The economic recession from the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious restrictions in the ways people can spend their money.
Because of the ‘per person square meterage’ restrictions, we can’t go out to eat or attend sporting events like we used to and the closure of domestic and international borders have made travelling challenging whereas pre-pandemic it was a luxury that many Australians indulge in each year.
With borrowing costs at record lows – and not likely to recover in the near future – and restrictions on movement and spending, it looks like a growing number of Australians are thinking of putting their surplus funds into real estate.
The total search volumes on realestate.com.au were higher compared to the previous year and price-filtered searches are also on the rise.
An increase in filtered searches shows new buyer desires
The shifting nature of search behaviour throughout Australia over the last year can be seen in searches for properties listed for sale with a price filter.
Majority of searches performed on realestate.com.au are carried out with no price filters, but the site still get a massive amount of searches carried out with these filters and they can offer important insight into the changing nature of the property market.
The following are six trends that realestate.com.au is getting in the price filter search data:
- A higher share of searches at lower price points
In September 2019, 32.9% of price-filtered searches nationwide recorded the highest price of $500,000 or less, compared to 33.7% in September 2020.
- Increase in searches for homes valued at over $1 m
In September 2020, 23.1% of price-filtered searches recorded a maximum search price of over $1 million, versus 21.2% in the same year-ago period.
- Increased searches above $1 m in the capital cities than regional markets
In September 2020, 21.2% of all price-filtered searches for capital cities were for homes priced at over $1 million, up from 10.6% of searches across regions in the country.
- Change in searches over $1 m higher in regional markets
There were greater searchers for homes priced at over $1 million in capital cities, but regional markets have enjoyed a much greater growth in their share of $1 million searches over the last year.
The price-filtered searches for homes listed above $1 million in the combined regional markets rose from 8.9% in September 2019 to 10.6% in September 2020. The share in the capital city markets has increased from 20.8% to 21.2%.
- Lower searches in excess of $1 m in Melbourne but regional Vic increased
In Melbourne, the proportion of price-filtered searches for home above $1 million has dropped from 21.4% in September 2019 to 20.0% in 2020.
Meanwhile, searches for homes above $1 million in regional Victoria have risen from 6.1% of price-filtered searches in 2019 to 7.1% in 2020.
Darwin and regional Northern Territory are the only two places beyond Melbourne to have posted a decline in the proportion of price-filtered searches for homes listed above $1 million over the last year.
- Higher searches for $1 m homes across NSW
In Sydney, the share of price-filtered searches for homes above $1 million rose by 250 basis points from 2019, increasing from 38.2% to 40.7%.
In the NSW regions, the growing frequency of searches for $1 million homes has been even greater in Sydney with the volume of these searches increasing from 11.3% in 2019 to 14.0% in 2020.
What do these search trends mean?
There is chatter that working for home will become a more constant feature of Australian employment and that may motivate people to retreat from capital cities.
Out of the total price-filtered searches, searches for capital city searches were nearly twice as high than regional market searches. However, the share of capital city searches has increased by 23% from 2019 compared to a 46% growth in regional searches.
The figures also mean that it isn’t just people who had been priced out of the capital cities who are likely considering a move to regional markets, considering the major change in the share of searches for homes priced above $1 million.
If you have a home in Regional Newcastle/Lake Macquarie over $1 million and are thinking of selling, then now might be the best time for you to take advantage of the surplus of buyers in the price range. Call me today to discuss the opportunity of selling your home to one of these buyers, many of which are cashed up!