Covid-19 has resulted in many changes to our lives and much uncertainty for the future. For those considering subdividing and/or developing this can be a cause of anxiety. Here at Boundary Consultants we work closely with our clients and draw on our experience and the latest industry developments to provide the best advice possible. So here are some of the possible changes in housing that we might expect to see in the near future.
The easing of Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) restrictions, the lowering of interest rates and a deflation of house prices may encourage more first home buyers. More rentals may be opening up too, as AirBnBs and similar short term rentals have been greatly reduced due to the reduction in the number of tourists. With international tourism unlikely to return to previous levels until a vaccination for Covid-19 can be found, this is a situation likely to continue for some time. On the whole we can expect people looking for longer term, flexible accommodation both for purchase and rent. So what exactly will people be looking for?
Covid-19 has changed how we see our homes and what we would like to get out of them. More people are working from home, something that is expected to become more common going forward. During lockdown more people took up cycling and it has been noted that more people have been cycling since lockdown. Cycling is something that many cities are looking to continue to encourage and better facilitate, especially with the anxieties around exposure to the virus in taking public transport. There are also anxieties about crowded central cities but how exactly this will play out is still uncertain. It is unlikely that we have seen the end of the contemporary mega cities. Nothing is certain, but perhaps we will see a shift towards more flexible and dynamic work-home arrangements; where some people may work from home entirely, coming in for meetings alone, others working part time at both, and a few will work full time at the office. We are also likely to see businesses move to smaller, more flexible premises.
So for those planning to renovate or build, what features will make your property more attractive? A very important factor will be having an office or other suitable place for people to work from home, while for the health conscious, having a space where they can socially distance within the household may also be important. This can either be a room within the house or separated off. For those interested in adding a separate office, or a sleep-out, the changes to Building Consent requirements may be of interest. There are now Building Consent exemptions for sleep-outs and cabins up to 30m² provided they comply with the building code. If you are interested, it is best you get professional advice for the building matters, even if you intend to DIY. Do not forget about Resource Consent requirements, as these will still be required to be met. If you are unsure about whether your new building will comply, get in touch with us as we can advise.
After being shut inside with children and having playgrounds closed, families are likely to be looking for properties with space for their children to play. This may lead to a preference for properties with more outdoor space or proximity to parks where children can play while socially distancing. People may also be looking for places where their commute will be shorter, enabling them to cycle or walk. Overall these are uncertain times and it is still very difficult to predict what will happen in the near future. Nonetheless our shared lockdown experience has given us pause to rethink what we look for in our homes, in how we work, and how we commute.