10/11/2015 9:09 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Small Businesses Drive Increase In Aussie House Prices

Betsie Van Der Meer via Getty Images
Shopkeeper hanging unions in local farm shop.

Small businesses are driving up the median house price in Australia, with almost half of potential buyers willing to spend up to $30,000 more to be near a local shopping village.

The findings in a report commissioned by American Express as part of Shop Small Australia month, show 47 per cent of the 17 per cent of Australians currently in the market to buy a home would invest an additional 4.4 per cent -- or $30,486 -- to be near a cluster of local shops.

The analysis confirms that each small business in close proximity to homes delivers an average increase of $164 to the median house price, holding other factors constant.

Byron Rose, from real estate firm Rose & Jones in Sydney, said the figures showed that small business did contribute to driving up property prices in surrounding areas.

"Despite auction clearance rates slowing and interest rates at record lows, if you compared house prices from a community with the average number of small businesses (375) with one which had twice this amount, the estimated median house price in the latter would be 10 per cent higher," he said.

The types of small businesses people wanted to live near varied.

  • 68 percent said access to healthcare services was very important;
  • 64 percent wanted specialised convenience stores such as a deli, butcher, fruit shop, fishmonger and the like;
  • 59 percent wanted to be close to amenities such as schools, libraries and newsagents.

Lowest on the priority list were professional services firms such as accountants and lawyers.

The report, The Economy of Shopping Small, shows that the physical benefits delivered by small businesses extends beyond house prices.

Almost two thirds (62 percent) of Australians agree small businesses improve the aesthetics of the surrounding area, 60 per cent say they boost the standard of living, and 58 percent state they provide community support in the form of donations.

“It’s the human side of small businesses which sets them apart from their large counterparts, and it’s for this exact reason we need to fuel consumers’ passion for our country’s small business owners,” said, Melanie Cochrane, senior vice president American Express Global Merchant Services.

“Small business owners are willing to go above and beyond to meet our needs unlike any other business can and the benefits they deliver are far reaching.

"Whether it’s simply greeting us with a smile, or adding significant value to our house price, they are at the heart of our communities.

"Their success is ultimately our success, and it’s our responsibility to ensure they have the support they need to deliver it."