House Block Areas Shrinks

Australia has been known to have the largest dwellings in the world and these houses are noted to be of high quality, with the average Australian house estimated at 214 square meters.

Now, the sizes of Australian houses have shrunk as potential home buyers are being offered new house and land packages that is a quarter the size than what was supposed to be before.

The shrinkage is blamed on the changing household preferences.

As Australian households are now apparently demanding lower maintenance homes, home builders, looking to meet the market, now offer more affordable house-and-land options, with lot sizes being squeezed into a less than 200sq m lot for the first time.

Likewise, backyards which have been reducing in size for decades and in recent times have been swallowed by a pool and deck may shortly disappear.

The downsizing trend in the homes for sale is said to have surged in the US since the global financial crisis and has sprung up in Western Australia, South Australia as well as in Victoria.

Australian house builders are now making certain that they are ready for the arrival of rear-loaded blocks or laneway, which are lots where a garage is built at the back, allowing car access via a laneway.

The era of the McMansions had ended as small lots are now in demand.

However, though changing household preferences could be one of the causes of this shrinkage, the main reason behind this shrinkage unfortunately is attributed to the government’s urban consolidation policies since the early-2000s which includes the implementation of urban growth boundaries around Australia’s cities as well as more restrictive zoning.

These policies have significantly driven up the prices of fringe land, which have both compelled the move to smaller block sizes in order to maintain some appearance of affordability as well as pushing-up the prices of new and pre-existing display homes.

Affordability as well as Livability

With this recent development, potential home buyers are likely to see house-and-land packages being offered at a price around $320,000, which is quite affordable.

Three-bedroom homes with an ensuite, double garage at the back, walk-in robes and a drying court are also likely to be offered.

Plans on introducing a range of affordable housing and smaller block sizes into its communities are also on the works.

Australian developers are aiming for affordability as well as livability in building these new houses. A more efficient block size situated near parks, public transport, places of employment and other amenities will more likely make people less reliant on their cars.

Though home builders admitted that yards would likely disappear and “terrace” block sizes would be as small as 7.5m by 25m (187sq m total), the loss of the yard  have only followed a trend where people are contented to have low-fuss outdoor areas and are happy to pursue social and sporting interests away from home.

The rise of the small block houses is said to be inevitable as smaller house and land packages would open up the market and would be a better use of resources.

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