How COVID Has Changed Our Property Dreams
No one could have predicted the sweeping effects that a global pandemic would have on our lives.
But with COVID unlikely to go away any time soon, more and more Aussies are seeking out property that allows them to live out their dreams right at home.
More people are looking for a treechange
The ultimate dream for many Australians has always been to make a seachange in retirement – swapping out the hustle and bustle of the CBD for a more relaxed coastal lifestyle. But as we’re seeing from the latest ABS figures, it’s the tree change – moving inland to a regional town like Toowoomba – that is really taking hold in buyers’ minds.
By the end of the March 2021 quarter, almost 12,000 people had packed up their homes in the capital cities and moved to the country. That figure is the highest on record since data began being collected in 2001. What’s more, Queensland’s regional areas are seeing the biggest influx of treechangers, with over 7,000 new residents swarming in from interstate (mostly Victoria and New South Wales, where the pandemic hit the hardest).
The home office is no longer a ‘bonus’
At the height of the pandemic, more than two in three Australians were working from home either ‘sometimes’ or ‘always’, according to government data. With kids also being forced to study from home, that created chaos for many families without a separate space where parents could complete their nine-to-five.
Demand for properties that can accommodate a home office space has, unsurprisingly, grown immensely over the past 18 months – and will likely continue for the foreseeable future. But buyers don’t just want a small study nook or a chair and desk in the corner of their living room; they want a dedicated space that affords them privacy and quiet to get their work done. Moreover, it needs to be adequately equipped for good internet connectivity.
Buyers are prioritising outdoor space
With people travelling less and spending more time at home, buyers want to ensure their new home has lots of different spaces where they can enjoy themselves. Growing families want a big backyard or large acreage to keep the kids occupied, while downsizers may prefer a large garden area where they can enjoy their retirement.
For professionals and couples, there’s something enticing about an outdoor deck where they can set up their barbecue and welcome friends and family over (in a COVID-safe environment), while apartment buyers can get plenty of value out of a communal courtyard or big balcony. It’s no wonder research from Knight Frank found two in three buyers now factor ‘large garden/outdoor space’ into their decision-making.
Being able to holiday at home
A holiday home in itself is a huge outlay for most Australians, but particularly during a global pandemic when many are worse off financially. Add to that a restriction on international travel, and reduced movement between states because of harder borders, and it’s no wonder property buyers now want a place that allows them to ‘holiday at home’ – in short, they want all the bells and whistles.
What that means exactly can be different things for different people, but there’s no denying that large and relaxing outdoor decks, family-sized swimming pools, and dedicated theatre rooms are all exceptional selling points that can set a property apart.
Ready to make a change?
Whether you’re looking for a tree change or simply want a more liveable home, we can help you find the right property. Contact an experienced local agent today to get started on your exciting new journey.