Northerly aspect, is it the best?

Northerly aspect – it’s commonly accepted that the best aspect to have is north. A northerly aspect means the garden will flourish and assuming the house or apartment has been designed to take advantage of the aspect, the interiors will be nice and light. The northern sun really comes into it’s own in winter, which is particularly important in the cooler regions. In a hot climate you don’t really want a west facing house – or a west facing apartment in Sydney, for example.

Does the right aspect make a property worth more?

One if my pet hates is when agents advertise a property as being “north facing” or having a northerly aspect, when it’s actually the front of the house that faces north. For the aspect to add value to a property, the garden and living areas ideally need to face north or north-east. What this northerly aspect gives is sunlight in the garden in winter and maximum natural light into the home (dependent on windows being in the right position).

It’s pretty hard to quantify how much a good aspect is worth. Certainly more buyers would be interested in a home with a abundant natural light, so you can expect competition to be fiercer for these properties and in an auction market, this would translate into higher prices being paid. The issue gets complicated, however, if you are looking at properties with views. For instance, many of Sydney’s best harbour views come with a southerly aspect.

Aspect affects apartments and houses differently.

With a freestanding house you should have windows on all 4 sides, so you could expect to have lots of avenues for natural light to enter the house. With a semi-detached house, ideally you want to be on the northern side, so all the windows get loads of light and the garden would face either east or west.

In an apartment it’s ideal to have the living room windows face north. If an apartment only has windows on one side then the aspect is even more crucial than if it has windows on two or three sides.

Investors should consider aspect and its potential to impact vacancy periods and resale value.

Anything that affects how desirable a property is to live in will ultimately have an impact on the length of tenancy (conversely, periods of vacancy eat into yield) and the rent people are prepared to pay. As said above, buyers tend to be more competitive when it comes to a property with a good aspect, so capital growth is assisted by this also.

At the end of the day, tenants don’t like dark houses or apartments any more than owner occupiers. They may take a lease on a dark home if vacancy rates are low and they are having trouble finding a rental, but they will vacate as soon as their lease ends and they find something better.

Further reading:

8 tips for buying the best apartment in the block

Nine things to look for in a property

The art of compromise – how to work out what should give

Published:-  Jan 2015

Disclaimer: Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.

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