australian home sizes drop to 22 year low

The average size of new Aussie homes built is at lowest levels in 22-years, and while it looks like demand for McMansions may be dropping Australia still ranks second in the world to the US.

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.

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