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As the clock struck midnight on Jan 1, we almost heard a collective sigh of relief. But it seems the changes brought on by the virus in 2020 will continue to change how we live and where and when we’ll buy in 2021.

We’re already seeing new listings come online and can expect a strong start to Autumn sales after a late finish last year. We’re also likely to see auction season run right from the start of Spring through to the end of December.

Despite a few outbreaks recently, buyers’ enthusiasm has not waned. Credit to the Government agencies swift handling of the cases. And as vaccines continue to get rolled out across the US, UK and soon in Australia, we can expect this confidence to remain. The bargain basement interest rates aren’t hurting one bit.

There’s ongoing speculation about a strong rebound in the economy and the housing market, which is causing buyers to jump at purchasing their next home or investment. We’re also seeing changes to the lending rules, which will make it even easier to borrow – so you can bet your bottom dollar that will inspire buyers to take the plunge.

When our stranded folk overseas land home in Aus, it’ll definitely create some movement. There are almost 40,000 Australians on the waiting list to return home as soon as poss. This will hopefully make up for the lack of immigration to our shores.

Looking back at 2020, we can really see how COVID has been a massive catalyst for change in the property market. Our lives, ideas and values have changed and it’s changed our perspective on what we need in a property. People are demanding more space (the great Australian dream is back!), safer spaces and homes that are more equipped to handle working from home.

Safety is a big one. Due to the virus, Australians are valuing the safety of space more than ever before, with a Westpac survey showing 77% would now prefer to live in a house. 

While many of us are now seeking the ¼ acre block, the reality of cost still hits home for many. So, apartment living won’t entirely lose its appeal due to affordability and location for some buyers.

Back on the topic of safety though, developers are already recognising the need to de-risk buildings. Using biometric scanners that recognise handprints, Dexus has created the first touchless entry building in Australia with the Gateway office tower in Sydney’s Circular Quay.

In the housing market, home builder, McCarthy Homes has incorporated wet rooms, mud rooms and spray rooms into their new Hampton Homes range, allowing people to remove outerwear and sanitise before entering their brand new homes.  

Now that we can all work from home, the outer suburbs of our major cities, once seen as unfashionable, are becoming more desirable due to their peace and privacy relative to inner city areas. Not having to live close to the office sure has its benefits – namely saving money on your property price. The outer suburbs with good transport options are expected to thrive.

The last major big change we can expect to see is multigenerational living. Last year we saw many young people returning home after things got tough. It’s inspired a trend for multi-generational homes – bigger homes – killing the parents plan to downsize! We’re also expected to see homes with granny flats etc to increase in popularity.

This COVID thing really has rocked us. Shaken up our values for the better in many cases. We can expect it to have a lasting impact on the property market too. It’s changed how we’ll live forever.

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