At Cohen Handler, we are cautiously optimistic that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. But the real estate market, and the wider Australian economy, will certainly have its work cut out for some time yet. No market has escaped the effects of the pandemic. But now is the time to take a closer look at what all this has meant for the future of real estate in Australia.
The Buyer Experience
Firstly, let’s take a look at the more immediate factors that have been reshaping the buyer experience.
This is an area that has seen the most recognisable changes. The need for social distancing and the risks associated with in-person contact have pushed all kinds of changes to the street level real estate experience. Savvy realtors have found themselves having to get creative in order to give prospective buyers an opportunity to see what they are investing in.
We’ve seen a push toward virtual tours and remotely driven sales funnels. And while their primary function has been to assist people in maintaining social distancing, we see the use of these technologies carrying well into the post-COVID-19 landscape.
Those organisations that have positioned themselves as the go-between for offshore or inter-state investors stand to perform strongly in the coming six to twelve months. As it is experience in handling remote sales that is best complemented by technology that permits remote virtual tours. But even local buyers may benefit from the emergence of virtual walkthroughs. Simply the opportunity to virtually revisit a property of interest at a convenient time will make all the difference to those playing the longer real estate game.
More broadly, we see the post-COVID-19 economic landscape pushing a change in the demographics that you may come to expect vying for their first step in the real estate market.
The past decades have seen the conditions set poorly for those young professionals seeking to purchase their first property. The four traditional points of deliberation – price, location, size and quality of the existing dwelling – have not lined up with the lifestyles that so many of those within this demographic have seen as their desired path forward.
Location is one of those four main criteria that govern any real estate decision. But there is some speculation that location is going to become less of a factor for many buyers. Not in the least for those who may have otherwise been competing for inner-city properties. We see the post-COVID-19 market pushing young professionals, young families, and investors looking to rent out their property to revisit how attached they are to the idea of ‘it’ suburbs – changing the demographics you can expect to see in the suburban and regional markets.
Whether or not Australia is set to experience an end to its enviable growth streak is yet to be fully determined. But we are confident in our read that the current dip in the market is not set to last. For so many battling with affordability, now would appear the time that best suits a leap into the real estate market.
What Speaks to Value?
The conversation about ‘the death of the office’ has quietened down somewhat. But it’s important to recognise that we’re now buying and selling in a market filled with people that know they can do their jobs from home. Isolation, remote work, the knowledge that the ‘new normal’ may not look at all like the office job of the 2010’s. All of it is pushing new entrants to the market to consider what they want from their purchase, and what they are prepared to pay.
Patterns such as these are going to push some as yet unpredictable changes in the market. But, even for the areas where property values have remained otherwise stable through the pandemic, we’re expecting to see gentler upward sweeps in average value.
It’s not just pre-existing homes that are going to become the focus here. We’re expecting the common attitude to design and new builds to shift as well. Where an office might have seemed an outmoded inclusion in a new build prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect that an office or designated work area is going to be a must-have in any new builds going forward.
Get in Touch with Cohen Handler
Cohen Handler is where you’ll find the support you are looking for in making your next moves in the property market. Our services are unparalleled, and they are made so by a team of experienced real estate professionals that know the market well.
Our services include operating as a buyer’s agent, engaging in buyer advocacy, property management and auction bidding. If it’s property, we can assist you in getting the result you want. Speak to the team at Cohen Handler today on 1300 420 160 or email at [email protected].