Move to a regional area: Property priorities changing as COVID-19 hits

3 August, 2020

Should I move to a regional area? That’s the hot topic for city-dwellers during the coronavirus pandemic. Big cities that felt vibrant, convenient and full of opportunity, are now feeling smaller and much more restrictive.

And it’s made many of us jump online to see what properties are available in regional and country areas. Coronavirus is making us re-think what’s important in a quest for a different type of living.

And it’s not just about making a change and moving to the country. People continue to buy and sell property in all areas of Australia. Plus, there have been lots of changes in the real estate process.


Property inspections and auctions have been affected, especially in Victoria where face-to-face auctions and open for inspections were banned again across Melbourne in early July 2020. 

In other states, coronavirus is changing property search as people consider whether prolonged working from home means they don’t need to live so close to the office. This opens up the question of ‘should I move to a regional area?’ 

There is growing interest in properties outside of the capital cities with more land and a quieter lifestyle. 

Data from Domain also shows that open plan living and designer apartments near our cities are still popular. However dedicated work areas, multiple living areas and more space are now bigger priorities for buyer.

For sellers, first home buyers are continuing to drive strong activity under $1.5 million with the assistance of a number of government grants. 
In this episode of the podcast, Alice Stolz from property marketing business Domain gives us her perspective on these Australian real estate trends.


Alice says you can get a great snapshot of how people are feeling based on what they are looking for in property.

“The demand for search in regional areas, especially in New South Wales and Victoria has gone absolutely bananas. People are looking for acreage and properties that are an hour away from the capital cities. 

“Clearly people are thinking what am I doing here? Why don’t I think about making that seachange or treechange and having a bit more land or space? 

“We’re seeing such a shift in what people want from the house they live in… and the search for this has gone through the roof.”

Alice also says working from home arrangements has seen the search for homes with studies explode. 

“The idea that people work from the kitchen table, that all sounds great when it’s an hour or two a couple of nights a week. But this is weeks and weeks on end.

“The idea that you have to be close to the office is really shifting. We’re hearing anecdotally a lot of people saying ‘I don’t know if I will ever go back to the office full time’.”

Listen to this episode of the podcast to find out how coronavirus is changing property search. And learn how Domain is responding to COVID-19 restrictions to support people buying and selling homes.


This interview with Alice Stolz was recorded before the latest Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions were implemented in Victoria on Sunday 2 August. So it is unclear just how this will affect the state’s property market.

However, Alice says that first home buyers are continuing to buy with the support of low interest rates and a number of government grants. 

“We’ve got different markets all around the country. There are many industries that are unaffected by COVID-19 and are still in stable employment. 

“We know the unemployment rate is rising before our eyes. But those who are in stable employment, particularly in construction and health, still want to transact. That first home buyer category really has a lot of pent up demand to get in there while interest rates are so low.”

Lauren and Alice also talk about the Government’s HomeBuilder grant which will help thousands of families build or renovate homes. 


Alice says there are people sitting on the fence and this grant will give them the confidence to move ahead. 

“They’re not wanting you to do your own DIY. They’re saying they want you to substantially improve your property. And demanding that you do it to a certain level and a certain quality. 

“It gives people the ability to work with an interior designer or architect to begin thinking more holistically about their approach.”

Lauren told Alice that she has been surprised by the positive approach some people are taking to the current situation. 

“It’s like people have been spending more time at home and they realise the value of home. I’ve had a lot of enquiries about people wanting to make improvements.” 

Read more about HomeBuilder and find out if you are eligible >> HOMEBUILDER.


This award-winning interior design podcast, hosted by Sydney interior stylist Lauren Keenan, is now in its fifth year. 

We’re back in 2020 with new episodes with information and tips to help you at home during the pandemic. And we’ve got conversations with interesting people to help you adapt during these challenging times. 

Upcoming guests include Anneka Manning from Bake Club and Grace McBride from Spend with Them.   

Get in touch if you have a topic you want us to talk about on At Home with Lauren Keenan

Rate the show and subscribe in your favourite podcast app like Spotify or Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. 

And if you want to hire Lauren to help create your perfect home, whether it’s building, renovating or updating a room, drop her an email.

Find out more about the interior design services offered at Lauren Keenan Home and check out Lauren’s portfolio for some inspiration.

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