It has almost been one year since the global pandemic forced the majority of Australians to relocate their work commitments to their home, in attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.
For most Australians, working from home was unfamiliar territory, with many concerned about how so many businesses would cope with the need to adapt so suddenly.
During the time the work from home initiative was in place, many businesses discovered that there were benefits of having employees working from home, even if only one or two days a week on a regular basis.
A study conducted by Swinburne University for the Fair Work Commission found that only 5% of workers who worked from home want to return full-time in the office once the pandemic has concluded.
After many months since the work from home rule was lifted, many businesses have continued to incorporate working from home into their workplace operations.
With the increased flexibility in working arrangements, homeowner interests and priorities have shifted.
Prior to the pandemic, it was in many homeowners interests to live closer to the CBD to minimise their work commute.
However, now that many businesses have adopted flexible working arrangements permanently, there is less demand for living so close to the city.
Instead, many are seeking to move to suburban or regional living where they can have increased privacy and larger blocks of land. The number of Australians moving from capital cities to regional areas is the highest its been for 20-years.
Minimising the commute to work is not as high on the list of priorities as it once was, leaving the property market in CBDs weak experiencing a substantial decrease in demand.
In fact, many residents from highly populated cities with high numbers of COVID-19 such as Melbourne are moving to smaller cities such as Adelaide where the COVID-19 effect is less prominent.
Another change in the housing market is an increase in demand for home office spaces.
With some people permanently working from home, and others preparing for another work from home order, having an office space in a home is in high demand.
According to Commonwealth Bank, there have been a huge increase in home renovations and alterations where homeowners are creating working spaces at home.
Since the beginning of 2020, Commonwealth Banks data has shown a 70% increase in lending for home alterations and additions.
With no real end in sight for COVID-19, it is likely the demand for home work spaces and regional living will only increase.
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