Why lifestyle in 2020 is more important than ever.

As 2020 draws to a close, the way it has changed our lives will linger and influence the expectations buyers have of their perfect lifestyle property.
29-10-2020

Australian homes are likely to change forever because of COVID-19 and the way the pandemic has upended our lives.

With more people working at home, proximity to the city is no longer a priority with people embracing regional locations and the outer suburbs where a backyard is still affordable.

The layout of new homes is also evolving, with buyers favouring floor plans that include a dedicated study that can be closed off, a zone within the house with a bedroom and bathroom for self-isolation and multi-purpose spaces that can become home gyms or prayer rooms.

If we are thrown into lockdown again people want to be able to continue their normal routines at home should gyms, restaurants and places of worship shut down.

KR Peters Director Ian Harris said people were particularly keen for properties with a separate study that can easily be converted back to a bedroom.

"They want the study to be away from the kids' play area and living room and be able to close it off to make it easier to work from home," he explained.

"And now people are on Zoom on all the time, they want a nice feature wall or shelving with books and a couple of plants as a backdrop. Something nice to look at.

"There is also growing demand for a self-contained area within a home, almost like an extra master downstairs for instance with a full ensuite that can be used if a member of the family needs to isolate. When it's not being used for isolation, it can be used for guests or for multi-generational living.

"I've also seen an increased interest in having a multi-purpose room that can be used as a gym, prayer area, study or kids' playroom. It doesn't have to be a big space, but somewhere to flip out a yoga or prayer mat.

"2020 has been about utilising space better. People look at plans and how they can utilise space. They don't want huge rooms but versatile spaces," Mr Harris explained.

 A reasonably big backyard was also reappearing on buyers' wish lists.

"People want room to bowl a ball to their kids in the backyard and spend time outside. Because we were locked down over winter and restaurants were closed, families pulled down the alfresco blinds and dined outside. People want decks and a nice place to enjoy their meal."

Mr Harris predicted the pandemic would heighten demand for larger blocks or two storey dwellings so people can maximise green space on smaller blocks.

He believes demand for townhouses will remain strong, especially among retirees who want low maintenance living so they can travel, and among those who want a small city property combined with a larger rural property near the coast or in a tree-change location.

"People can't go overseas so they will travel around Australia (once borders reopen) for three or four months. To do that they want a low maintenance base that won't tie them down."

As 2020 draws to a close, the way it has changed our lives will linger and influence the expectations buyers have of their perfect lifestyle property.

"People have grown accustomed to spending a lot of time at home this year. They want their home to offer the lifestyle they enjoy. People are making buying decisions on the overall lifestyle the property offers and I think that will continue."