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

Variable
More details
  • Min 30% deposit
  • No monthly or ongoing fees, add 0.10% for offset
  • Unlimited redraws

Variable Home Loan (LVR < 70%)

  • Min 30% deposit
  • No monthly or ongoing fees, add 0.10% for offset
  • Unlimited redraws
Variable
More details
REFINANCE ONLY
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
REFINANCE ONLY

Variable Rate Home Loan – Refinance Only

  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
Variable
More details
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO ONGOING FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO ONGOING FEES

Yard PAYG Home Loan (Principal and Interest) LVR ≤ 80%

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of August 20, 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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