The way Australians live and work has changed significantly in recent years, and so has the functionality we expect from our homes.
When considering buying or renting on realestate.com.au, property seekers have the option of including keywords as part of their search.
Examining these most frequently used keywords reveals the function of the desired property and shows how preferences have changed over time.
Among buyers, “pool” was the most searched term in the September quarter, appearing in nearly a third of all keyword searches.
Unsurprisingly, pool searches tend to dip in the winter and peak in the summer.
A similar seasonal trend can be seen in searches for “air conditioning” and “heating.”
Homebuyer and renter search trends on realestate.com.au have changed over the past year.
Pools are also popular with renters, but were referenced in just 8% of keyword searches by tenants. Instead, searches for “pet-friendly” properties came top.
The popularity of pet-friendly homes skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, less than 10% of keyword searches were related to pet-friendly spaces, compared to his peak of 28% in mid-2020. Since then, demand for furry friend allowed rentals has remained high.
Another popular trend is searching for “research” or “office.” An increase in these searches is to be expected as people work from home due to COVID-19, but there is no sign of this trend slowing down.
Searches for home offices hit new highs in 2022 among both buyers and renters. Growth was strongest among buyers, with the share of office keyword searches in the September quarter up 25% compared to the same period last year.
Not all of the changes we saw during COVID were permanent.
During the lockdown, both buyers and renters were increasingly looking for outdoor spaces such as gardens, balconies and rooftops. However, the search for outdoor spaces has decreased this year.
Searches for “waterfront” and “beach” show similar trends, with both peaking in 2021 and declining this year.
The changing tastes of buyers and renters reflect the many lifestyle changes caused by the pandemic.
We continue to see strong demand for aspects that have been permanently changed, such as working from home, but these desirable lockdown-inspired features are now returning to pre-Covid norms.