Living through a pandemic has changed our view on many things. From wanting a better work life balance and more focus on health, wellness and exercise, to a greater desire to learn more and the need to connect online.
But it also changed how we live, with flexible working arrangements helping turn long-term dreams of escaping to the country into reality. Holiday rental giant, Airbnb, has responded by changing the way it works, while real estate agents across Australia are already reporting significant spikes in demand for properties in rural areas.
Here’s a closer look at how COVID-19 has changed the way we live.
The rise of the digital nomad
With lockdowns forcing employees to stay home, most people discovered that it wasn’t that hard working away from the office. While in the past, remote working was largely left to digital nomads – mostly travellers who work wherever they are – with a return to the new normal, many Australian businesses have continued this way of working.
Airbnb is jumping onto this opportunity, reporting nearly a quarter of all Airbnb bookings being made are for 28 days or longer, as people discover they don’t need to be tethered to one location to live and work.
“Millions and millions of people are staying and living at Airbnb listings on a monthly basis,” says Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, who views this as a shift from travel to “living”.
“I think eventually in the future people will start paying for rent the way they pay for cable television, or for Netflix, you pay on a month-to-month basis,” he says, the idea being that more people are going to want flexibility and the ability to parachute into a destination and live like a local.
Earlier in May 2021, the company made changes to how it works, announcing more flexible booking options, a faster onboarding process for hosts, and greater access to support for Super Hosts.
“We just think there’s this huge inflection point in travel brought on by the pandemic,” says Chesky. “And so we wanted to adapt our service to this changing world and kind of really ride this wave.”
Moving to the country
If the current property market is anything to go by, COVID-19 has also changed our attitudes towards the home - quite possibly as a result of us having to spend more time there!
Not only are home buyers looking for innovative spaces that can incorporate both work and home life – think smaller apartments with increased natural light and more indoor / outdoor flow. But features – like a bigger section, more land for the kids to play in the backyard or room to add a pool – have become increasingly appealing.
This change in attitude has led to thousands of people moving out of popular, pricey urban areas, and taking advantage of the ability to work remotely from a cheaper location. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has reported its largest net inflow of people into the regions since 2001.
In 2020, a net 43,000 Australians moved to regional areas from capital cities – more than double 2019 figures. ABS demographer, Andrew How, says the figures imply that there is a pandemic impact on internal migration patterns.
Get the right advice
Whatever stage of the home buying process you’re at, be sure to get the right advice every step of the way. Get in touch with the team at Mortgage Express and a mortgage broker in your area will be in touch to set up a meeting time. Mortgage Express mortgage brokers have access to a panel of lending options, and can help you find the right lender and guide you through the home buying process so you can make informed decisions about your financial future.
While all care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information and no responsibility is taken by Finservice Pty Ltd (Mortgage Express) for any errors or omissions. This publication does not constitute personalised financial advice. It may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Nothing in this publication is, or should be taken as, an offer, invitation, or recommendation to buy, sell, or retain any investment in or make any deposit with any person. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt within this publication. A Disclosure Statement is available on request and free of charge.
Finservice Pty Ltd (Mortgage Express) is authorised as a corporate credit representative (Corporate Credit Representative Number 397386) to engage in credit activities on behalf of BLSSA Pty Ltd (Australian Credit Licence number 391237) ACN 123 600 000 | Full member of MFAA | Member of Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) | Member of Choice Aggregation Services.