According to the latest Housing Sentiment Survey from realestateview.com.au, 20.7 per cent of Victorian buyers said the most sought after property feature was a big, or good quality kitchen.
However, the number one priority for NSW buyers was access to a second toilet (21.1 per cent), which ranked fourth for VIC buyers (15.1 per cent).
According to general manager of realestateview.com.au Petra Sprekos, the differing priorities typifies the different buyers in both states.
"There is a big food culture in Melbourne, and reality shows about cooking are incredibly popular. It's little wonder that kitchens are at the forefront of home buyer's minds, they all want a bit of culinary masterpieces in their own homes.
"Extra bathrooms in Sydney is a more practical priority. Homes with additional bathrooms attain higher rents and Sydney's market has been flooded by investors over the past few years."
Understanding what buyers want is a key ingredient to creating effective marketing campaigns, Ms Sprekos said.
"Agents can use this list to see what features are more popular in their state, and shape their marketing accordingly. We know that high-quality photos of the kitchen are always a must, but the demand for floorplans is plain with many buyers claiming the size of the property is important to them."
A quality kitchen still ranked second for NSW buyers with 18.4 per cent claiming it was their priority, followed by a tie between a second bathroom and a garage/ car space, both on 17.1 per cent.
Victorians put more effort into finding a home with a car space, with 18.9 per cent claiming it was their top priority, while property size came third with 16.2 per cent of buyers.
"While public transport in Melbourne is quite good, there are still bottlenecks and travelling from home in the east to work in the west, or vice versa, is only achievable if you have a car. In these areas, it's a top priority for Victorian buyers."
Outdoor space was also surprisingly low on the list, with just 11.8 per cent of NSW buyers, and 14 per cent of Victorian buyers claiming it was a sought after property feature.
According to Ian James from JPP Buyers Advocates, families have historically favoured large homes with extensive gardens in the front and back, but claims increasing numbers of people request homes with limited outdoor space.
“Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Great Australian Dream was owning your own home on a quarter acre with a big back yard for the kids. That’s what everyone wanted,” he said.
“Now, I’m asked to buy properties for people and the specifics are ‘I don’t want larger than 50, 80 or 100 square metres in the backyard,’” he said.
These families value low-maintenance options that can require minimum up-keep, he said.
A separate laundry ranked last for both states, sought by just 8.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent of Victorian and NSW buyers respectively.