Australians are looking for grandma’s apartments and gardens, says new report

The influence of the pandemic on the real estate market is being felt in more ways than one, shows a new report from Domain in the NSW housing market.

New South Wales’ Spotlight report shows Australia’s most expensive state is finally down for house prices after a long recovery.

Australians are also changing their housing habits after experiencing the realities of lockdown, prioritizing outdoor spaces and coastal suburbs. Top ten search terms including ‘pool’, ‘balcony’ and ‘garden’ in Sydney and the NSW region demonstrate the desire to stop being stuck indoors.

What are people looking for in their property?

The results show some differences between property searches in Sydney and wider NSW. The first of the two is the classic search term “pool”, popular in both rural and urban areas. Other search terms in the top ten for Regional NSW and Sydney include ‘granny flat’, ‘waterfront’, ‘view’ and ‘new’.

The desire for additional space is clear. While Sydneysiders are more likely to search for properties with the search terms ‘balcony’, ‘garden’ and ‘courtyard’, Regional NSW has seen demand for prime locations with key terms like ‘river’, ‘beach and “water view” all adding to the top ten. The growing work-from-home trend has also played into the property market, with ‘study’ being the second most popular search term for Sydney properties in 2022.

What has changed in the NSW property market?

Although changes in house prices have been seen across the country throughout the pandemic, NSW has seen some real extremes. The three suburbs that have seen the strongest price growth are all NSW hotspots – units in Byron Bay are up 104.3%, units in Jindabyne are up 77.2% and homes in Mollymook are up. increased by 62.4%.

Although there has been a slowdown, it is minor compared to price growth. Take the median house price in Sydney which has fallen by $315,000 – having gained $927,000 in the 12 months before the peak.

It is, however, a small relief. The time a property will stay on the market also seems to be slowing down (with the exception of units in Sydney, which remain the same). Sydney homes spend an average of 8 days longer on the market, with regional NSW homes also taking an extra day on average to sell.

New South Wales has been largely affected by changing migration patterns throughout COVID-19. With more people leave australia than arriving for the first time since 1946, Sydney was disproportionately affected. Demand in the NSW and interstate region continues to be fueled by a desire to work from home or break away from an urban lifestyle, while a lack of international immigration provides more room in the property market.

That said, it’s easy to see the difference between today’s real estate market and that of two years ago. Currently, 62% of Sydney homes and 16% of NSW regional homes have a median price above $1 million, up from 44% and 1% five years ago, respectively. 91% of suburbs have seen housing prices rise more annually than incomes, and that figure is 33% for unit prices.

Meanwhile, NSW has introduced changes to tax options for first-time buyers, in which property tax can be opted for stamp duty. This could come at a welcome time, as the Domain report notes changes to state stamp duty: “Since 2002, house prices in Sydney have risen 280% while the cost of stamp duty has risen of 406%”.

Due to the nature of NSW as Australia’s largest state economy, there are points of difference to other property and rental markets across the country, and we can gain important insights by making a few comparisons simple.

Overall, the New South Wales market may be changing, but it appears to be a smooth turn – not a dramatic fall.

Looking to save on your mortgage? Our Home Loan Change and Savings Calculator is a great resource. Check out our picks for Australia’s best home loans or read our guide to buying your first home.

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