NSW’s 10 most popular homes of 2020 reveal real estate tastes are changing

Michael Bartley bought one of NSW’s most popular homes in Glenbrook. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Homebuyers used to get excited by houses with a walk-in wardrobe or a glimpse of trees — now you need laser rooms, forests of palm trees and a setting near mountains or the beach.
Research into the most popular homes of 2020 revealed COVID-19 has reshaped our real estate tastes, with many seeking out dream homes on the urban fringe or in regional areas — often with unusual features.
The listings that attracted the most interest from prospective buyers online included properties on the north coast, Hunter Valley and the outskirts of Sydney.
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Among the most popular was an estate in Dural with parking for 61 cars, a retreat near Palm Beach known as a “moon lodge” and a Blue Mountains cottage styled like a French provincial manor.
This Hudson Pde house was the most popular northern beaches listing.
Other homes attracting an unusually high amount of interest on realestate.com.au were a Bangalow house styled like a resort, complete with a forest of palm trees.
But the most popular listing in Australia was surprising — a North Gosford house with multiple holes in the wall, a rotting deck and a mould problem.
The four-bedroom house on Linden St drew more eyeballs than any other Australian property listing thanks to unconventional marketing by the agent.
6 Burrawan Place, Bangalow got a huge reception from buyers.
Gittoes agent Richard Faulkner produced a video where he gave viewers a tongue-in-cheek tour of the property describing how he “loved” the kitchen’s “mould splashback” and the “one-of-a-kind stained carpet” in the bedrooms.
He also commented that a renovation on the property — damaged allegedly by wild parties — had been started “one punch at a time”. The video went viral.
“I didn’t want anyone to think before they came that the house was better than it is,” Mr Faulkner said, adding that most of the interest was from Sydneysiders wanting to make a move.
“I’ve never seen this kind of push from Sydney buyers in this area of the (Central) Coast, especially from first homebuyers,” he said.
71 Lilli Pilli Drive, Byron Bay – the Byron area is getting more popular.
“Many people are working from home so they don’t need to be as close to Sydney any more so this area is appealing.”
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said interest in regional real estate had surged since COVID-19, particularly in the Northern Rivers region near Byron Bay.
“It’s always been a popular area but it’s become even more popular,” she said.
The second-most popular home was the Dural estate with more parking than many offices. The 2.23ha property on Carters Rd, listed for about $6.4m, comes with unique features including rooms with laser technology and green screens.
50 Carters Rd, Dural was the second most popular listing.
Images included in the listing for the property showed off the size of the pool by floating a 10m speedboat in it.
A cottage at the foot of the Blue Mountains in Glenbrook also attracted considerable interest.
Selling agent Milton Player of Chapman Real Estate said people liked the country-style setting.
“It is a charismatic home, styled really well but five minutes down the road are kangaroos and gorgeous cliff lookouts … COVID-19 is bringing more people who want greenery and to get away from the hustle and bustle.