Gung-ho for SOHO

22-11-2007. Five years ago it was media rooms – now almost everyone wants a functional home office. The rise and rise of telecommuting has put home offices at the top of modern buyers’ wishlists. It’s a trend that has become so pronounced we’re now advising sellers to convert that fourth or fifth bedroom into a home office prior to sale. This year 62.16% of the properties sold through my agency have included a home office, many as a conversion of an old bedroom or rumpus. The market has caught on to the SOHO (small office, home office) phenomenon and is actively meeting demand. Astute property owners are finding ways to incorporate home offices in order to address the fact that telecommuting figures have more than doubled in the last decade. This is beyond a flash-in-the-pan trend – it’s a permanent new market direction. It’s particularly significant in Brisbane where population growth is faster than any other major city in Australia and transport and infrastructure are struggling to cope. Only this month the state’s leading public sector union, QPSU, released figures showing that between 20-30% of Brisbane’s public service workforce is now actively seeking to leave the CBD and harness modern technology to work more flexibly from home. No-one wants to sit in traffic that doesn’t move and increasingly they don’t have to. The SOHO revolution is still most applicable to white-collar professions, whose numbers dominate the demographic make-up of our leafy western suburbs. Indicatively we’re receiving two consistent enquiries from local house-hunters these days – the first is for a home office, the second is for a rainwater tank. Both are important points to note for sellers, builders and renovators.