The changing face of Australian Housing

Over the past few decades, there have been many changes in the Australian Housing market. The top three change are as follows:

  1. Lifestyle and house design
  2. Funding and affordability
  3. Material used in building

Lifestyle and house design

Australia has always been a country where people have loved outdoor activities. If you look at houses that were built in the 70s and 80s, it was built on a large block of land. The houses were much smaller in size with lots of land left for garden so that children could spend quality time outdoors. In the 70s, it was very common to build on block of 800-1000 square meters, fast forward to post 2000, the sizes of blocks have gradually reduced. Nowadays, the average size of land sold is around 400 square meters. On the other hand the built up area of the houses have increased from 125 – 150 square meters to currently around 300 square meters.

Lifestyle has changed, people have become busier and can spend less time on maintenance of their properties. Hence the increase in house built up areas and reduction on land sizes.

Funding and affordability

During the 70s, the average Australian wage was around $7,000 and you could buy a decent house for $35,000. In 2020, the average salary is $70,000 as against median house price of $550,000. Ratio of house price to average salary has increase from 5:1
in the 1970s to 8:1 making it less affordable for an average buyer. This ratio, however, varies depending on state. For eg, if you are looking to buy a house in Sydney, you are looking at median price of $850,000 whereas, if you are buying a house in Hobartmedian price is $360,000.

For first home buyers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get into the housing market. To make it easier for them, we have seen buyers preferring to opt for units with smaller land sizes – lower value and easier maintenance.

Material used in building

Traditionally Australian homes were built with timber and / or double brick walls, however, new techniques of construction have been adopted as double bricks construction became increasingly less affordable.

New techniques include brick veneer and weatherboard construction. Both the techniques use an internal timber structure and is wrapped around by the bricks or weatherboard. We have also seen some builders using steel frames as opposed to timber frames,which makes the building safe from termites and others kinds of pest infestation.

Many builders are promoting pre-built housing, where houses can be constructed offsite as semi knock down structures and can be transported to the site and assembled. These techniques not only make it quicker but also cheaper than traditional methods.

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