Australian homes: Smaller in size & taller in price

22 November 2018

Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have shown that the sizes of Australian homes are the smallest that they have been in more than two decades. The Sydney Morning Herald recently took note of this trend in their article ‘New Australian Homes are the smallest they’ve been in 22 years.’

Statistics have shown that the average floor size of newly built apartments and houses are 186.3 square metres in 2017-18, meaning that newly developed properties are 1.6 per cent smaller than the average sizes in 2016-17 and the smallest that they have ever been since 1996.

Apartments now comprise 46 per cent of all new homes. SWITZER DAILY

This decrease in average size may be attributed, as Chief economist of CommSec Craig James states, to the dramatic increase in the number of apartment developments in comparison to the rate of housing developments within recent years.

Apartments now comprise 46 per cent of all new homes that have been built, compared to eight years ago when apartments only accounted for 27 per cent of new builds.

Global housing markets as shown by the 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey have alerted however, that Australian cities such as Sydney are ranked second in the world of having the least affordable housing market, with Melbourne closely following at being ranked fifth on this survey.

Despite the growing amount of apartments that are being built in comparison to homes, Mr James states that Australians are more willing to live in smaller homes such as apartments rather than houses. These trends as stated by Mr James, are due to a number of factors “like the global financial crisis, as being a change in people’s mentality” and that “people are wanting to live more simply.”

Australia however, still maintains its position since 2009 as having the second-largest home size average of any Country. As stated by Mr James, “The houses that we’re building in Australia are still amongst some of the biggest houses in the world, and I suppose that gets down to the fact that we do have more land and mass here.”