21 Aug 2020

Survey reveals demand for home office space growing during COVID-19

A survey by the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) has revealed the nation’s top ten property features on buyer wish lists. By collating answers from Australia’s leading accredited buyer’s agents from across Australia, the results give a topical insight into how COVID-19 is changing buyer wish lists.

Not surprisingly office space is a growing consideration as a new consciousness of the need for separating work and living areas in the home is evolving quickly.

The top 10 property features on buyer wish lists include:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Outdoor entertaining area
  3. Home Office
  4. Multiple living areas (minimum two)
  5. Bedrooms
  6. Flat level backyard
  7. Ensuite
  8. Natural light
  10. Large land footprint

REBAA president Cate Bakos said two years ago the home office did not even make the top 10.

She said demand for properties that could accommodate workspaces had grown significantly since the onset of COVID-19 restrictions and believed it would be a permanent trend.

“Buyers are looking for a quiet space to work from home, specifically a space away from the family living area, whether this be a separate office or an extra bedroom that can accommodate this,” said Ms Bakos.

“No longer is a study nook, or a small allocated space for a desk a suitable alternative for a professional and/or creative worker. We are now seeing a heightened demand for second study spaces, more generously proportioned co-working spaces in the home and a sharp focus on internet connectivity.

“The direct impact for buyers who desire additional bedrooms or second living spaces for their work from home requirements comes down to budget and where affordability leads them. Unchanged budget and increased internal floor areas spells a location change for some, or a switch from small house to generous apartment for others.”

The survey also revealed a keen desire for larger kitchen layouts with more people cooking at home.

“Kitchens have always been high on buyer wish lists but we’re definitely seeing a trend in demand for much larger kitchen spaces,” said Ms Bakos.

“A renewed interest in cooking, including a self-sufficient lifestyle for some, is stronger now than it has been in past years. You only need to look at the isolation photos on social media which are showcasing home-cooked meals from baked bread to impressive breakfasts and dinners to understand why there is increased demand.”