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Are we building smaller homes?

We might think our homes are getting smaller, but we’re actually still building big, according to research released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Looking at Building Activity data on the floor area of new residential dwellings over a 20-year period from financial years 2003 to 2022, ABS researchers found that the average floor area of new residential dwellings has remained remarkably similar in that time.

Despite this, average floor area sizes increased in the interim years between 2005 and 2012. The average floor area of new houses increased to a maximum of 245.9m² in 2008-09, whilst the average floor area of other residential dwellings (apartments, villas and other multi-unit housing) peaked in 2009-10 at 146.6m². Apartments have a considerably smaller average floor area at 137m², compared to houses at 232.3m² in 2021-22.

While the average floor area of new houses has remained largely consistent for Australia-wide, it is quite a different story at the state level.

Over the period from 2002-03 to 2021-22, the average floor area of a new house in the Australian Capital Territory has increased to be the largest of all states and territories, increasing by 28.5m² to 258.9m².

At the other end, new houses in New South Wales had the largest floor area in 2002-03 but have since decreased by 5.7m² to 239.4m² in 2021-22. The average floor area of new houses in South Australia and Victoria have also increased considerably during the 20-year period, increasing by 14.4m² and 15.8m² respectively.

The smallest houses are in Tasmania, which is the only state with an average floor area under 200m² in 2021-22. The 2021-22 average of 182.4m² in Tasmania is largely unchanged from the 2002-03 average of 180.7m². Over the 20-year period, the new house average floor area has decreased by 6.8m² in Queensland, decreased 7.9m² in Western Australia and increased by 9.7m² in the Northern Territory.
The floor area of new other residential dwellings remained constant at 137m² for Australia between 2002-03 to 2021-22.

New other residential dwellings in South Australia have the largest average floor area, increasing a further 11.6m² from 2002-03 to 159.6m² in 2021-22. Victoria and Western Australia also have floor sizes over 150m², at 150.1m² and 154.1m² respectively in 2021-22.

The smallest average floor area in 2021-22 is in Tasmania (109.4m²), which decreased by 17m² from 2002-03. New South Wales (118.7m²) and the Australian Capital Territory (125.8m²) also have smaller average floor areas.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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