I’ve always been against property on main roads. Main roads are a deterrent for many people. With a limited market to sell to down the track – main road buying has always been a big cross from a buying perspective.
Yet things change …
Let’s first start with the evolution of property being built on main roads. Take a drive on many of Melbourne’s busier inner city roads and you’ll notice impressive period homes. Many of these homes are generally grander than the homes on the quiet street tucked just behind.
So how did this happen on main roads?
Remember, these homes were often built in the days of the horse and cart. Transportation has always been important and it was more desirable to have a sturdy road to travel on with the horse and carriage. Having a main road property meant easy access to home. Side streets were often dirty and hard to travel on.
The other side was ego. To show ones home to the world was much more possible on places that could be easily seen.
Main roads living preferences changed thanks to the car and bus. Loud noises and black choking smoke from these vehicles made these locations now much less preferred. This happened the world over. The exceptions here were development sites.
So what’s about to change?
I’m hearing a number of reports from countries such as France were respected investors are ‘making bets’ by acquiring property on main roads and intersections. Basically investments are made in good suburbs where heavily discounted property on undesirable busy locations reside.
These ‘bets’ are being made based on the following assumptions :
1. Main road property is currently ‘unfairly’ discounted when factoring in future trends of electronic cars.
2. Pollution, exhaust fumes, load noises – all things attributed to main road living will be nullified. General health concerns will also be removed.
3. Property on main road is very convenient once getting past the negative factors. The proximity to shops, freeway ramps , etc is generally strong.
The prediction is the massive swing to electronic battery operated cars and other transport vehicles. Renault is leading the charge together with Better Place which has a setup in Australia. The technology has evolved so quickly that Renault is about to launch a massive electric car offering and many of the other major car brands will follow shortly.
The electronic car has been developed up to the point of having the same cost, performance and economy of a petrol car yet without any dirty emissions or noise. This is on the verge of mass market adoption.
So asking yourself this question : If over the next decade we made the rapid shift to electric cars and transport. The absence of noise and fumes – would this make your thoughts about living on a main road a non issue?
For many property renters and buyers – lifestyle focused property has always meant being close to bars, shops, restaurants and other amenities.
Absolutely no doubt exists that if these big changes were to happen – main road living would be seen in a different light. We are not advocating splashing out on main road property just yet.
Risks are prevalent on a main road purchase. The upside could be huge. Yet the lack of adoption to these new technologies could mean a bad investment.