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Pandemic has Retro-shaped House and Land Market

June 28, 2022 | IN Media Release and News | BY AVID | 3 min read

Australia’s new house and land market has headed back to the future, with buyers returning to The Great Australian Dream of the 80s and 90s – a home in the suburbs, with lots of land, and a stylish living space.

According to one of Australia’s largest residential land developers, AVID Property Group, the COVID- 19 pandemic has retro-shaped the desires of new house and land buyers.

AVID Property Group Project Director New South Wales Nathan Huon said while the 2000s saw many Australians downsize, head to the inner city and embrace apartment living, the pandemic has really turned this on its head, as people spend more and more time in their own homes and neighbourhoods.

“Put frankly, people have been feeling cooped up and they want out,” Mr Huon said.

“They want a backyard for play and entertaining and they want a home that they enjoy living in day-in day-out, which is more akin to homes designed in the 80s and 90s. Modern twists include ceiling heights that maximise light and in-home workspaces.

“Today people need to accommodate work from home for multiple individuals, home schooling, plus separate areas for older and younger family members.

“This is definitely a trend we are seeing at our Waterford community in Chisholm, East Maitland with 18 per cent of purchasers this financial year to date, hailing from larger cities, looking for space to expand.”

The Federal Productivity Commission’s report1 found that 40 per cent of Australians worked from home during the pandemic and many of these will continue to work from home or adopt more flexible working arrangements after the pandemic.

“This data is supported in the conversations that our team and our builder partners are having with buyers in the sales office,” Mr Huon said.

“In many ways it’s these pandemic-induced trends, as well as population growth, that are putting the extreme pressure on the suburban and regional local governments to identify and release more land.

“Our larger blocks literally sell out the moment they are put to market and a lot of enquiries for these lifestyle blocks are coming from people who are moving away from cities and want space, both inside their home and outside.”

Sales Manager at Hunter Valley builder McDonald Jones Homes, Daniel King, supports this trend and said the pandemic had fundamentally changed the home design preferences of new home buyers.

1 Australian Government Productivity Commission Report, 2021

“The biggest change we have seen is buyers wanting to upsize after being cooped up inside for so long,” Mr King said.

“Residents are seeking houses with the room to dedicate solely to a workspace – like a study nook or home office.

“As well, double-storey homes and features like rake and void ceilings have become very popular trends among buyers as they emphasise natural light and give that immediate sense of spaciousness despite being inside.

“Home offices faded in popularity in the 1990s but have made a significant comeback due to the pandemic and more people working from home. Almost any variation of a home office or workspace will add value to a home, and it’s probably the most requested feature we are seeing in all new home designs.”

To find out more about Waterford by AVID Property Group, visit www.waterfordliving.com.au.

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