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In the wake of COVID-19, the property market has been among the most affected sectors across the world. Australias real estate market has not been exempted, and as expected, drops in market activity were witnessed at the height of lockdown and other mitigation measures. However, the market has rebounded steadily, but with a changed outlook. Buyer demand has increased in suburban areas in many of the countrys cities.  

According to a Buyer Demand Indicator provided by Domain, the outer-suburban areas of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney witnessed the highest demand up to early September 2020, suggesting that serious buyers were increasingly considering the suburbs compared to inner-city neighbourhoods. According to senior researchers at Domain, this trend was likely because buyers views of homes in light of the pandemic had changed. The suburbs provided a more conducive environment for those working from home or living with family. 

This change in buyer preference is something that property developers such as Michael Akkawi are keen to track. Mr Akkawis focus is on delivering accommodation to the market through unique lifestyle projects.  

In-Demand Hotspots 

According to Domains indicator, Sydneys property market showed good recovery after lifting restrictions, with demand for houses going up by 14.1 percent. The New South Wales (NSW) region showed relatively better performance, with demand for houses and units up 30.5 and 25.9 percent, respectively. Cobar, Bourke and Coonamble topped the list of in-demand regions within NSW. 

A second lockdown in Victoria hampered hopes of a rebound in Melbourne, where demand fell by more than 20 percent for houses and units. For real estate players in the city, the hope is that relaxed restrictions will lead to an uptick in market activity. In regional Victoria, a 21 percent growth in serious buyers for houses was witnessed, with areas such as Pyrenees, Heathcote, Kyneton, Maryborough and Castlemaine among those seeing increased demand. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the best performing region in the country was Darwin, which registered a 72 percent increase in buyer demand. This was likely attributed to the citys handling of the virus, making residents rethink plans to relocate 

Luxury Market 

Sydneybuoyant housing demand was witnessed even in the prestige market, where a $95 million sale of a waterfront mansion highlighted the subsectorstrong showing amid the pandemic. While the crisis disrupted sales processes, Sydney stood out compared to other top super-prime markets by recording growth in the first six months of 2020.