Even though Australian homes are the smallest they have been on average in 20 years, Australians continue to build the second biggest homes in the world on average, second only to the US on 204.3sqm. CommSec’s Home Size Trends Report analysed data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to find the combined house and apartment size in Australia is around 190 square metres, which is down 2.7 per cent over the past 12 months.
Australian freestanding and detached home sizes actually increased to 233sqm, while apartments are getting smaller down in size to an average of 130sqm. Australians are also building more apartments, townhouses and units making up around half of new residential buildings.
There are a couple of factors which are pushing the average floor size down. Firstly, there are more apartments being built with slightly smaller average floor sizes, and more semi-detached and townhouses being built in the desirable areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. By increasing the number of smaller sized units and apartments combined with slightly larger freestanding family homes being built, the net result has been a slight decrease in combined average floor size over the past 12 months.
One of the key drivers on what developers are choosing to build is the increasing demand for semi-detached and townhomes by generation Y, millennials, couples and small families in desirable locations of Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane.
Victorians are building the largest homes in Australia at 242sqm, with Tasmania building the smallest at 195sqm. South Australia and Western Australia are building bigger homes than they ever have in the past, the Northern Territory is building the largest apartments at 154sqm, while the Australian Capital Territory apartments are the smallest at 95 sqm.
More Bedrooms Are Being Built To Accommodate More People Under The One Roof
Australians are also building homes with more bedrooms. In 2016, almost a third of homes had four or more bedrooms whereas 20 years ago the ratio was one in every six homes. Some of the drivers behind this trend have been children staying home longer with their parents so they can go to university and or save more for their first deposit. Families have also been sticking together to look after ageing parents. New migrants tend to stay with family or friends, until they get settled.