The Impact of Google Maps on House Prices

Have you ever felt smugly satisfied driving down a back street instead of stuck in massive traffic on a main road, thanks to a faster route found on Google Maps? If yes, then you’re not the only one.

According to experts, more traffic is being re-routed to residential streets due to the use of satellite navigation systems like Google Maps, and it is likely affecting not only traffic situations there but also house values.

Transport specialist Professor Majid Sarvi from the University of Melbourne said that transportation-wise, people are interested only in making the most of their benefits and cut their travel time, hence they’re actually battling against each other.

He added that it is good to get some traffic off the major roads, but when are too many cars re-routed to the back streets, the burden is placed on the road network, which lead to increased congestion and safety problems.

The particular design of local road networks is for slower speeds, for pedestrians to use them to walk or cycle around. It is similar to a freeway with bikes at the centre of it.

According to Wakelin Property Advisory director Jarrod McCabe, house prices are generally lower if the streets have more traffic, and that prices could be negatively affected if more traffic was being re-routed to residential streets.

This is an issue that investors should focus more on and not compromise on, because when you are searching for an investment property, it is better to have many people to participate as many as possible, both from a resale and a rental standpoint.

The most affected are suburbs within five to 10 kilometres of the CBD because people stay away from “boulevard style” streets with tram lines, preferring to live in peaceful residential streets.

The experts’ advice for people who plan to purchase in these locations is to find out what traffic is like on the street at various times of the day, pick the rear of the block if you are purchasing an apartment and consider double glazing for windows.

Properties on streets with no large volume of traffic, both from congestion and noise standpoints, would be more popular.

According to Professor Sarvi, technology is designed to link cars and other transport systems to a single network, which basically lets them communicate to each other and guides them on the best direction possible to prevent traffic jams and taking the wrong streets.

People should begin viewing the transport network as a whole, evaluating city planning and how people can go from point A to point B, still delivering goods to their intended locations, while the system is still performing at its best.

Satellite navigation systems are likely to direct people to the most obvious paths, mainly to circumvent roadworks or accidents on major roads.

People still depend on their familiarity with the roads, instead of solely utilising sat nav systems, however the technology is still increasingly being used.

Technology that allows communication between the satellite navigation and the road authorities will become commonplace. But there are potential benefits for smart homebuyers who choose busier roads – if a bit of traffic is not an issue for them.

For homebuyers, if you’re not overly concerned about something, it could be a chance for you to gain entry into a suburb that would otherwise be beyond your reach.