The catch cry 'build it and they will come' couldn't ring any more true, according to new research from Savills.
According to new research by the firm, Australian cities that provide the most efficient transport infrastructure, on top of essential social infrastructure, will place themselves in the best position to maintain liveability and deliver sound economic performance as they become the preferred home for the best and most skilled workers and the hi-tech industries that employ them over the next decade.
Those cities will be at the centre of property development and investment opportunities as they grow to accommodate vastly increased populations.
Savills Australian Head of Research, Tony Crabb, said many academic studies had pointed to the preference among skilled workers for ‘liveability’ over financial rewards including a recent (2016) Savills UK study - What Workers Want – which found workers wanted their life contained within a half hour radius.
“We expect skilled or knowledge workers to be doubly attracted to places where they can achieve both a high degree of liveability and financial rewards, but transport infrastructure is the critical element with work, rest and play accessible in 30 minutes by car, public transport, walking, or cycling, the key determinant.
“It is little surprise therefore that skilled workers in the millennial generation seek higher density, mixed-use, urban environments rather than rural or suburban ones.
“This appears to be at the core of liveability and as such is a theme to follow in assessing the most successful property investment opportunities,” Mr Crabb said.
Three Australian cities among world’s top ten
Mr Crabb said while Melbourne and Sydney were likely to attract a growing number of skilled workers with population forecasts of up to 10 million by 2050, two other cities - Adelaide and Perth – were nominated with Melbourne, by the London based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), as among the world’s top ten most liveable.
EIU List of the world's most liveable cities
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Adelaide, Australia
7. Perth, Australia
8. Auckland, New Zealand
9. Helsinki, Finland
10. Hamburg, Germany“That is a great achievement for those cities but if they wish to maintain that status, transport infrastructure development needs to be front of mind. It needs to lead population growth rather than react to it but certainly governments need to be proactive. In my experience, in cities of 10 million people, cars don’t work very well. Australian cities are very car-centric and need to develop better alternatives.
“Major transport infrastructure provides the backbone of investment opportunities and it is generally around such infrastructure that industries agglomerate, but light rail, tram, bus, cycling and street networks are equally important in delivering liveability. In an age where technology allows us to be virtually mobile at a global level, the quality of local neighbourhoods has rarely mattered more,” Mr Crabb added.
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