New research has found that health infrastructure is a key driver of where Australians will choose to live, surpassing employment as the most essential consideration.
An MWH Global survey of more than 1,000 people has listed ‘healthcare (hospitals, doctors, health practitioners)’ as the priority for choosing the city, town or suburb in which they would choose to live. Employment was listed as the second most popular response.
Interestingly, when asked ‘Which of the following would improve the quality of your life if they were in closer proximity to you?’, the option 'Better access to hospital/specialist medical care/24-hour medical care' was chosen by 53 per cent of respondents (the second most popular answer). Fifty-seven per cent noted better 'transport links and public transport links', while 46 per cent chose more employment opportunities.
Overall, 48 per cent of respondents noted they would opt to live in a major city or its outskirts, with 70 per cent of those surveyed currently living in these areas.
“Australians are a pragmatic population, ranking emergency services and infrastructure as far more important than lifestyle considerations such as aesthetics, education, culture and food,” noted Australia regional director of government and infrastructure at MWH, Mark Bruzzone.
“A key concern of Australians, whether they live in the outback or a big city, is the ability to quickly and easily access what they need, whether it’s a trip to the doctor, getting to work in the morning or visiting friends and family. Not surprisingly, over 90 per cent consider high quality roads as an important priority in choosing where they want to live,” Mr Bruzzone said.
Speaking to Smart Property Investment about key infrastructure, Positive Real Estate’s CEO Sam Saggers pointed to health orientated developments as huge generators of employment and as points for attraction to those moving to an area in the future.
“Values will always do well if you are located close to healthcare or [if] an area has solid healthcare,” Mr Saggers said, advising investors should look for upcoming hospital and health-related developments.
He also pointed out that hospitals are extremely expensive to implement: “How likely is it to be shut down? The answer: Not likely. So what a great employer and what a great driver on the local market,” he said.