Home sizes smaller than ever

By Kay Rivera | 23 Nov 2018

Australians are now more attracted to apartments, which caused the size of an average home to drop to a 22-year low.

The smaller average floor size of a new Australian home suggests a shift in demographics, demand, and population trends across the country.

Data commissioned from the Australian Bureau of Statistics by Commonwealth Securities (CommSec) showed that the average new home built in the past financial year was 186.3 square metres, lower by 1.6% over the past year and the smallest since 1996.

CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said that this new trend of smaller homes indicates that buyers now prefer apartments. Records showed an increase of apartments, with nearly half of all new construction projects being an apartment building.

Through 2004-2010, the average apartment was around 140 square metres. Now, it is closer to 125 square metres. Apartments also account for 46% of all homes built. The figure is significantly higher compared to eight years ago when they only make up nearly 27% of all new homes.

“Generation Y, millennials, couples, and small families want to live closer to work, cafes, restaurants, shopping, and airports, and are giving up living space for better proximity to the desirable amenities,” said James.

CommSec also noted that the number of people residing in any one household is decreasing. This market development is being translated to the reduction of the average home size.

According to Census data, there was an average of 4.5 people in every home in 1911, but in 2016, the figure dropped to around 2.4 people.

While there are still buyers who are attracted to large single-detached houses, average sizes are evidently smaller.  For reference, the size of an average house built in 2017-2018 is now only 230.8 square metres.

Victoria is home to biggest houses in Australia. The state was followed by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Western Australia, and Queensland in this category. In New South Wales, the size of an average house dropped to a 23-year low in 2017.

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