COVID-19 changes Aussie homebuying habits

  • By Zilla Efrat

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how Australians purchase a home, according to NAB executive home ownership, Andy Kerr.

Indeed, NAB research shows that almost one in 10 Australians have moved within either their own or another state or territory because of COVID-19 and are not planning to return.

The data also reveals what factors have become more important to Australian homebuyers since COVID-19 began. One in two Australians say good local shopping, restaurants and other amenities and the size of the property are the most important considerations when deciding where to buy.

Of the 2,000 Australians polled in the survey, almost one in five highlighted the importance of having a study or work area or living in a regional area.

“The pandemic has impacted the lives of millions of Australians, particularly in how and where they want to live,” says Kerr.

“What we have seen as a result is flexible working providing opportunities for people to live wherever they like and still work from home.

“Without the daily commute, people are looking at the suburbs that haven’t been available in the past as a viable option to actually own a piece of land and build a house.

“Australians also clearly value lifestyle choices, having that work-life balance and being closer to family. Many of us want to live near a café or supermarket, be able to drop the kids off at school and have access to trains or trams.”

NAB’s research also shows that COVID-19 played a key role for three in 10 Australians, with 15 per cent wanting to avoid other COVID-19 restrictions (24 per cent in SA), and 15 per cent to avoid COVID-19 lockdowns (20 per cent in Victoria).

“Australians have embraced flexible working during the past 18 months of the pandemic where you don’t need to be in a city office five days a week,” says Kerr.

“Queensland and South Australia have largely avoided lockdowns and restrictions and offer the lifestyle benefits unique to both states. Recent data has also shown us there is great value in buying property in both states where it might be cheaper than renting.

“NSW continues to attract Australians looking for work opportunities, both from within the state and from other states.

“Victorians have endured more than most through the pandemic and the survey tells us that 20 per cent who have moved wanted to avoid lockdowns. Many moved to the regions with areas like Geelong, the Surf Coast and Mornington Peninsula proving popular.”