Australian Home Sizes Drop to 22-Year Low

November 22 2018

Australians are still building some of the largest free-standing houses in the world, figures from the ABS, commissioned by CommSec, show.
But the size of the average new house has stabilised in the past five years after peaking in size around the 2011-12 financial year.
CommSec Chief Economist Craig James says the 22-year low reveals a shift in attitudes and lifestyle requirements.

“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,” James said.
“The changes in housing demand and supply and the differences across the country have major implications for builders, developers, investors, building material companies, financiers and all levels of government.”
James noted the smaller home size also reflected the increased building of apartments.

The average size of new homes, including apartments, built in Australia was 186.3sq m for the past year, down 1.6 per cent on the previous financial year.
The 1.6 per cent ­drop from last year places the result as the lowest since 1996.
Free-standing houses now account for just over half of all new homes built, with high-rise apartments and townhouses most in demand, the report reveals.

Victoria on top for space
Victorians build the biggest houses in Australia, ahead of the ACT, Western Australia and Queensland.
- The average dwelling size in NSW dropped to a 23-year low in the past year, at 162.8sq m, according to the report.
- The average floor area of a house built in Victoria was 244.8sq m, ahead of the ACT 242.3 sq m, Western Australia 235.3sq m, and Queensland 230.8sq metres.
- The average floor area of a house built in Victoria was 244.8 sq m, ahead of the ACT at 242.3sq m, Western Australia 235.3sq m, and Queensland 230.8sq m, for the 2017-18 period.

Units are also getting smaller according to the report.
The average Australian apartment dropped 2.7 per cent year-on-year to 124.8sq metres.The report also found houses built over the past year are, on average, eight per cent larger than those built 20 years ago and almost 30 per cent larger than 30 years ago.

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