COVID-19 is changing the way Australians live, work and play. Because of the imposed restrictions and global mandate to work from home, Australians have spent more time in their homes in 2020 than ever before. According to our third phase of research exploring the impacts of COVID-19, the time spent at home is not likely to reduce in a hurry. Three in five Australians (61%) are looking for a degree of flexibility in their working arrangements with a mix of working from home and in the office or workplace in the future.
How do Australians rate the experience of their home during the pandemic?
Overall, Australians have found the experience of their home during lockdown, working from home and other COVID-19 restrictions to be a positive one. More than four in five Australians have found the atmosphere and ambience of their home (84%), their household members (82%) and the size both overall and of rooms (80%) to be positive.
While the overall experience has been positive, the type of housing does play a part in this. Australians in detached homes are more likely than Australians living in apartments or townhouses to rate all aspects of their current living situation positively. The areas of greatest difference highlight size (74% apartment/townhouse cf. 84% detached home) and price (66% apartment/townhouse cf. 76% detached home) as the areas where apartment/townhouse dwellers have had a less positive experience than detached home dwellers.
Australians look to move into homes that have more of what they value
In the next year or two, half of Australians (50%) plan on looking for a new home to rent or buy that incorporates more of what they value, with more than one in five (22%) extremely/very likely to do so.
Apartment/townhouse dwellers (29%) are more likely than detached home dwellers (18%) to be extremely/very likely to look for a new home in the next year or two. The need for homes to be multifunctional may be driving this change, with Australians who have worked from home (31%) being twice as likely as those who haven’t to look for a new place to call home (15% extremely/very likely).
It will be interesting to see what the long-term implications of COVID-19 will be on the housing choices of Australians. As a greater proportion of the workforce work from their homes, Australians may in fact upsize rather than downsize for the extra study option. Additionally, we may see a trend of Aussies moving further from the city as remote working and lifestyle options impact where Australians choose to live moving forward.