The pandemic has driven structural change in housing patterns and one-fifth of the customers of Stockland, the country’s largest listed residential developer, choose to live further out from cities than they otherwise would.

Stockland chief executive Tarun Gupta says the shift, driven by more people working from home, will last for the foreseeable future.

“Clearly there is a cohort our customers – we think it’s about 20% of buyers – who would have previously bought in the middle-inner rings are now seeking larger homes in outer ring areas,” says Gupta. “Because the workplace is different, people are working from home more and they are choosing to buy bigger homes further out.”

Stockland, which focuses on owner-occupier buyers and lower-priced homes in the large greenfield sites it develops, is well placed to meet this demand, he says. “Is it structural? I think for the foreseeable future we do see that continuing, that shift to master-planned communities,” Gupta says.