Buyers’ wishlists changing in Covid-19 world


Buyers seem to be looking for big back gardens and houses with home office spaces in the post-lockdown world, real estate commentators say.

With restrictions loosening, more real estate activity is happening again.

But what buyers want may be changing.

Bindi Norwell, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute, said she had heard buyers were looking for large outdoor areas, decks and homes with outdoor rooms or spa pools.

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“Additionally, homes with an office or study are also becoming highly sought-after as people realise the benefits of working from home and reducing their commute time,” she said.

Nigel Jeffries, head of Trade Me Property, said some people might be looking to shift after several weeks stuck at home.

“In some cases our homes haven’t proven up to the task and for those who have survived the lockdown and maintained jobs, we will be house hunting energetically the first chance we get.

“There will be some people who will be looking for a bigger property after several weeks stuck at home. They might decide they need more living space, want a home office, or have enjoyed being outside in the garden during lockdown and want more space.

“On the other hand, some Kiwis may have found they have a little too much space and they might be more inclined to consider downsizing to a smaller house or apartment, for example.

“Once we move to lower alert levels, we think there will be some Kiwis who decide to relocate after the lockdown has proven that they can work remotely successfully. This could see an increase in demand for properties in the traditionally quieter regions.”

People who've been stuck at home for weeks might be looking for a bigger property.

Not-For-Syndication

People who’ve been stuck at home for weeks might be looking for a bigger property.

Vanessa Taylor, spokeswoman for Realestate.co.nz, said there would be more online activity in the future. Buyers would do more research before they even went to see a property, she said.

“I believe that the minimum amount of media assets a vendor should have is a floor plan, 3D walkthrough and video. There is the opportunity for houses to be filmed at different times of the day so the buyers can get a full view of the home in different lights. Drone footage is also helpful should it be available to see around the home and get a full view the neighbourhood.

“I think that serious buyers will flock to platforms that support these types of mediums so they are most informed when eventually deciding which properties to go and view in person and make the most of the time they have on the property. There is risk associated to physically viewing property so I do believe more online research will be conducted and online marketing will be key to get your property to stand out.”

Norwell agreed. She said people had become used to virtual property tours and digital agreements.

“Some of these features even have positive benefits for the environment, such as using less paper for digital agreement or using less petrol as agents drive around the city to hand deliver agreements to clients and vendors, so hopefully we might see some of these technological advances here to stay.”

Real estate agent and blogger Andrew Duncan, of Relatable, said the real estate salespeople who thrived would be those who made the process easy on potential buyers by providing floor plans for every property, lots of photos online and virtual walkthroughs, as well as LIMs and builders’ reports where possible.

“Buyers will also appreciate when salespeople provide a high level of detail in their property adverts – including info like rates, floor areas, rental assessments, even average power bill figures. Providing this information upfront saves everyone time and ensures that sellers are opening their homes up to qualified buyers.

“In terms of property features – this new environment could make it harder to sell more ‘unusual’ properties that are hard to appreciate without visiting in person. Buyers may be quick to strike these homes off their watchlist which they might otherwise have visited and fallen in love with while roaming around Sunday open homes.”

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