The Future of Housing in a Post Pandemic World

The homes that we know and love are a result of adaptation and discovery, particularly through periods such as the Spanish Flu in 1920. Impacting millions of people, designers adapted their floor plans and materials to include easier to clean surfaces for simpler and more effective sanitisation. Thus, subway tile and linoleum made their mark on the housing industry. Homes are still transforming today, adapting to the climate, the state of the world, the digital age, and most recently – the threat of a worldwide pandemic.

As the impact of Coronavirus changes and develops week by week, most major cities and even small country towns have experienced a hit to their economy, lives and livelihoods. As of July 2021, we are yet to see the full impact on the housing market, but early predictions have made one thing abundantly clear – the price, availability, structure, and even materials of new homes have changed for the foreseeable future. With housing being the biggest source of wealth for many Australians, it’s important to keep up to date with what’s happening within the housing industry. We’re here to help with facts and predictions for what you can expect for the future of construction.

Early Predictions…

The housing market is generally slower to reflect the economic climate than other assets such as stock or bonds. This was particularly true during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, where landlords froze rental payments, banks put a temporary halt on mortgage payments, and there was a general moratorium on evictions. However, the market is likely to feel the effects for longer, with people either fleeing for where the grass is greener or feeling an urge to stay put, leaving the housing market somewhat unsteady. According to early predictions by The University of Melbourne, the price of residential properties across all major cities will fall by up to 6% – particularly within Melbourne and Sydney, as can be seen below.

Predicted quarterly growth rates in Australian residential property price indices

Statistics show a fall in prices by up to 6% (Image Credit)

With low interest rates and the threat of stay-at-home orders becoming a regular phenomenon, the Housing Industry Association has become flooded with requests from builders to extend their building timeframe contracts, as more and more people want to build despite the lack of supplies and the inconvenience of lockdowns. Additionally, future homeowners are looking to utilise every square inch of their property, which often inspires them to build their homes from scratch.

The Facts…

As of July 2021, Sydney and much of NSW are back in lockdown. Winter is a traditionally slower period for buying and selling homes, and this most recent lockdown simply means those eager to buy will have to buy sight unseen or request a digital house tour. However, statistics from a similar lockdown in Melbourne revealed a massive spike in the housing and construction market as soon as the lockdown ended. Typically, the housing markets in Melbourne and Sydney have followed the same trends, remaining stable for the first few weeks of lockdown, only to drop dramatically as residents realise the lockdown is here to stay, with plans to take advantage of the market once lockdown ends.

In Melbourne, sales fell by a whopping 70% by week 11 of their first lockdown, to increase to almost double the number of sales of pre-lockdown by the time restrictions eased. Such Melbourne trends are the best example Sydneysiders have, giving hope to potential sellers that their opportunity to sell, build or relocate isn’t lost.

As of April 2021, house prices in both Sydney and Melbourne are still much higher than they were in April of 2019. There will likely be a slight slowdown of house prices immediately post lockdown, but ultimately – they will likely return to what is considered normal for Sydney homes, costing an average of $349,000 to build a home. This provides an opportunity for buyers to act quickly, and for sellers to wait and take advantage of the impending post lockdown sales boom.

Adaptable homes for a bright future…

The construction industry has had to adapt more than ever with limits on overseas supplies, sudden lockdowns, and operation restrictions. A return to business as usual is unlikely for much of the construction industry, and builders and designers alike are finding new and exciting ways to stay ahead of the changing tides.

The percentage of people permanently working from home has increased by 20% in New South Wales, leading the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies to predict that the number of people commuting will lessen by up to 30% overall.

This trend is an exciting prospect for the future of housing, with designers and savvy future homeowners altering their designs to embrace the new normal that life post-pandemic presents. Offsite building, advancements in technology, and an acceleration towards sustainable practices are likely, along with unique floorplans. Homebuilders are enjoying additions in areas such as the entryway – with temperature-controlled storage for packages and food deliveries, a sanitisation station, and strategically designed mudrooms to limit the potential for germs entering the household. Homeowners can design the perfect home office to include everything they will need for a successful workday – including spaces such as a soundproof Zoom room. Overall, people are living their lives within their homes more than ever before, and the design and construction of houses reflect this.

The New South Wales government has anticipated the potential impact on the housing market and introduced the First Home Owners Scheme to assist those wanting to buy. This scheme offers different rates for an empty block or existing home and can be a great way to enter the housing market.

 

Our Hunter 29 design featuring a front room study

If you’re looking to create a house design that will serve your family perfectly and to take advantage of the post-pandemic boom, we can help.

With Vision Homes, you will receive a fixed price guarantee, meaning your build will stay the same price no matter what is going on in the world, and there will be no hidden costs or budget blowouts along any step of the way. You will receive the personalised experience that you deserve, along with the range of materials and suppliers that you need to create your dream home with no limitations. We will work within your budget to achieve your goals. (For our tips for building a cost-effective home, visit our blog here.)

Our plans are fully customisable and include the option to create your design from scratch, making your home perfect for every stage of life. You can have confidence that you will be getting the exact home you need, want and deserve, with our experienced and passionate design team.

For more information on how we can help you to make the most of the post-pandemic housing market – contact us.