Does the festive season influences house prices?

By Chris Wilkins

With the silly season almost behind us, many homeowners, buyers and soon-to-be sellers are looking forward to what the 2018 real estate market might hold.

Many homeowners and buyers have a fairly good handle on what constitutes a ‘well-heeled’ postcode, where the streets and gardens are groomed and attractive free-standing homes that hold their value are sought after – particularly by families. We could probably each name at least three such suburbs without too much trouble.

Of course, there are neighbourhoods that are considered desirable for their proximity to the beach or the city, and the amenities nearby – parks, shops, schools and commerce.  The quality of local infrastructure might also closely correlate to property values and the potential for their future appreciation.

In addition, the intangible asset of ‘community’ is often felt, but slightly harder to define. It’s an essence or spirit of a suburb or neighbourhood that helps to shape opinion around liveability. Could it also be a measurable contributor to house price stability and growth?

This time of the year, in particular, offers the most visible demonstration of ‘spirit’: Christmas decorations, celebrations and New Year get-togethers. Both public and private displays; streets and homes are festooned and illuminated, and parties and parades are held throughout December, to welcome in 2018 and to celebrate Australia Day.

The owners of 191 Burwood Road, Concord have been displaying Christmas lights over 20 years.  Over 100,000 LED lights are synchronized to five songs and run for the whole of December.  Funds raised also support the Autism Spectrum Australia.

And in McGrath Avenue and Kirrange Street in Five Dock and others in Russell Lea like Janet Street the community hang lights, Santa, his reindeer, trains, and snow and bubble machines for others to enjoy.

Halloween in Renwick Street, Drummoyne is also a special community occasion, with the whole street and suburb getting into the spirit – you’d think you were in any suburban street in the America.

Does the extent or effort a community invests in celebrating Christmas, the New Year and other holidays, influence property values?  There is certainly some anecdotal evidence to suggest that it might. Those suburbs with carefully planned, well executed public decorations and a schedule of related events engender a festive atmosphere, attracting locals and visitors alike, boosting spending. Neighbourhood light displays, which might seem kitsch to some, demonstrate a willingness and desire to share the joys of the season with others. This is a genuine manifestation of community spirit – giving to others.

If it’s important to you, as an intrinsic factor that adds to the desirability of an area, is it worth considering how the community rallies around Christmas and other key holidays and the positive effect this may have on house prices?

Useful links:  Christmas LightsHalloween Streets

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