Digital Tours
More Australians are using virtual tour platforms to inspect properties interstate and internationally, with the figure now reaching almost a million users. IMAGE Canva.
  • A million Aussies used digital inspection platform Little Hinges last year.
  • Over half of Australians now prefer hybrid approaches to buying property
  • Italy has caught the virtual attention of Australians, with enquiries rising.

New research shows Australians are increasingly turning toward digital platforms to inspect interstate and international properties.

According to the virtual inspection platform Little Hinges, close to a million Australians used the service to tour interstate properties, out of a total of over three million tours hosted on the platform.

Little Hinges CMO Mike York said the data shows digital inspections are here to stay, with the proportion of digital tours undertaken remaining consistent over the past year.

On average, 27.1 per cent of buyers digitally inspect interstate properties, as opposed to jumping on a plane or sending a representative. Data from Zoom Qualatrics indicates a further 58 per cent of Australians prefer a hybrid approach to buying.

“Remote working, cost of living increases, and a general sense of fatigue with the big cities following an uncertain two years has seen buyers, particularly from the southern states, look for sea and tree changes.”

Mike York, Little Hinges CMO

Mike York Little Hinges
Mike York, Little Hinges. IMAGE Supplied.

Digital tours are most prevalent in Queensland where 33 per cent of inspections originate from interstate, with this figure increasing to almost half of the inspections on the Gold Coast.

Online methods have also gained traction since early 2022 in many other major cities, with Melbourne and Perth ending the year on 20.4 per cent of total inspections undertaken digitally.

Buyers inspecting in Brisbane are bucking the trend, however, as the percentage of inspections carried out from interstate saw a marginal decrease in the six month average.

Aussies seeking a sea change

It isn’t just our cities attracting the attention of Australians, with a rising number of buyers looking internationally.

Italy is among the popular destinations for international buyers seeking a second home, offering a more relaxed, slower-paced life than major cities.

According to a survey conducted by Italian property platform, 70 per cent of buyers interested in Italian property cite quality of life as the main reason.

Simone Rossi, co-founder said, “Quality of life, mild climate, nature, and appealing landscapes are among the strong points that make Italy an ideal destination for holidays, business trips, investments, or definitive moves for retirement or a new beginning.”

Enquiries in Italian properties submitted by Australian buyers have increased by 6.62 per cent since 2021, and a further 138.2 per cent compared to 2019.

Worldwide, Australians rank in 12th place this year for the nationality with the largest growth in enquiries for Italian property.

Tuscany Australian enquiries
Tuscany, Italy. IMAGE Canva.

Tuscany still reigns as Australia’s favourite Italian region, making up 16 per cent of all enquiries with the towns of Lucca, Florence and Fivizzano most popular.

The region of Lombardy, home to the idyllic Lake Como, ranks second with 14 per cent of enquiries, followed by the regions of Sicily, Puglia and Lazio.

As for the most requested Italian town, the picturesque “whitewashed” town of Ostuni takes the crown.

Detached houses are still the most popular form of property with 68 per cent of enquiries, though interest in Italian apartments has risen by 24.38 per cent Surprisingly, pools and land rank low on the features checklist of buyers though a garden is requested in 48 per cent of international enquiries.

A quarter of properties that have sparked the interest of international buyers are valued at between €500,000 and €1,000,000, though the majority of enquiries (60 per cent) are worth up to €250,000.

The average value of an Italian property requested by an international buyer is €718,000.

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