Recent data from realestate.com.au has highlighted a growing trend among Australian home buyers. They are now seeking properties that offer spaciousness and flexibility, allowing for extended family living or the potential to generate rental income. The keyword search data revealed a significant increase in searches for homes with self-contained living spaces such as granny flats or studios. Additionally, swimming pools were found to be the most desirable feature for houses, while balconies topped the list for apartment buyers.
The search behavior reflects the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where buyers are looking for larger homes with more amenities. However, it is also driven by the cost-of-living crisis, with mortgage rates increasing and household budgets tightening. As a result, some buyers are seeking properties capable of generating rental income to offset loan repayments. Investors, on the other hand, are targeting high-yielding properties to maximize returns in a market with high rents and low vacancies.
The data also showed that different regions have varying preferences. Queensland had a 40% increase in searches for dual living, while Western Australia saw a 37% increase in searches for duplex properties. Searches for granny flats increased in all states, with the highest increases in Victoria and South Australia.
A dual living property refers to a property with two separate homes under one roof, providing accommodation for multigenerational households or the opportunity to live in one home while renting out the other. A granny flat, on the other hand, is a self-contained dwelling typically located in the backyard of a house, used to house family members or rented out in some states.
While swimming pools remained the most searched keyword for house buyers, balconies were highly desirable for apartment buyers. Balconies became particularly sought-after during the pandemic, providing outdoor spaces and connections to the surrounding environment. Other significant features included air conditioning, especially in warmer states, and garages, both for parking convenience and security.