Australians are building the biggest houses in the world

Australia is again building the biggest houses in the world, pushing ahead of the United States, 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 per cent on the year and the biggest increase in 11 years.

Conversely, American houses are shrinking, with sizes falling for the fourth year, to 233.1 square metres.

The size of the average new Australian apartment lifted 6 per cent over the past year, hitting a decade high of 136.8 square metres.

The ACT built the biggest houses in Australia, followed by Victoria, NSW and Western Australia.

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

“Aussies had embraced apartments as well as smaller houses on smaller lot sizes. 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.

“Government-imposed lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 virus have 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.

“Others are coming to the belief that the layout of their home needs changing,” Mr James said.

“The trends in home size have enormous implications for retailers and builders. 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.”

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