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The changing way we’re living

By Tamara Lloyd

“We have discovered a new way of living that is fairer, kinder, more communal, more affordable and that fits the times…And though this new lifestyle was thrust upon us, we have come to realise there is another way of organising the city, of conducting our lives, that delivers better outcomes for more people. Not every aspect of our corona lives should be carried forth but other bits, the good bits, the celebration of suburban living, can help deliver a better way of life.

For that reason, I think the next decade and beyond really will be suburbia’s time in the sun.” – Demographer, Bernard Salt for The Australian

2020 has changed everything. We didn’t see it coming and the events of the year have left their mark on every facet of our lives. As we grapple with creating a ‘new normal’ for ourselves one thing is clear: COVID-19 has certainly impacted our decisions about how – and where – we choose to live. And many people, including we at Ray White Croydon, believe that these choices are going to lead to more people living in the outer suburbs of major cities like Melbourne, and making the most of everything these places have to offer. In an interview late last year with Sky News, demographer Bernard Salt outlined his own predictons about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the way we live. He suggested that ongoing changes to the home environment might include making room for a home office space and backyard vegetable patches. He also believes that share offices could become an increasingly important part of the suburban
working landscape. In 2020 many of us learned that working from home was not only possible, it was beneficial in many unforeseen ways. Working from home reduces commuting and therefore carbon emissions, making it better for the environment. It is also more conducive to robust mental health and a happy family life. According to Salt, ‘Working from home will be a larger part of metropolitan life for some time to come.’ We are seeing this change happen ourselves, affecting both buyers and sellers. Buyers who are looking to change their lifestyle, and who may have been through major life changes such as separation or adding to their family, in post-COVID times are increasingly looking
for the space that the suburbs provide. Space for two people to work from home without being under each other’s feet. Space that doesn’t come at the same high-priced premium that it does in the inner city.

Along with these evolutions in how we work, we’ve seen increasing change in other areas, including shifting family dynamics, a preference for larger houses that allow families to bring parents back into the home, as well as a desire for smaller, lower maintenance homes for those facing separation or divorce. Our sellers are also often looking for a tree change of sorts, with some looking to move closer to family or into regional areas. Others are looking to make the shift to larger homes that will accommodate home offices and space for children who may again have to learn from home. What we have seen across the board is a real enthusiasm for suburban living and everything it has to offer families, couples
and even those living alone. We’ve known for a long time that our region is a great place to live. Being only 30 kilometres from the city makes it handy for those days you do have to go into the office, while the many great restaurants
and cafes in the area give it that metropolitan feel. All this and a prime location on the doorstep of the Yarra Valley and everything it has to offer make the location hard to beat. It’s wonderful to see that, partly as a result of all the change that has occurred in the last 12 months, many others are starting to recognise and appreciate all the area has to offer as well.

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