Australians own the world’s biggest residential lots. It's a big country, and the size of Australians' houses and apartments have long been a source of amazement in other, less lucky, countries.
But soaring land and home prices in the "lucky country" have ushered in a new trend - smaller-sized houses and apartments, according to recent research.
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) says that Australians are accepting smaller houses and apartments, in a new report, the “2016 State of the Land Report”.
“Lot sizes continued to fall in 2015, with all five major markets now recording average lot sizes below 500 square metres. Limited supply and high cost of land mean that lot sizes have continued to shrink to maintain affordability for new home buyers,” the report says.
It adds that across the country, there appears to be a convergence towards a sub–450 square metre lot size, with buyers trading size for affordability. Smaller lots are gaining more and more acceptance in the different markets. In addition, most states now have policies conducive to smaller lots.
In South East Queensland, average lot sizes fell below 500 square metres for the first time. Lot sizes fell to 488 square metres in 2015, a 4.1% fall compared to the previous year.
In Melbourne and Adelaide, lot sizes fell to 430 and 423 square metres respectively. Despite very different market conditions, lot sizes in these two cities were virtually identical in 2014, with Adelaide experiencing a slightly larger fall in sizes (4.8%) than Melbourne (3.3%) over 2015.
Lot sizes in Perth have fallen dramatically in 2015, down by 7.7% to average 395 square metres. The Perth market is the first (and so far only) major market with an average lot size below 400 square metres.
Despite sharp price rises, Sydney lot sizes maintained their level above 450 square metres in 2015.