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Is coffee a property price indicator? - January 2019

By Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder propertybuyer

I remember reading an article that claimed you can tell a lot about a person by what sort of coffee they like to drink.  Apparently, those who prefer a short black are always on the go and determined, while latte sippers prefer to pause and smell the roses… or coffee beans.

Mocha-drinkers have a youthful spirit and cappuccino-chuggers are social beings.

While the science is probably a bit dubious, this playful piece got me thinking about how caffeine impacts all sorts of life’s facets in modern Australia – including property.

It seems that, like people, you can get some genuinely important insights into an area based on its coffee culture.

Here’s how.


Aussies love coffee

Australians are one of the biggest consumers of coffee in the world. Not per capita or on average, but in terms of the sheer volume of beans brewed across the country each year.

We can’t get enough of a cup – however it’s made. Research shows that 75 per cent of the population enjoys at least one coffee a day, and almost one-third have up to three in a 24-hour period.  That’s a lot of beans!

And unlike America, where people seem happy to rush into a Starbucks to get a giant cup of bland brown water, we are seriously passionate about the quality and ritual of drinking coffee. We like to sit and savoir the moment in funky cafes to get our days off to a good start, to brief or debrief with colleagues and to catch up with loved ones.

Being within close proximity of a cool and quality café is important. A report by research firm McCrindle shows that 61 per cent of Generation Z, 53 per cent of Generation Y and 36 per cent of Generation X cohorts like to grab a cup of coffee away from their home.

According to research, almost 95 per cent of the thousands and thousands of coffee shops across Australia and independently owned. That would indicate each has its own unique vibe.


Coffee is where the heart is

What does this tell us in terms of property?

Well, if more than half of people aged in the teens through to their late 30's place strong importance on living within a short distance of a great coffee shop, as well as more than a third of people aged in their late 30's to early 50's, it tells us a hell of a lot.

Every potential property investor dreams of finding a suburb that is on the cusp of growth. We’ve all had those conversations about little pockets that boomed unexpectedly.

“Can you imagine if you’d bought there five or ten years ago?” we sigh. “You’d be laughing now!”

And so, finding the next hot spot is a favourite pastime of many investors. We look for little signs of gentrification and uplift. We closely examine data to look for changing demographics. We compare the make-up of dwellings, watch for infrastructure and study young people in the know to see where they’re going.

Why don’t we look at coffee as a viable measure of growth locations? 

Years ago, I heard about a buyer’s agent in Melbourne who will wander around suburbs and spend hours sitting in coffee shops. He watches who comes and goes, listening to their conversations, mentally noting down their ages, what cars they drive, whether they’re alone or coupled, if they have kids and the like.

It’s his way of seeing whether an area is evolving. And he does it with a cup of coffee in hand because he knows what the data above shows – Aussies love coffee and will go where the best ones are.


If you would like us to help find you the right property, then click here to:

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Follow the coffee smell

An area that is welcoming new coffee shops, along with funky boutiques, small bars, interesting restaurants and any other kind of artisan outlet is doing so for a reason. It’s not an accident or a gamble on behalf of the business owners.

There’s clearly a rising demand for hip products and services. And who demands these types of hospitality and retail businesses? Hipsters.

Young, entrepreneurial types often drive gentrification of a previously dreary and flat growth area. They have disposable incomes to spend, they like to enjoy their time out and about, investing in their communities.

A house for them is not just a home – it’s a connection to their immediate surroundings. They don’t want to live in a suburban street with nothing but other houses. They want a vibrant and eclectic location to wrap themselves within.

There have been a few occasions when I’ve seen uber urban café-nistas have signposted growth zones.

I remember an excited call from a potential client several years back, saying she had just spotted a lovely looking young gay couple checking out an open for inspection property – a total fixer-upper, in the light-industrial suburb of Alexandria.

In her mind, the “pink dollar”, as she put it, was a sure-fire indication that a ‘cool’ change was coming.

Nowadays, you can’t get a table at The Grounds café and restaurant in this suburb on a weekend and brand-new boutique, million-dollar apartments are the norm.

Another example – the inner-western Sydney suburb of Marrickville was known for its elderly population and very old housing stock up until ten or so years ago. Around then, it hosted a massive two-day community festival for the first time, with artists, designers and musicians booking out a local oval.

I saw a flyer for it and knew it would be a spot worth watching. Now, it’s one of the most sought-after locales for younger buyers and it’s filled with the lifestyle amenities they demand. The youngsters saw potential. They know it when they see it.

They’d make excellent buyer’s agents actually.

So, next time you entertain the study of real estate statistics, perhaps you should factor in a little productive ‘down time’ by taking up the coffee-bean challenge. There are worse ways to research your next potential purchase than by digging into a hot beverage.

Alternatively, give us a call. We’ve managed to place a huge number of clients in their dream property by continuously tracking locations where lifestyle facilities are driving demand.

 Just call – perhaps we can even catch up over a coffee.


If you would like us to help find you the right property, then click here to:

Find A Prestige Property In Sydney


Our friendly team of Buyers Agents would be glad to help you further.  Tell us your property brief  or call us on 1300 655 615 today. 


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