The average Australian house size for newly built premises has gone through some fluctuations over the last 15 years or so. In 2001 the average new home was 197 m2 (metres squared) and by 2009 this size had risen to 222 m2 (metres squared). Then the GFC hit and this impacted the size of homes built and this caused a contraction in size as it dropped to 214 m2 (metres squared) . Since the recovery of the GFC we have seen yet again a further increase in size of new houses. The most current information shows that average Australian home size is now a soaring 241 m2 (metres squared) . When the data is available for 2017 I will update the figures accordingly
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the average Australian lives in a free standing home with three bedrooms. There are parts of Australia where the houses on average are bigger. The below suburbs have a high percentage of 5 bedrooms or more:
- O’Malley – ACT – 41%
- Denham Court – NSW – 35%
- Middle Dural – NSW – 34%
- Stretton – QLD – 33%
- Chandler – QLD – 32%
The Ideal Home vs The Average House Size in Australia
Whilst I’ve already stated the average house size in Australia, this is somewhat different to what people see as their ‘ideal’ home. A recent analysis done by REA which looked at more than 28,000 listings on their website in early 2016, brings light to the ‘ideal’ Australia home.
So what did this analysis reveal? Australians love big homes. The configuration of this ideal home is four bedrooms and two bathrooms. To accompany these large houses they should be equipped with a double lock up garage.
This study also showed what people wanted from their location of the ideal house. It showed that people were willing to pay up to $100,000 extra for their dream home and that it would ideally be close to:
- Public Transport
- The beach
- The Shops
This study also makes the correlation that most people are unsatisfied with their current house location. The ABS data indicates that nearly half Australians (43.6%) believe that their homes are not large enough. While only 5% believe their homes are too big for their requirements.
Average Bedroom Size In Australia
ABS data shows that the average Australian home comprises of three bedroom and the average land block size according to the National Land Survey is 474 sqm (square metres).
But how big are the these bedrooms:
- Master bedroom – average size and dimension of these rooms would typically be 4.2 metres by 3.9 metres so just a touch over 16 sqm.
- Other bedrooms – for other room the typical size of a bedroom is around 3 metres by 3.6 metres or 10.8 square metres.
In saying that the minimum size for a bedroom should be built to is 1.7 metres by 2.4 metres as this will be enough room to fit in a conventional queen size bed unit.
But how do we compare to the rest of the world?
Australia’s current average house size of 241 sq metres for new houses built, is amazingly the largest in the world. With our vast open suburban sprawl, it allows such ridiculously large houses to be built. Trailing behind us is:
- USA – 222 sq metres
- Canada – 181 sq metres
- Denmark 137 sq metres
On the flip side for the thirst for Australia’s big houses is Hong Kong, who are currently going through a ‘micro apartments’ boom. These tiny apartments have a total floor space of around 26 sq metres.
Questions and implications?
Australia is considered one of the ‘lucky’ countries, this is clearly evident by the average Australian house size. It has boundless opportunities and we live and extremely privileged life in comparison to a majority of the world. But as a nation we are also extremely inefficient when it comes to resource use, especially when it comes to the use of energy and the reliance of fossil fuels to power our Mc-Mansions. A question we all should ask is whether this is a sustainable practice?
It seems rather logical but the smaller the home, the smaller the carbon footprint. Not only is there the energy use of homes once built but there is also the carbon footprint of the construction and the materials used. I’m not suggesting that we swing around and become the next Hong Kong with their micro apartments, but are we being considered global citizens living in this perpetual want to have bigger and bigger homes? I don’t think so.
While we have continued regulations in regards to building highly efficient homes, is it enough of an action to counter act the sheer amount of energy use such large premises command? With the continued reliance on Government action to make change so that we as a nation reduce our carbon footprint, maybe its time that more people start taking a little more personal accountability. I know I definitely like to walk the talk and am trying todo what I personally can through my own actions.
Take a look at my guide 100 ways to reduce your carbon footprint (in production) for some ideas that can hopefully help you become a better global citizen.
If you want to get a better understanding of your carbon footprint, please visit The Australian Greenhouse Calculator (AGC) which helps you explore how your lifestyle contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
Homes to Love: House sizes: How does Australia compare?