December 21, 2021
New research1 finds COVID-19 has changed homebuyers’ preferences for housing,
reflecting the notion that office workers will spend more hours at home. Mortgage Choice
commissioned a survey by CoreData of over 1000 Australians to find out their attitudes and
behaviours towards property ownership.
Mortgage Choice and Smartline CEO, Susan Mitchell, said “As we begin to emerge from
almost two years of lockdowns and our economy starts to recover, it’s important to assess
what impact COVID-19 has had on the way that we live and how it has affected our
relationship with property.”
“Our latest research has shown that the demands of working from home over the last two
years has changed homebuyers’ preferences when choosing what type of property, they
look to buy,” said Ms Mitchell.
The research revealed that a large portion of Australians prefer homes with an extra room
for working from home (42%), homes with more space (34%) and a preference for a sea or
tree change (31%).
This is already impacting houses purchased, with the research revealing one-third of recent
homeowners purchased a property with a room for working from home, a property with a
garden, or located close to nature (36%, 36%, 34%). Unsurprisingly, nearly a quarter (23%)
said that living close to the CBD was a lower priority.
These trends are clear when you look at data from REA Group’s PropTrack which reveals
that at the beginning of the pandemic, prices increased at a faster pace for houses than
units. Larger houses and units with more bedrooms have increased in price at a faster pace
than those with fewer bedrooms.
Realestate.com.au search behaviour showed that throughout 2021 there has been an
increase in the share of bedroom filtered searches for both houses and units with at least
three bedrooms, again highlighting the preference that people are showing for more
Ms Mitchell said, “It will be interesting to see whether these changes to consumer preference
continue into the New Year and how they might shape the property market. As the nation
emerges from lockdowns, employers will begin to expect the workforce to return to the office.
It is unclear how many will embrace a flexible working arrangement on a long-term basis and
the impact this will have on property decisions.”
“Mortgage brokers can show aspirational homebuyers what’s possible when it comes to
achieving the great Australian dream. An extra room might come with a higher price tag, but
sensible changes to your daily spending habits might just secure that all important space for
working from home,” concluded Ms Mitchell.
1 Mortgage Choice commissioned a survey by CoreData Research of 1010 Australian consumers between October 27 to November 10, 2021.
This article is for general information purposes only. It has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.