Flash back to the year 2000 and the theme of the Great Australian dream was “the bigger, the better”.
But two decades on, and Aussies have come to the collective conclusion that good things can come in small packages.
Property developers, real estate experts and social demographers agree that downsizing is the way of the future for house hunters down under.
Stockland recently released its 2023 property survey which showed that more than 60 per cent of respondents would forgo a traditional large backyard for a smaller home with less outdoor space, if it meant they felt more connected to neighbours and close to parks and community green spaces.
“With 24/7 technological connectivity and busy lives, people are increasingly looking for low-maintenance homes located within communities that offer great amenity, social connectivity and physical closeness with their neighbours and wider community,” said Stephanie Vanin, general manager of residential sales at Stockland.
Why size matters in our homes
The 2023 McGrath Report highlighted that a “move to minimalism” is resulting in smaller, simpler homes with streamlined open spaces that are easy to maintain and “provide a sanctuary-style escape from a hectic world”.
“Demographics are driving the move towards more affordable, minimalist homes. Two megatrends – the ageing population and the shrinking family, mean fewer people per Australian residence,” property expert John McGrath said.
“Increasingly time poor homeowners want more flexibility and lower maintenance properties to suit their busy lifestyles. Many people don’t have time to mow lawns or clean large residences anymore.”
According to data from the CommSec Economic Insights 2018 report, the size of Australian homes grew by 30 per cent in the 30 years to 2018, however the average size of our homes (houses and apartments combined equal 186.3sq m) is now the smallest it’s been in more than two decades.
What Australians want in property
Because of our modified mindset around our household foot print, our communities will also change shape. McCrindle Research reports that in Sydney and Melbourne two-thirds of all new housing approvals are for high and medium density properties, rather than the traditional detached homes of the past.
“This densification is creating walkable communities, multi-use areas where people live, work and play in a more localised space, and of course increased access to transit and transport hubs,” said social demographer Mark McCrindle in a recent Homes of the Future blog.
The Stockland study revealed that while the majority of their buyers would still prefer a freestanding home, there has been a “significant uplift” in townhouses and semis in recent years.
Stockland’s study also showed that as well as opting for smaller blocks this decade, homebuyers want more efficient, well-designed homes that make the most of the space.
“The actual home is still important, however, features that allow for more community living are shifting higher and higher on homeowners’ priority lists.
“That old sense of belonging and knowing your neighbours is more important than ever before,” Ms Vanin said.
Originally posted as “Affordable and simpler downsized houses is what modern homeowners in the future” on Realestate.com.au, February 19, 2023. Please see original Author’s Bio Below – Author Website
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