how locals use park space, and it is worth taking into account for any business looking at commercial property in Surfers Paradise or beyond.

Gold Coasters love their green space

The City of Gold Coast has surveyed 2,000 locals about local parks, and their attitudes towards these green spaces. The research has shown that some 70 per cent of locals will regularly travel more than five minutes to visit a park. Palm Beach Parklands, the Botanic Gardens and Broadwater Parklands were the most popular destinations for locals.

With more than 2,200 parks and 250 kilometres of cycling and walking pathways throughout the Gold Coast, there is plenty for people to enjoy no matter where they live.

The positive reception of these green space has lead the council to commit to further funding as well.

"We're investing $77.3 million in 2016-17 into parks, maintaining and protecting our open public spaces and creating new parks for everyone to enjoy," noted Mayor Tom Tate. "As our city grows, the way we use our parks is also changing, so we need to work together to ensure everyone can enjoy them in the future."

This includes more than a thousand new trees to provide shade for local and tourists enjoying our parks. So we've covered their popularity and growth – but how does it impact commercial real estate on the Gold Coast?

The impact of proximity to parks on commercial property

There is a wealth of research about the link between green space and property values. Back in 2001, John Crompton from Texas A&M University wrote an entire thesis arguing that real estate near green spaces was worth much more of a premium, indicating that an investment in commercial property near Gold Coast parks could be a worthwhile long-term investment.

More locally, research has also found that properties with even a glimpse of Noosa National Park were worth on average 7 per cent more than those without. Added to this, you have the increased exposure a retail business can get through proximity to a park. If 70 per cent of locals are willing to walk five minutes to a park regularly, that's a considerable amount of foot traffic for nearby businesses.

This has benefits for people both buying and leasing commercial property on the Gold Coast. Business turnover can increase through a relocation to a spot with high foot traffic, while the capital growth and yield for investors could also see a positive upswing.

Of course, it isn't as simple as buying near a park and watching the money roll in. You need to make sure the real estate suits your financial needs as either a business or a buyer, which can take significant research.

At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we have decades of experience matching people and businesses with their ideal commercial property around the Gold Coast. If you want to find out what's going to work for you, get in touch with our team.

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