Updated: Jul 23
The trends show increasing average Gross Floor Area from 2000 to 2010 then decreasing average Gross Floor Area. A closer look at the type of housing consented from 2013 to 2018 provides one reason why the average dwelling size is FALLING.
WHY ARE OUR HOUSES GETTING SMALLER?
In 2013, 80% of residences consented were houses and 20% Apartments, Retirement units, Town houses and Units. Residences consented since the GFC the number of consents for dwellings has grown 50% predominantly with additional Apartments, Retirement units, Town houses and Units, rather than houses, lifting the annual share of Residential units for Apartments, Retirement units, Town houses and Units from 20% in 2013 to 36% in 2018.
Overall Apartments, Retirement units, Town houses and Units tend to be smaller dwellings than standalone houses. We are starting to become an apartment / Small dwelling unit nation.
The Headwinds that drive the market towards smaller units are: a growing older population of elderly singles and couples, smaller families forming with parents older than the generation before. The economics of rising house prices and the added burden of clearing a student debt for first time buyers have contributed to this, delaying entry to the market. A smaller budgets leads to smaller buildings. We are learning to live in less real-estate.