CommSec: Australian houses are the world's biggest

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on November 09, 2020
CommSec: Australian houses are the world's biggest

Photo by Daniel Barnes on Unsplash

Australia is building the biggest houses in the world, ahead of the US, according to the latest CommSec Home Size Report.

The average new house built in Australia in 2019/20 was 235.8 square metres, up 2.9% on the year and the biggest increase in 11 years. 

In contrast, US houses built over the 2019 calendar year fell for the fourth year straight, down 3% to 233.1 square metres. 

Australian apartments have also expanded in the past year, lifting 6% to a decade high of 136.8 square metres. 

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender
Advertised rate Comparison rate* Monthly repayment Rate TypeOffsetRedrawOngoing FeeUpfront FeesLVRLump Sum RepaymentAdditional RepaymentsPre-approval

VariableMore details
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
VariableMore details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
FixedMore details
USE A MARKET LEADING APP TO HELP YOU PAY OFF YOUR LOAN SOONER

Fixed Home Loan 1 year (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Make up to $20,000 additional repayments per fixed term
  • Redraw available – lets you access any extra loan repayments you’ve made
  • Choose to rate lock for 90 days (fee applies)
USE A MARKET LEADING APP TO HELP YOU PAY OFF YOUR LOAN SOONER

Fixed Home Loan 1 year (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Make up to $20,000 additional repayments per fixed term
  • Redraw available – lets you access any extra loan repayments you’ve made
  • Choose to rate lock for 90 days (fee applies)
VariableMore details
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • No application or ongoing fees.
  • 100% free offset sub account.
  • Fast online application, approval in minutes not weeks.
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card, Apple and Google Pay
  • Refinance loans and variable rates only.
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • No application or ongoing fees.
  • 100% free offset sub account.
  • Fast online application, approval in minutes not weeks.
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card, Apple and Google Pay
  • Refinance loans and variable rates only.
VariableMore details
ZERO APPLICATION FEESFEE FREE OFFSET

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
ZERO APPLICATION FEESFEE FREE OFFSET

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees

Rates correct as of January 18, 2022. View disclaimer.

Overall, the average new home (houses and apartments) built in 2019/20 was 195.8 square metres, up 3% over the year to a six-year high. 

The Australian Capital Territory built the biggest houses in the country in 2019/20, ahead of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. 

Despite lifting 6% last year, the average house in New South Wales is 6% smaller than Victoria.

Of course, it's not the size of the house that counts, but what you do with it. 

CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said before last year, Aussie home buyers had been building progressively smaller houses on average.

"Aussies had embraced apartments as well as smaller houses on smaller lot sizes," Mr James said.

"In fact the size of the average house built last year (2018/19) was the smallest in 17 years.

“So while Aussies built bigger homes over the past year, the big question is whether the decade-long downtrend in home size has ended.

"And COVID-19 may play a big role in answering that question."

Mr James said lockdowns and the pandemic had prompted more Aussies to reassess their housing needs. 

"With more time spent at home for both leisure and work, some Aussies are looking for bigger homes," he said. 

"Others are coming to the belief that the layout of their home needs changing.”

COVID and home building 

Mr James said there had been shifting trends in the sizes and styles of homes over the past decade, and COVID was throwing another element into the mix. 

"More Aussies could embrace working from home in a bigger way, opting to move away from apartments in, or near the CBD, in preference for a larger home in a regional or suburban ‘lifestyle’ area." 

He added demand for bigger or better homes had a significant impact on the construction industry. 

“The trends in home size have enormous implications for retailers and builders," Mr James said. 

"It is also clear that a raft of government agencies and businesses, especially those that are reliant upon or housing-focused, will need to be agile in monitoring the new housing trends.”

The latest lending indicators data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed construction loan commitments were up 25.3% on the month in September and up 73.8% on the year. 

ABS head of finance and wealth Amanda Seneviratne said this could be partly due to HomeBuilder.

"Approximately half of the rise in September’s owner-occupier housing loan commitments was for the construction of new dwellings," she said.

“Owner-occupier housing loan commitments are at historically high levels, consistent with low interest rates and government incentives.

"For example, it is likely that the HomeBuilder grant is contributing to increased demand for construction loans.”


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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Alex joined Savings.com.au as a finance journalist in 2019. He enjoys covering in-depth economical releases and breaking down how they might affect the everyday punter. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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