New Homes Smallest In 22 Years

Posted on 26/11/2018  
New Homes Smallest In 22 Years

Australian homes built in the past financial year were the smallest (on average) in more than two decades, according to research commissioned by CommSec.

The average floor size of a newly-built dwelling was 186m2 in FY2018. That means the average new home was 1.6% smaller than in the previous year and the smallest they've been since 1996.

Victoria had the biggest houses of any state or territory, averaging 245m2, followed by the ACT, Western Australia and Queensland. The average house size in NSW fell to a 23-year low of 220m2.

CommSec chief economist Craig James says the rise in the number of apartments being built has contributed to the decrease in the average home size.

Apartments now make up 46% of all new homes built, compared to 27% of new builds eight years ago.

But Australians have also simply been more willing to inhibit smaller spaces since the size of homes peaked in 2009, James says. More people are also willing to trade space for being closer to the city.

"You've got Baby Boomers, as well as Millennials and Gen Y, which have got this preference for smaller accommodation, perhaps closer to city centres, whether it's regional cities or whether it's capital cities," he says.

"Therefore, less travel time, closer perhaps to people's workplace, closer to things like cafes and restaurants."

Despite the trend, Australia still has the second-largest homes of any country, behind the United States.

The average free-standing house in Australia was 231m2 in FY2018, which was 0.9% smaller than the year before.

But that size is still 8% bigger than houses built 20 years ago, and almost 30% bigger than those built 30 years ago.

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