Almost eight million houses are 'well past their use by date', but tearing them down could solve two birds with one stone - housing affordability and Australia's net-zero emissions target.

By knocking down one house on a 800 to 1,000 square metre block, there's room to build up to three new, energy-efficient homes according to new research by Powerhousing Australia and CoreLogic.

The report found that the eight million homes, most of which were found to be over 30 years old, contribute up to 18% of the country's emissions.

Before 2003, new homes didn't need to meet the mandatory four-star Nathers energy rating. This meant the energy-efficiency of a home was a "lottery" most people would lose.

The 'vast majority' of Australian housing stock was built before 2003, and cannot be made to meet the National Construction Code by 2050 - a 'real liability' for hitting the 2050 emission commitment.

Powerhousing Australia chief executive Nicholas Proud said that the cost of old housing stock is adding up to a personal and national level.

"The twin climate and Covid-19 crises have reinforced the unsuitability of Australia’s 30-year-old-plus housing stock on lower income families and younger Australians, who are disproportionately living in lower-energy-rated homes that impact financially and unnerves well-being," Mr Proud said.

"Countless Australians are only too aware after months in lockdown that average dwellings are cold in winter, hot in summer and prohibitively expensive to cool and heat."

But by scrapping the old and rebuilding with new builds, there's more stock available for keen home buyers that will help meet Australia's 2050 emissions target.

New homes could solve 'worsening' housing affordability crisis

Housing affordability is 'at its worst' in five years according to a recent report by Bluestone, as house prices continue to surge and rents spike at the fastest rate since 2008.

A report by the Grattan Institute suggested that building new housing stock was the answer to solving housing affordability, pointing to a 'lack' of new housing versus Australia's growing population.

According to the Grattan Institute's report, building an extra 50,000 houses each year for 10 years could reduce the cost to buy and the cost to rent by up to 20%.

"Increasing housing supply will only restore housing affordability slowly," the report said.

"But without a concerted effort to boost housing supply in Australia, housing affordability will likely get worse."

Australia is currently on track to surpass three million rooftop solar installations according to Australia's Clean Energy Regulator. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Australia has one of the best rates of rooftop solar in the world, and that technology is the answer to tackling climate change.

"Technology will have the answers to a decarbonised economy, particularly over time," Mr Morrison said in Glasgow on Monday.

"And [it can] achieve it in a way that does not deny our citizens, especially in developing economies, their livelihoods or the opportunity for a better quality of life."


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

Update resultsUpdate
LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.04% p.a.
6.06% p.a.
Principal & Interest
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5.99% p.a.
5.90% p.a.
Principal & Interest
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6.14% p.a.
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Principal & Interest
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Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

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. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. 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 . View disclaimer.

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