Impact of Covid on household living arrangements

New research has found many New Zealanders want bigger houses.

Wednesday, February 9th 2022, 9:40AM

by Eric Frykberg

Others want to move out of the big city.

These are among the findings of a survey of 1300 customers of Westpac.

The survey shows 19% of people want a bigger home. That figure rises to 29% of households with children and 39% of all those households with plans to move this year.

Of those staying put, 34% are considering renovations.

One reason for these trends was that more people were working from home for some of their time at least, and needed more room.

And pending a move, people were creative about their work-from-home arrangements, with 12% having to set up a desk in their bedroom.

In total, the Covid pandemic meant people were spending more money on their house and even more on their garden.

These trends came as tourism was restricted by Covid 19.

Westpac's survey also found people being lured by the regions, with 21% of all respondents pondering shifting to a smaller town or city, and just 7% weighing up a move to a bigger centre.

Other reasons for wanting to move included downsizing (16%), a better return on investment (16%) and lower costs (15%).

“Priorities have changed since the pandemic and this might be the year people take a chance on a lifestyle change,” Westpac General

Manager of Consumer Banking and Wealth, Ian Hankins, said.

Despite the trend for many people to want a change, they were not always unhappy about their current lot.

Just on 29% of people felt more positive about their home since Covid began, and just 8% felt worse about it.

Tags: Covid-19

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