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Smaller homes but larger apartments

Australia is still building some of the biggest homes in the world, new research shows.

Using data supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on the average floor area of new homes built in Australia, CommSec found that our apartments are getting bigger, even though our appetite for smaller homes generally, is growing.

After posting the biggest increase in 11 years during 2019/20, homes built nationally over 2020/21 were, on average, slightly smaller than the previous year. Apartments were larger, while detached houses were smaller.

The average new apartment completed in 2020/21 was at an 11-year high of 138.3m², up 0.4% over the year. By comparison, the average free-standing house completed in 2020/21 was 229.3m², down 2.9% from 7-year highs.

The average new home (houses and apartments combined) completed over 2020/21 was 195.8 square metres, down 0.4% from the 6-year high set in 2019/20.

Queensland was notable for building bigger detached houses and apartments over 2020/21. In fact, the average new home in Queensland (houses and apartments) was up 5.5% to an 8-year high of 205.8 m².

In 2020/21 the biggest new houses were built in the ACT (259.3m²); the biggest apartments were in Victoria (156.8m²); and the biggest overall homes (houses and apartments) were in Western Australia (214.8 m²).

Data also confirmed that Australia and the US continue to build the biggest homes in the world. Importantly, however, in both countries the average size of new homes completed fell over the past year.

In the US, the average new home completed was 2,066 square feet or 192m², around 2% smaller than the average Australian home. But the measuring methodology differs slightly between the two countries. However, based on the available survey evidence, new homes being built in Australia and the US are still notably bigger than in other countries.

Report author, CommSec economist Craig James, suggests that the Covid-driven desire for extra living space may been reflected in bigger apartments being built and that the trend might not last.

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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