Size matters

Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Do not believe them when they say size doesn’t matter. Every homebuyer wants the best deal – and the largest space – for their money when it comes to purchasing a new home.

According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, housebulders in Australia are currently developing the largest homes in the world.

The research shows that the average floor area of a new home in Australia - houses and apartments – is now over 210 square metres, with the average floor area of new build house edging close to 250 square metres.

Despite constructing the biggest residential properties globally, developers in the country have erected a high volume of smaller apartments over the past two-three years, resulting in a reduction of the average home size.

The largest houses can be found in New South Wales, while builders in the Northern Territoryare are developing the biggest apartments. The smallest homes can be found in South Australia.

The latest figures indicate that the average size of a new build home in Australia is around 9% larger than New Zealand and 10% bigger than in the USA.

Homes in other parts of the world are considerably smaller. According to figures from the UK Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Denmark has the largest homes - houses and flats - in Europe with an average floor area of 137 square metres, followed by Greece (around 125 square metres), and the Netherlands (115 square metres).

Homes in the UK are the smallest in Europe at an average of 85 square metres.

Despite having the smallest homes in Europe, there properties in the UK could shrink even further unless the government acts.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) point out the average size of a newly built one-bed home is just 46 square metres – the size of a tube carriage on the Jubilee Line.

Yet, RIBA fears the government will get rid of or lower the current size standards for homes as part of a review it is carrying out.

RIBA has launched a campaign called HomeWise, headed by the presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs programme Kevin McCloud, to call for minimum size and light standards for homes.

He said: “This isn’t rocket science. We all instinctively respond to the opportunity for a view, a connection with the outdoors, fresh air, light and space.

A return to minimum space standards which is crucial for the health and wellbeing of the people who will be living in new build homes.”

London is the only place in England with minimum sizes standards for newly built private and social homes starting at 37 square metres for a one-bedroom flat.



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