Months of being stuck in isolation has made Australians crave more outdoor space and a dedicated home office, a new study reveals.
A Westpac survey of 1,176 Australians found the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has had a significant impact on what Australians most want in their next home.
High density apartment living is out and spacious living is top of the agenda, with a third (34%) of those surveyed wanting to live somewhere less populated.
One in three (31%) said they wanted to be closer to parks and shops, and one in five (20%) are seeking suburbs with bigger properties.
Outdoor features like a big backyard (27%) and entertainment area (18%) were top of people's wish lists thanks to COVID-19.
Having a separate study area (20%) and a big kitchen (15%) were also major priorities.
Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.
Smart Booster Home Loan
- Discount variable for 1 year <=80% LVR
- No ongoing fees
- Unlimited redraw facility
Monthly repayments: $1,476
- Discount variable for 1 year
- No ongoing fees
- Unlimited redraw facility
Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. If products listed have an LVR <80%, they will be clearly identified in the product name along with the specific LVR. The product and rate must be clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments were calculated based on the selected products’ advertised rates, applied to a $400,000 loan with a 30-year loan term.
Westpac Managing Director of Mortgages Anthony Hughes said Australians have had time to reflect on their living space and how it will meet their future needs during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“For many of us, staying home for an extended period has changed how we use the space we live in, whether that’s home schooling from the kitchen table or setting up a makeshift office in the lounge room,” he said.
“Our research suggests that this has started a behavioural shift in what Australians want in a home, with people now seeking more space outdoors, proximity to parks and beaches, and even larger properties.
“We are also seeing people wanting their homes to cater for both their professional and personal lives, with one in five Australians wanting a separate study as more businesses adapt to working remotely."
Mr Hughes said he expects many Australians will consider upgrading their home.
“With the Government’s recently announced HomeBuilder grants, we expect more Australians will be considering a major renovation to upgrade their home to better meet their needs, or even starting a new home build to cater for their changing lifestyle.”
The study found that Australian homeowners are less likely to prefer high density apartment living in a post-pandemic world, with more than three quarters (77%) saying they would now prefer to live in a house because of COVID-19.
This is compared to 22% who preferred a home in an inner-city or urban area in 2019.
Domain research also found that property search behaviour has changed during the pandemic, with searches for home offices more than doubling.
Changes in search property criteria
|State/Territory||Keyword||Increase in searches|
The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:
- The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
- The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
- The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.
In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.
*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may inﬂuence the cost of the loan.
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