How has the pandemic changed the way buyers define home & community?

3 min
03 September 2020

A new Stockland survey[1] has found that since the onset of the pandemic, almost three in four Australians are rethinking the kind of home and neighbourhood they want to live in. More than 1 in 10 people are even thinking about moving somewhere that better suits their lifestyle and needs.

It seems COVID-19 has brought on a greater appreciation for the influence of our home and our community on our health. More than 80% of Australians say they are now more conscious that their home and environment is intrinsically linked to their wellbeing.

Australian social researcher, Dr Rebecca Huntley says “Our homes have always been important to us. Now they are our ‘everything’. As we continue to be limited in our ability to socialise in shopping centres, pubs, clubs and cafes as well as travel, our houses now have to fulfil these role."

Looking for more space inside and out

Spending more time at home has heightened Australians' need for space. 38% of surveyed Australians have become less satisfied with at least one aspect of their current home or neighbourhood. The main grievance is a lack of indoor and outdoor space with 62% of prospective buyers more likely to consider space-related features than before the pandemic.

This desire for space in the home extends to the wider community. People increasingly want to be near parks and green spaces with 62% of prospective buyers now more likely to consider this in their next home purchase. More than a third of respondents are also now prioritising space over proximity to CBDs (38%).

The home is the stage for everything we love and need to do. - Dr. Rebecca Huntley

Finding space within your community.

Finding space within your community.

While Australians are craving more open spaces, access to social and community facilities is still important with 54% of people more likely to consider proximity to schools, healthcare and shops in their next home purchase.

“This is where the Liveability of communities becomes more than a buzzword. We are seeing our communities in a new light following COVID-19. Houses and streets with light, space, a sense of security, community and spaces to interact with others have become vital,” says Dr Huntley.

Dreaming of home ownership

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic and recession, the great Australian dream of owning a home is still a priority for many, with 1 in 5 Australians reporting the pandemic has accelerated their plans to buy a house.

“COVID-19 has forced us all to reflect on many aspects of our lives, it’s a time of necessary and conscious change. Given the renewed importance of our homes, it’s no wonder we are acting on our desires to upgrade and improve our living, to ensure our home fits our lifestyle perfectly,” Dr Huntley says.

“Home ownership and belonging to the community where we live has always been a key aspiration for Australians. That's something even a pandemic can't change.” Dr Huntley concludes.

If you're considering buying or building a new home it is worthwhile understanding the incentives and schemes available in each State.

 [1]  Stockland Research August 2020 (N=1,199)