Will People Buy Property in Bushfire Prone Areas?

February 26th, 2014

The warmer months often bring a strong reminder of the risks of buying into bushfire prone areas. In October 2013, bushfires led to the loss of more than 248 buildings. As such, buyers should carefully weigh up their options when considering whether or not to buy in these areas.

According Chris Eves, a property economics professor at the Queensland University of Technology, bushfires can have a significant and lasting impact on property prices.

Eves explained how in the Blue Mountains the visual nature of bushfires made the impact of a fire much stronger than other types of natural disasters such as flooding. The amount of media coverage an area gets also relates to its perceived value, and that impact can last for two years or more, he said.

Eves suggested that the impact on price will not be confined to suburbs such as Winmalee, Blackheath, or Springwood. Instead, the entire region may experience lower prices.

On the other hand, he said, some people may take the opposite view and consider it a good time to buy, as the burnt-out area will offer lower prices and may be less likely to experience a bushfire in the future.