House values have never been higher, but has what we value changed post-COVID? | HerCanberra

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House values have never been higher, but has what we value changed post-COVID?

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It’s no secret that we’ve been spending a lot of time in our homes lately.

For many people, this has been both a blessing and a curse—it’s reconnected us to the places we spend the most of our time, and we’ve come to love our homes and what they represent, regardless of their foibles and eccentricities.

But what if there was a way to capture everything you love about your current home in a brand new one that would be adaptable to all stages of life?

Knocking down your home and starting from scratch is a big step to take in these uncertain times. With a tight rental market and uncertainty around COVID-safe regulations, many of us instantly turn to renovation or extension when we think about modifying our homes. However, this may not always be the best solution.

‘’What a lot of people don’t know is that a knockdown-rebuild costs less per square metre than a renovation or extension,” says Brendan Howe, Managing Director of Homes by Howe. “This means that you could be getting better bang-for-your-buck whilst also building the home of your dreams from the ground up.”

A Homes by Howe home.

The national real estate market is currently experiencing an upturn of the property cycle. This current phase has boasted an unprecedented rate of growth with property forecasts from the Big Four banks predicting house prices to jump 20% nationally by the end of the year.

Here in the ACT, low levels of housing stock and high buyer demand make the ACT a seller’s market, causing prices across the city to rise. The annual median price of most ACT suburbs has risen by 20% between 2019-2020—the strongest up-swing in Canberra’s history and the steepest price acceleration in three decades.

A Homes by Howe home.

What does this mean for you as a homeowner? With interest rates looking to remain steady for the next few years, you are now offered an unprecedented three-year window for investment to make those upgrades you’ve been dreaming of whilst being at little risk of overcapitalising.

“The greatest risk in re-investment in a single dwelling is overcapitalisation,’’ explains Brendan. ‘’But the good news is that almost anywhere in Canberra you are at little risk of overcapitalising due the market conditions being what they are.”

However, while conditions seem perfect for a knockdown-rebuild, numbers suggest that Canberrans are still hesitant, which Brendan attributes to tight rental vacancy rates. After all, if it seems difficult and expensive to rent elsewhere while your new home is being built, why bother?

A Homes by Howe home.

To combat this, Homes by Howe created a new bespoke offering which offers a solution to all of the above.

The Homes by Howe Cashback Offer is an attempt to acknowledge and address some of the difficulties people face when embarking upon a knockdown rebuild by offering up to $30,000 cashback on knock down rebuild projects, allowing people to incorporate the rental costs into their project.

What’s more, Homes by Howe has partnered with leading Canberra real estate firm home.byholly to streamline clients’ rental process by finding and applying for rental properties for Homes by Howe clients undertaking a knockdown rebuild.

With a young family himself, Brendan is one of the first to acknowledge that knocking down your home and starting from scratch is a big step to take in these uncertain times. But he hopes that this new offering might unlock not only opportunities, but dream homes for Canberrans.

A Homes by Howe home.

Find out more about the Homes by Howe cashback offer and the home.byholly rental partnership at 


Collins, Gord. ‘’Australia Property Market 2021: Australian Property Market Forecast’’. ManageCasa: 10 Sept 2021.

Cox, Nicole. ‘’Post-lockdown property explosion predicted for Canberra’’. Newscorp Australia: 3 Sept 2021.

Nowroozi, Isaac. ‘’How Canberra’s COVID-19 lockdown is impacting the capitals property market’’. ABC News: 29 Aug 2021.

Powell, Nicola and Henry Yu. ‘’Rental vacancy rates: September 2021’’. Domain Research House: Oct 5, 2021.

Residential Property Market: June Quarter 2021. ACT Government: 16 Sept 2021.

Taulaga, Jessica. ‘’Canberra Lockdown: Homeless at the risk of falling through the cracks, experts warn’’. Allhomes: 9 Oct 2021.

Taulaga, Jessica. ‘’Canberra median house price soars beyond $1 million: Domain House Price Report’’. Allhomes: 29 July 2021.

Yardney, Michael. ‘’Canberra’s Property Market Forecast’’. Property Update: 10 Oct 2021.

Photography: Adam McGrath

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