Size doesn’t matter as much as you think, it’s what you do with it

first_imgDemand for new build homes in Rochedale has seen significantly smaller backyards in the area compared to neighbouring Eight Mile Plains. Image:  Great Australian Dream of a home with a backyard is fast disappearing.New data shows the Aussie backyard is shrinking rapidly, with housing affordability and population pressure prompting the rise of “micro lots” across major capitals.In the past three years the median land lot size has shrunk from 458sq m (2014) to 428sq m and then 407sq m nationally, according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia.In Queensland, about 20 per cent of the development market was struggling to keep pace with demand for “more affordable product”, with size being traded for affordability, the UDIA State of the Land report found.“The median lot size continued its long-term decline to 471sq m, down from 485sq m in December 2015. The median lot size is now consistently below 500sq m. This size, however, is around 50sq m bigger than the median of most other states.”Nearmap chief executive Rob Newman sees a clear trend in his firm’s aerial imagery of how locations have changed over time, with freestanding homes now being built on blocks of less than 300sq m in some cases.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago“As Australia prepares for an impending population boom, strategic planning will be crucial to maintaining interconnected communities,” he said.Social demographer Mark McCrindle believes ever-shrinking proximity to neighbours might not be a bad thing for a society which has become increasingly disconnected on a personal level.“In a lot of ways, micro-lots are just a return to the older terrace housing style – urbanised densified living,” he said.“There are many other factors, besides affordability, driving people to smaller residences. One attraction is they are often found in walkable communities, with shops and public amenities very close by. These easily accessible public spaces can also make up for not having a backyard and result in a more interconnected and socially active community – a major drawcard for many Australian home buyers.”Much of the pressure was also coming off limited land availability. In 2010, just under 7000 lots were released with a median size of 623sq m. That grew to 12,252 lots, but with a median size of just 471sq m last year, the UDIA found – and even that is not enough to meet demand.“If the current housing forecasts are correct, and the traditional weighting to detached homes remains in place, South East Queensland would likely need 14,907 lots per year,” the report said. “Current lot release numbers, though at high levels, are significantly below this figure.”last_img

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