New working conditions are changing the way buyers approach property.
Since March, large portions of the population are working from home full-time, while others are mixing days in the office and at home. Many companies have taken COVID-19 as an opportunity to rethink how they work, with some businesses implementing permanent work-from-anywhere policies.
These factors are certainly translating to the way buyers engage with property. Consequently, it’s impacting how we as buyer’s agents are looking at homes for our clients.
The standard property requirements have been extended to include an office or designated study space. I am personally working with 3 clients who’s briefs now include an office, or at the very least room for a desk.
In addition to the requirement for an office space, buyers are increasingly prioritizing outdoor space.
Where outdoor space is unavailable, properties with close proximity to parklands & natural areas are taking priority.
For instance, our client who is moving from Hong Kong is looking for a home with 3 bedrooms plus an office or 4th bedroom to be converted to an office. They’re also looking for accessibility to beaches or parks.
Another client is looking to move to Bondi Beach to get closer to the water. His work balance is 2 days at home and 3 days in the office, so he is looking for a 2-bedroom apartment with a larger living area to include a study area.
With these changes in working conditions in mind, we’re likely to see property developers and home builders put more emphasis on designated work areas.
In my opinion, existing properties with an office space will attract more buyer interest than properties without.
We have seen some fantastic examples of office spaces created in studios above garages, or rooms annexed off the garage. The front rooms of some traditional semis also being adapted into study rooms, particularly in extended properties with a second level for accommodation.
Whenever possible, we think home offices will add immense value to property.
As restrictions ease, the sentiment is that pandemic-induced work changes will at the very least be semi-permanent in many industries. Some companies have already given employees the option to work from home indefinitely. As such, increased flexibility & the new life balance will continue to motivate property purchases into the future.