How COVID-19 Has Changed Australian Home Ownership Goals

Published by Otto Dargan on July 13, 2020

Research conducted by Westpac and ING has revealed what Australians want in their next home, where they want to buy and how they have reignited their dreams of home ownership due to the pandemic. 

Recent research by Westpac revealed that COVID-19 restrictions have impacted what Australians want in their next home: 

  • 27% want a backyard 
  • 20% want a separate study area 
  • 18% are looking for entertainment areas 
  • 15% want a large kitchen 

Anthony Hughes, Westpac’s Managing Director of Mortgages noted, “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.”

With the recent $25,000 HomeBuilder grant announcement, home owners are considering a major renovation to upgrade their existing homes to meet their requirements. 

If you want to use the HomeBuilder grant for renovations:  

  • The value of the renovation must be between $150,000 to $750,000 and the total value of your existing home and land should not exceed $1.5 million.
  • Knockdown rebuilds are accepted. 
  • Renovation must improve accessibility, liveability and safety of the property.
  • Cosmetic renovations (like landscaping) may not be accepted. 
  • You cannot build something that is not attached to your home like swimming pools, tennis courts, granny flat, spa, shed, etc. 

You can view the full eligibility criteria on our HomeBuilder page.

What are the ideal home features in a post-pandemic Australia?

Anthony notes, “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.” 

According to Westpac’s research, the ideal home in a post-pandemic Australia has the following features: 

Type of features What features are considered important due to COVID-19?
Property features Backyard

Study area

Outdoor entertainment area

Large kitchen

Balcony

Suburb features Closer to local parks or shops

Less populated

Closer to walking tracks

Larger properties

Closer to the coastline or beaches

Features Australians used for the first time Garden

Backyard

Study room or area

Outdoor entertainment area

Garage

Even ING’s research noted that 68% of Australians would require more space to be fully comfortable at home. 

38% are looking at the following changes to accommodate their needs like redecorating, renovating or setting up a permanent home office. 

Our mortgage brokers can help you with your renovation plans. They are experts in home loans to renovate an existing property

Call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form.

Where do Australians want to buy?

In a post-pandemic world, Australians are less likely to live in higher-density areas. 

Westpac research shows 77% of respondents would prefer to live in a house due to COVID-19, compared to just 22% who in 2019 said they prefered an inner-city or urban area.

As more Australians are working from home, some of them with families living under one roof; spacious living is a top priority. 

  • 34% prefer to live somewhere less populated. 
  • 31% prefer to live closer to parks or shops 
  • 20% prefer to live in suburbs with larger properties. 

ING’s research revealed that the pandemic has reignited the dream of homeownership among Australian millennials. 

According to ING, over 2.3 million Aussies and one in three millennials plan to buy a property within the next two years. Of these millennials: 

  • 50% would consider living on city fringes and outer suburbs. 
  • 22% would consider buying a smaller rental property in a cheaper area until they can afford a forever home. 
  • 9% would buy a property with their friend or family member. 

Australian millennials are optimistic about fulfilling their goals of homeownership. 46% agreed that COVID-19 has made ownership affordable and achievable since they are willing to make sacrifices to achieve their property goals.

For instance, 59% would redirect travel money towards a future home savings account and 35% would opt for fewer overseas travel and holidays. 

While low deposit remains a major barrier to climbing the property ladder, the pandemic has required 69% of prospective first home buyers to review their finances. 42% said they were able to save more while in lockdown. 

65% of those surveyed saved money during social isolation by commuting less, eating in and saving on childcare. 

Due to travel restrictions, 51% are redirecting their travel expenses to saving a deposit for their future home. 

Achieve your home ownership goals today

Are you looking to buy your first home? Our first home buyers guide helps you navigate your home buying journey. 

Get started on your home ownership journey with Home Loan Experts. 

Our award-winning mortgage brokers are here to help. Call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form. 

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