Waterfront suburbs and affordable family-friendly areas topped buyers’ most desired locations during April, while pools, courtyards and a study remain firmly on their must-have list, data from Domain shows.
The rising interest rate and various housing schemes proposed during the election campaign have likely fuelled buyers’ interest in the affordable end of the market, but the housing preferences riggered by the pandemic continued to dominate what and where people were buying, Domain’s chief of research and economics Nicola Powell said.
“The higher interest rate and tighter lending have reduced buyers’ borrowing capacity, so they would have to look at what and where they can afford,” she said.
“In the lead-up to the election, we saw many policies around first time buyer incentives, which would have likely prompted buyers to seek out affordable areas.”
Sydney’s eastern suburbs of Randwick, Maroubra and Paddington have attracted the largest number of buyer inquiries, while Mosman, Lane Cove and Chatswood were also popular. Coincidentally, demand for apartments has also risen in those suburbs in recent months.
In Melbourne, Southbank, South Yarra and Docklands gained the most inquiries, but the outer ring suburbs of Tarneit, Werribee and Craigieburn also notched strong buyer interest.
Across Queensland, Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast received the largest number of inquiries from buyers, although the top 10 most inquired areas in the state was dominated by affordable suburbs such as Upper Coomera, Kallangur, Caboolture and Redbank Plains.
“I think as the interest rate starts to rise, buyers are taking a cautious approach to buying, so they are going back to the low-budget, low-risk strategy,” said Zoran Solano, Brisbane-based buyer’s agent with Hot Property Specialist.
“I think people are looking to lower their exposure to interest rate rises, so cheaper markets will benefit from that heightened demand for affordable homes.”
Similarly, in SA, Christies Beach and Henley Beach ranked high among buyers but the cheaper areas popular among investors such as Munno Para West and Davoren Park also raced to the top of the list.
For the most desired features, buyers still want pools, waterfront and outdoor spaces when buying a home, Domain’s analysis shows.
“Australian homebuyers are largely driven by lifestyle. That’s why searches such as “pools”, “waterfront” and “view” always come up on top of the list,” Domain’s Dr Powell said.
Even as people started returning to the office, many knowledge-based workers were choosing to continue working from home at least a few days a week, and they wanted the space to do so, said Bronwen Lipscombe, selling agent with DiJones Wahroonga in Sydney’s upper north shore.
“I think there’s certainly some trends that came out of COVID-19 that have remained, in particular space for at least one home office, because even though a lot of the people are returning to work, they’re only going back two to three days a week, and that means they need to be able to function and perform their role from home,” she said.
“For some families they need three home offices – one each for mum and dad and another one for the kids to do their homework. So, that’s certainly been one of the things that remained as a key search criteria.”
Buyers are also prioritising granny flats as a must-have feature, likely sparked by the desire for extra space, but also the potential for additional income, chief executive of buyer’s agency Propertybuyer Rich Harvey said.
“We’re getting massive interest in granny flats because of the potential for secondary income, especially as interest rates start to rise,” he said.
“People want that extra income to help pay the mortgage fast, although some people also want to use that space for extended family members as housing becomes unaffordable.”
Lauren Goudy, buyer’s agent with Rose & Jones, said buyers were becoming more picky as the pressure to buy dissipated.
“Properties that don’t have outdoor space, in need of renovation or are overly priced are being shunned at the moment,” she said.
“Buyers want a livable home, with good natural light and workable layout. They definitely don’t want to renovate in this market.”
This article is from Australian Financial Review, please click the following link for the original article: https://www.afr.com/property/residential/what-home-buyers-want-now-20220524-p5ao5f