The real estate market is driven by trends in the same way that the fashion, food and fitness industries are, so what people want in a house changes over time. While some preferences never change – such as wanting good water pressure and plenty of natural light – some come and go as broader cultural and economic changes take place. One such change is Covid-19 and the huge shift that lockdowns have triggered in the way we work, including an increase in work-from-home arrangements. 

So, with a couple of years of huge changes behind us, what do buyers look for in a house in 2021? Here are some key real estate market buyer preferences as indicated by real estate search data.

What buyers want today, according to real estate market trends

Buyers want: outdoor space

Outdoor area

If the search data is to be believed, inner city apartment living may have lost some of its appeal. It’s not altogether surprising, given the monumental changes that Covid has caused. Many Aussies weathered out months of lockdown in tiny apartments with little or no outdoor space. Perhaps they’re the ones causing a 41% increase in searches for properties with an outdoor area over the last year on

There were also huge increases in searches for houses with a balcony or a garden.

Buyers want: convenient workout facilities


Lockdowns left millions of Aussies at a loss for how to keep fit while gyms and studios were closed and outdoor exercise was limited. Even if they were open, many feared going to gyms because of the high risk of infection. It’s no surprise then that there was a 37% increase in the number of people searching for properties with a gym.

Buyers want: work-from-home essentials


real estate market trends - work from home

A decade ago, open-plan living was all the rage. People were knocking out walls to create roomy, flowing spaces, creating joint living rooms, kitchens and studies. Perhaps it’s working from home, or perhaps it’s having less space generally, but we’re confident in saying that this real estate market trend is on its way out. Instead, people are favouring separate, designated spaces for different activities.


Working from home is certainly influencing the increase in searches for properties with fast broadband, but the increasing sophistication of games and popularity of streaming services has caused a steady rise in what we need from our Wifi.  

Buyers want: solo space

Granny flat

For people who share their house with others, finding quiet, private space to work from home during lockdowns was a challenge. It’s perhaps this struggle that saw an increase in the number of people searching for a more private living situation over the last two years. In real estate search data, there was a steady rise in the number of people searching for granny flats and studio apartments.

Being aware of buyer preferences and real estate market trends is essential for property investors and owners looking to sell. Keep these in mind to ensure your next property meets the needs of today’s buyer!


Looking to renovate to attract keen buyers in a post-Covid property market? You may not be able to add a granny flat, but you sure can make your property more attractive to the modern buyer. Here are the top three home improvements that add value to property.