2021 looks ‘incredible’ for property owners: Weekly market wrap with Sam Dodimead


The population of Canberra has done a tremendous job maintaining negligible infection rates of COVID-19. This has allowed most residents to enjoy living in a relatively normal state with residential property owners, flexible working conditions and innovation the big winners from 2020. This year is shaping up to be an incredible year for those who own property, however, poses critical risks for those unable to understand the speed of which decisions are required. 

In 2020, restricted operating conditions placed enormous pressure on businesses in hospitality, retail, travel and accommodation to critically review their business models and adapt. Hospitality businesses almost overnight transformed from restaurants and bars into supermarkets serving cook-at-home or takeaway meals, bricks and mortar retailers started trading online, and those with dogs may have noticed some five star hotels began promoting options to holiday with their furry friend. Locally, innovation from operators of these businesses created new experiences for residents to support and enjoy, however, interstate and overseas travel has become exceptionally difficult due to risk of having to unexpectedly quarantine upon arrival at either the destination or back in Canberra.

Overseas travel is not expected to resume until effective vaccination programs are rolled out globally. Domestically, risk of conditions changing in other jurisdictions and inability to travel have saved Canberra households who have remained local what would have been a big-ticket expense. Surplus resources combined with unbelievably low borrowing costs can unlock an enormous amount of potential for property owners to upgrade, renovate and build new homes in 2021, assisted by improved equity positions resulting from property values increasing during 2020, which CoreLogic expects to continue throughout 2021.   

Buyers considering lifestyle requirements

Flexible working arrangements are causing people to consider the suitability of their homes. Spaces like studies, breakout rooms and access to quiet segregated spaces have become increasingly popular for those who have enjoyed working from outside of their office. I anticipate changing lifestyle requirements will put pressure on property investors who own older assets to either upgrade their existing investment property or sell and buy more suitable dwellings to attract quality tenants. 

Those considering a property decision find lack of choice and exceptionally high demand from a broad range of purchaser types is causing values to move quickly. Some buyers taking their time to research the market are finding values are increasing at sufficient speed to cause review of budgets and/or requirements to consider possible compromises after only a short time in the market. For buyers, the solution is to consider your requirements, be prepared with your finances by speaking with your bank or broker, and be ready to act immediately upon finding the right property. Delay only increases competition which, in my experience, results in a higher price.   

With Sam Dodimead, local property professional and host of Canberra Property Podcast where you can get to know the consultants contributing toward deliver of new buildings. Stream from wherever you listen to podcasts.   

Find up-to-date local news, lifestyle, entertainment, sports and more at Canberra Weekly.

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