Home buyers turn focus back to the suburbs

The end of lockdowns has seen a shift in what is most important to Aussies when buying a new home.

A new NAB survey has identified weaker demand for property in regional areas as home buyers shift their attention back to the suburbs.

While greater work flexibility delivered a change in perceptions towards property in regional areas last year, NAB’s survey of property professionals found that buying in a metropolitan area (26 per cent) was now seen as more important than buying regionally (21 per cent).

“We know that lockdowns have reshaped how we live with many at home for longer periods,” said NAB’s executive of home ownership Andy Kerr.

“However, what we are now seeing is little green shoots of people returning to inner-city suburbs, looking for the balance of lifestyle and value as cities like Melbourne and Sydney have opened up. This has been aided by more subdued price growth in these areas.”

The amount that home buyers are prepared to borrow to buy a home was ranked as the most important factor nationally, according to 74 per cent of the property professionals surveyed.

Good local shopping, restaurants and amenities (62 per cent), buying a house instead of an apartment (53 per cent) and land size (52 per cent) also ranked highly with respondents.

“The trade-off between affordability and lifestyle has changed markedly throughout the pandemic, with choices around CBD proximity, additional space and price fluctuating over the last two years,” said Mr Kerr.

“It’s really important to look to the future for your lifestyle preferences to ensure the short-term hunt for value is the right choice for you long-term.”

The most important factors for home buyers varied significantly between states, with those in NSW and Victoria prioritising a study or work area, while those in Western Australia ranked buying a house instead of an apartment the highest.

“Victorians still clearly value good public transport more than other states, a result of the move to the outer suburbs or regions during the past 18 months,” he said.

“The size of the property was a much more important factor for Queenslanders, while South Australians were influenced by the amount they are prepared to borrow.”

Additionally, the amount that home buyers are prepared to borrow was found to be more important in South Australia than in the rest of the country.

NAB noted that there were now signs that property price growth is easing due to improved supply levels, aligning with recent predictions of significantly slower growth in 2022 compared to 2021.

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Article courtesy of Nestegg

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