What is the average house size in Australia?

by | Jun 8, 2023 | Home design, Style of home

Does size matter? When it comes to building a house, yes it does, but it’s not as simple as the biggest houses or smallest houses are best. It’s all about determining the perfect size to suit your lifestyle. So let’s have a closer look at the average size for Aussie houses. We’ll do this by checking out housing trends, looking at average house sizes based on the number of bedrooms and comparing states.

What is the average house size by home type?

Depending on the date, the average Australian home is between 232-252 square metres in the house area. Interestingly, some sources such as the ABS the average house size has risen since 2020, whereas some like CommSec believe houses have gotten smaller in the last few years.

Most experts suggest that ideally, each person needs 55-65 sqm in a house. To help put that into context, a house for three people should be at least 165 sqm.

What this shows is statistics can vary, but they can still give you an idea of the size of houses in Australia. Keep in mind certain factors influence house size statistics, such as rural houses are noticeably larger on average than city homes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the average house size for various floor plan designs.

What is the average size of a 1-bedroom home?

The average one-bedroom apartment or house is usually between 32-90sqm in the house area. This would most likely be accommodation like an inner city studio apartment rather than an actual house. The good news for home buyers looking to live in a unit is that Australian apartments are on average some of the largest in the world.

What is the average size of a 2-bedroom home?

A two-bedroom house or apartment tends to have an average floor area of 65 sqm. Only a decade or so this average was noticeably higher at 90 m2. This can be attributed to a few things, including newly built Australian apartments being smaller to help maximise profits, the rise of construction costs and the cost of living.

  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Young Professionals
  • A single-child family

What is the average size of a 3-bedroom home?

An estimated 44% of Australian houses built are three-bedroom homes, making it the most common Australian home layout. While this sounds like a big chunk (which it is) it’s actually dropped from around 50% in the 1990s. The reason this is the most popular size can be attributed to budget, family size, upkeep requirements and the range of designs. In a few Australian suburbs, houses with at least three bedrooms are highly sought after and can turn a nice profit if you play your cards right.

Three-bedroom houses best suit:

  • Smaller to mid-size families
  • Couples planning a family
  • Three people looking to co-inhabit
  • To rent to university students, young professionals or families.

What is the average size of a 4-bedroom home?

The average house size for a 4-bedroom home is 223m2 to 260m2. To allow enough room for the four bedrooms and other features, four-bedroom houses tend to be some of the bigger houses built in Australia. While most builders won’t have quite as many 4-bedroom design plans as 3-bedroom plans, you’ll still have a wide range to choose from.

Ideal for:

  • Families
  • Multigenerational living situations.
  • Anyone looking to rent rooms out to tenants

What is the average size of a 5 bedroom+ home?

Five-bedroom houses tend to be at least 280sqm and can be as large as 720sqm. These are usually luxury homes or even mansions and therefore there aren’t as many options on the market. Most builders, with the possible exception of some budget builders, will offer house plans for these larger houses.

  • Large families
  • Multigenerational living

What is the average size of a townhouse?

The average townhouse size in Australia varies from state to state, with the average being between 140-160sqm.

Townhouses make up around 10% of current Australian housing and this number is looking to rise in the coming years as they tend to be more affordable than traditional Australian houses.

What is the average size of an apartment?

The average Australian apartment is 128.2 m2 which is much smaller than a decade ago. Moreso than houses, units have been consistently dropping in size over the years. Keep in mind, like houses, apartment sizes can vary widely, with some inner-city studio apartments being as small as 24 m2.

What is the average house size by state?

The average Australian house size varies from state to state as you can see in the table below.

State House area (square meters)
New South Wales126.0
Victoria 238.8
Western Australia214.8
South Australia156.8
Australia Capital Territory259.3
Northern Territory141.5

Why is the average home size in Australia dropping?

There is a noticeable trend that Australians are building progressively smaller houses, but what is the reasoning behind this? There are a few factors believed to be leading to this such as:

  • Aging Population: More residents are downsizing in retirement.
  • The rising cost of construction.
  • Blocks of land are getting smaller: Blocks of land are getting smaller, especially with master planned developments becoming more common in the last few decades. Therefore, Australian homes have had to become smaller to accommodate this.
  • The land is more expensive: A growing population means more occupied Australian houses, which in turn means less land to buy, particularly in popular areas. Great news if you’re looking to sell, but not so much if you want to buy.
  • Wages aren’t increasing at the same rate as the cost of living, leaving less money to spend on houses.
  • Inner city land is more expensive than ever, especially in high-demand areas. Many homeowners compromise by building smaller homes.
  • Families on average are smaller than they were decades ago. Whereas in the 1980s, the average family had 2.9 children, it has been steadily declining since, with the average now slightly below 2.5.

Having said all the above, it’s worth re-emphasising that Australian house sizes are on average still the largest in the world, with the possible exception of the US, depending on which statistics you read.

Is smaller a bad thing?

The immediate thought is a smaller house can’t be as good as a big house, but is this necessarily true? Well, it depends on what you need and how you look at it. Here are some examples of how a smaller house can actually be an advantage.

Cost Less

The most immediate benefit of building a smaller house is lower construction costs. With each square metre costing between $750-2500+, it’s easy to see how reducing the size of your plans can save you quite a bit of cash.

Energy Saving Costs

Though you’ll save money in lighting costs, your big money saver will come in heating and cooling expenses. A smaller area takes less time and energy to warm or cool which, depending on where you live, could save you hundreds a year.

Less Maintenance and Upkeep

“I wish I had more floors to vacuum and mop,” said no one ever. A big advantage of a smaller house is it requires less maintenance and upkeep. Having more features, even mundane things like taps, sockets and lights, has the downside of meaning more things can break, and need repairs or replacement.

Live more with Less

Extra space can be a mixed blessing when it comes to storage. With storage, it can feel like an inevitable prophecy that if it is there, it’ll be filled with something. Smaller houses can help you learn to live with less, avoiding the collection of junk you’ll never use (that box of old laptop cords and phone chargers might not be as useful as you think).

How do Australian home sizes compare to other countries?

The size of Australian homes is actually fairly reasonable compared to countries around the globe. Compared to most European houses, the average new house in Australia is enormous. Below is a quick look at how other countries’ average dwelling size compares to Aussie homes.

CountryHouse Size
USA204.3 sqm
New Zealand178.3 sqm
United Kingdom76-100 sqm
France81.5 sqm
Japan85 sqm
Hong Kong43.6 sqm

How to plan and properly read floor plans for your new home?

Though you don’t need to rush out and get your architectural degree just yet, it doesn’t hurt to have a fundamental understanding of what you’re looking at. How to read floor plans is a subject so extensive, that we’ve written an entire article about it, so why not check it out?

Book your free, impartial consultation with Buildi today!


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