How Has COVID Changed Our Property Dreams?

The way we live has changed a lot in the last 18 months, and after lockdowns, working from home and home schooling, our homes have become more central to our lives than ever.

We take a look at how COVID has changed what we want in a home.

There’s no doubt that the COVID pandemic has changed the way we live. Over the last 18 months we’ve spent more time in our homes than ever before, not just eating and sleeping but working, home schooling and unwinding too. It stands to reason that what we’re looking for in a home has been turned on its head.

How has COVID changed what we want from our homes?

In a nutshell – we want more space. There’s nothing like months spent at home with the entire family, each trying to work or learn (not to mention relax), in cramped quarters to make you crave a bigger home.

Between April and June last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, outdoor space was top of buyers’ lists. An understandable reaction to being cooped up in lockdown, searches for the word ‘outdoor’ on increased by 41% compared to pre-COVID times. As time moved on and the reality of working from home sunk in, the home office became the object of buyers’ attention. The word ‘study’ grew the most in popularity on searches in the second half of 2020. ‘Outdoor area’ remained a close second.

What are buyers looking for now?

While COVID lockdowns hopefully won’t be a part of our lives forever, working from home – whether full time or just a couple of days a week – is here to stay for many of us. There’s also a renewed focus on our lifestyle and quality of life at home and an increased desire for each family member to have their own space. Taking these factors into account, it makes sense that buyers are increasingly looking for larger homes with more flexible spaces.

As a result, extra bedrooms, multiple living areas (at least two), outdoor spaces and commutable, convenient locations are on many buyers’ checklists. And it’s not only in Australia – this international trend crosses continents. A recent global survey showed half of buyers were seeking more privacy, and two thirds wanted a studio, home office or the ability to repurpose a space to work from home.

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Another survey collating data from Australia’s buyer’s agents shows larger kitchen layouts are also a focus for buyers now. Much like outdoor space, well-appointed kitchens have always been high on buyers’ wish lists but with more people cooking at home the desire for larger kitchens has spiked.

What about location?

These days buyers are increasingly looking outside the capital cities for their next home, and Australia’s regions have seen an influx of new residents since COVID hit. Regional Victoria has gained 22,651 new inhabitants from Melbourne since the start of the pandemic, and here on the Surf Coast, it has given the property market a serious boost.

With the rise in working from home, people are no longer tied to the office and they’re relocating to lifestyle locations beyond the city limits. Areas like the Surf Coast offer the best of both worlds for tree and sea changers – an amazing coastal lifestyle within easy enough reach of Melbourne to make working in the office a couple of days a week possible.

People are also moving further afield in the pursuit of space. A move away from the city often means buyers are able to afford a larger home without increasing their budget. It’s a smart way to get those extra bedrooms, home office or big backyard without breaking the bank.

If you’re interested in buying or selling on the stunning Surf Coast, get in touch with us today.