According to recent studies, homes in Australia are the largest in the world. Until recently the US - widely known for their bigger is better mentality laid claim to the biggest homes, but now it seems US homes are becoming smaller whilst Australians are building large homes for what would appear to be a number of varied reasons.
In the early 1900’s records show that family sizes were larger but homes were smaller; usually 2 bedroom/1 bath. But today, the average house consists of 4 bedrooms (including a sizable master suite) at least 2 bathrooms, large, open plan living areas and large well equipped kitchens. Oh, and did we mention the size of all this luxury? According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average size of new free standing homes being build is around 245 sqm.
The average size of a house in Australia is 6% larger than that of those built in the USA and an impressive 9% larger than those being built in New Zealand. What’s the deal? It’s not as if the weakening global economy hasn’t reared its ugly head here.
So what’s the reason for all this space?
- Even though family sizes are generally smaller, more room is ‘needed’ to accommodate the changes in what the family ‘looks like’.a) Children are living with their parents longer in order to save for their own place or out of necessity whilst pursuing further education. b) More and more adults are caring for their ageing parents-in their home. The rising number of adults living in a home merits the need for more privacy and space to maintain a sense of self-reliance.
- People don’t like to be crowded. They’re crowded at work, on public transportation and so on. They want to be able to have space they can call their own.
- People still think of their home as a status symbol of sorts. Bigger means more affluent. Hey, it’s a fact and it’s probably not going away any time soon.
- Those building homes, are usually building to be an owner /occupier and squeezing some extra space out of the budget is often a priority. Especially if you’ve been renting a small apartment or living with relatives whilst saving for the building process.
So when it comes to new homes, it appears that Australian’s do in fact love extra space.
That doesn’t necessarily mean however that bigger is better, what is most important is ensuring that it your new home is well designed and utilizes the available space in an optimal manner.