Identifying the next, best property location

Berry Everitt* Expect houses in central suburbs to keep rising steadily, if not spectacularly - estate agency boss.

* Like other residential experts Berry Everitt, head of Chas Everitt International, thinks the better locations will increasingly be those closest to business districts. Writing in Property Signpost, he says it is not just rising fuel prices that are behind the trend.

Fuel prices have come down from their mid-year highs but most people believe that generally higher transport costs are here to stay, and this is prompting many homeowners in the new estates and security complexes on the outskirts of the big metros to look again at older properties closer to city centres.

They are weighing up the costs of commuting against the generally higher property prices in central areas, and calculating that they will be able to afford higher home loan repayments out of what they save on commuting.

And there is more than the fuel price in the reckoning here. There is also the frustration of spending hours in the traffic each day and the huge amount of time that is being lost to work and family, as well as the additional wear and tear on vehicles.

This shift is, of course, good news for those who currently have homes to sell in core suburbs, as the increased demand in these areas will underpin prices.

It is not such good news for those who want to sell in an outlying area and move to a more central location, as they are likely to face more competition for potential buyers.

What is more, the higher prices in core suburbs often mean that buyers looking for affordable accommodation in these areas are limited to homes that require renovation or repair.

However, longer term, buying a home in a central suburb and renovating it over time is likely to be a good investment, as property prices in such areas generally keep rising steadily - if not spectacularly - in all market conditions. And real estate professionals can advise on which areas are likely to perform best.

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