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Dream homes: Why Aussies like Honor are rethinking their property plans

Aussies are prioritising convenience and looking for small, lower-maintenance properties.

Honor Severs and her family. Open home property sign.
Aussies like Honor Severs have had to change their property priorities. (Source: Supplied/Getty)

The rising cost of living and end of the pandemic has seen many Aussies re-evaluate their property priorities and their idea of a ‘dream home’.

Honor Severs currently lives in Manly with her husband and two young kids, and is searching for a family home to buy.

“Previously, we were looking at older, larger homes, however now we are looking at smaller and more modern, efficient and pretty much move-in-ready spaces,” Honor told Yahoo Finance.

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“This is down to the maintenance cost with all the increased bills. We also have changed our preference in having a bigger garden and, instead, opting for a smaller garden and to be near a greener space with access to the outdoors to save on costs.”

Honor currently has a vegie patch and chickens and is planning on adding more energy-efficient features to her future home.

“We would look to have solar panels installed as well as an electric bike for our family to get around the area,” she said.

Honor Severs and her family.
Honor currently lives in Manly with her husband and two young kids. (Source: Supplied)

New property priorities

Honor is part of a growing trend of Aussie families who are now looking for smaller, low-maintenance homes as the cost of living soars.

According to new research by ING, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Aussie families who are considering buying think a big home would cost too much to maintain in the current climate. While almost one in five (19 per cent) said they would opt for a home with less outdoor space to save money.

And while Aussies may be willing to sacrifice space, they aren’t willing to compromise on their day-to-day conveniences and location.

The majority (86 per cent) of people surveyed said they were looking for a property located in a “20-minute neighbourhood” - where all their day-to-day needs can be met within a 20-minute walk, drive or cycle.

Being close to work and public transport were high on the agenda, as was being closer to friends and family and the grocery store.

ING Australia head of mortgages Fiona Prater said Aussie families were being savvy about their next move.

“They’re willing to sacrifice a big home to be closer to amenities, family, friends and work, in order to spend more time doing the things that matter most to them with the people they care for most,” Prater said.

“With the heightened costs of living, families are also thinking about how they can keep their costs down. A smaller home that’s closer to public transport or work, and costs less to maintain, is a smart way to achieve this.”

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