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Average House Size Australia

Layout for average sized home

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Average House Size Australia

How do you envision your dream house? How many bedrooms and bathrooms does it have? According to the ABS 2019 – 2020 statistics, the average newly-built house on the market right now has a 248m² floorplan on a 467m² block size. However, these numbers fall short of the nation’s statistical ideal: a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-car garage house, situated on a 665m² block.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can approach choosing the right sized house, how much a larger house can set you back and how big your land needs to be to accommodate your ideal home.

Layout for average sized home

Average House Size

The average three-bedroom home is 235.8m² built on a 474m² block, but why is that so far removed from the Australian ideal (land roughly 200m² smaller)? Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners have settled for smaller homes, but ABS data shows that this has caused dissatisfaction, with 43.6% of Australian homeowners unhappy with their homes due to size. Additionally, whilst the current average land size is 474m², the National Land Survey Program shows that prospective buyers are looking for an average land size of 665m². The demand for bigger land isn’t the only thing that has grown, with the average size of newly-built Australian homes increasing by 2.9% between the years 2019 to 2020. Overall, Australians have always preferred larger homes, even surpassing the United States, known for their aptly named jumbo residencies “McMansions”.

You may be wondering how each Australian state compares in terms of home size. This can vary depending on the type of home you’re looking for, according to the CommSec Home Size Trends reports 2019/20 data, with other dwellings such as townhouses or apartments generally trending towards smaller sizes:

State/Territory House Other Dwelling
ACT 256.3m² 143.0m²
Victoria 250.3m² 155.0m²
NSW 252.0m² 121.3m²
Western Australia 232.5m² 150.5m²
Tasmania 179.0m² 132.5m²

So how do we get these measurements? Well, it’s fairly simple. Generally, this information is available through real estate listings or floorplans, but it can also be measured through the use of a measuring tape, calculator and writing implements. All you need to do to find the size of your home is:

  1. Draw a rough sketch/floorplan of your home, mapping out the rooms (including hallways) that you’ll need to measure.
  2. Measure each room’s width and length in metres and then multiply them together to calculate the square metres. You then simply note the final calculation onto your sketch.
  3. This process is repeated for each room until you have the square metres of every room. These measurements are then added up to calculate the home’s total square metres.

It’s important to note that the typical house measurements don’t include areas such as garages, which are considered non-usable spaces.

How Big of a House Do I Need?

Your family’s individual needs ultimately determine the size of your home. So, how do you balance your budget and the size of your home? Firstly, consider functional space and what it means to you. If you’re on a tight budget, it can be especially beneficial to figure out which areas of your home are essential to your lifestyle, weighing what you want versus what you need. Some things to consider include:

  • “Does it spark joy?”
    Netflix sensation, Marie Kondo introduced households worldwide to the concept of mindful consideration towards the contents of your home, and the same should apply to your overall space. Will this room get used? Can I see my family spending meaningful time in this space? Asking questions like these could see you saving on square metres and instead delegating them to better uses.
  • How long do you plan on living here?
    Planning for the future can be daunting, but as we get older, our lifestyle needs can change. Do you want this home to grow with your family? Will this house be a reasonable size as you get older?
  • Do you plan to have children?
    Children take up their fair share of space for a sizeable amount of time! Will there be enough space for them in your new home? Are the common living areas large enough? Is one bathroom enough?
  • Is there enough space for your current household?
    The average Australian household in 2016 was recorded at 2.6 by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and is projected to remain roughly the same. However, with working from home arrangements and a greater focus on at-home entertainment, this may impact the average home size.
  • Do you work or study from home?
    Not having a private space for working or studying can be a deal-breaker. If you’re not working now, consider your future career goals. Will you need space for a personal office? With today’s professional landscape trending towards various flexible and working from home arrangements, knowing that you have the space needed is crucial.
  • How much time are you willing to commit to maintenance?
    Bigger houses mean bigger floors to vacuum and more window sills to dust unless you can afford to pay for help. Is this something you would be prepared for going forward?
  • Do you want to be more eco-friendly?
    The larger the house, the bigger the footprint, with major factors such as heating, cooling and lighting having the potential to impact your energy consumption and subsequent environmental impact. Does this align with your personal goals? Are there ways you can work around this?

Ultimately the type of house you need is dependent on a combination of factors, including budget, lifestyle and goals. No matter the vision, however, Forme Homes can help you to design the right home for your family.

Architect working on home layout

Cost per Square Metre to Build a House

Deciding on the right size home for your family will require a close look at your budget, with the average home costing between $1,720/m² and $3,300/m² to build. These numbers may vary depending on the size, materials and type of builders you employ with house build services such as:

  • Project Builds
    Also known as volume builders, project builders are mass-producers where you can purchase a home from a catalogue of houses. This essentially means that whilst you can choose which home you’d like, the flexibility and customisation usually stops there. Project builds benefit from cheaper prices and faster construction, but lack the personalisation and the accompanying quality that comes with the attention to detail offered by custom designers and architectural designers.
  • Custom Designers
    If you’re looking for a home that perfectly fits your needs at an affordable price, custom designers are the way to go. These kinds of designers work with you on every single step of the design and build process. Custom builds are pricier than project builds; however offer a more involved process, meaning you’ll get to have your say in every detail and design a highly individualised home.
  • Architectural Designers
    Architectural designers, not to be confused with building designers, are at the top of the price scale, specialising in cutting-edge home design and will often supply your chosen builder with complex blueprints and plans. Whilst this can result in a creative home design, architectural designs impact ROI for investment properties and may involve daring design decisions that reduce future resale value.

If you’d like to read more on the different factors that can impact your overall build price, take a look at our informative article, detailing everything you need to know about home building costs.

Land Size vs House

A critical step in planning your home build is to compare the land size (the total size of your lot or block) to the house size (the total square metres covered by your floor plan). A larger home to land ratio implies more space for your family, while a greater land to home ratio offers the traditional large backyard for those who enjoy time out in the sun. However, how large your home is can depend primarily on local council restrictions, boundary setback requirements, and your lot’s size. For quick reference, here are the average home sizes you can expect for some typical Australian lots:

Lot Size/Frontage Single Storey Home Size Double Storey Home Size
220m² to 280m²

10.5m frontage

139m² to 176m² 204m² to 260m²
350m² to 400m²

12.5m frontage

185m² to 241m² 278m² to 334m²
350m² to 448m²

14m frontage

204m² to 260m² 334m² to 436m²

*Frontage refers to the width of the front of the lot, determined by where the access for the home is.

These numbers give you a realistic benchmark going forward into planning your home build. So what does the ideal home look like for you, and how can it be future-proofed for the picturesque family unit of four?

Open plan kitchen and living space

Best Size House for a Family of 4

In Australia, it has become clear that larger homes are what the market desires, with the ideal size home for a family of four being between 220m² to 260m². Larger homes provide a versatile space suitable for all members of the family and come with countless benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Space to grow
    As your household grows, whether it be from having children or caring for your parents in their elderly years, having a large space means being able to easily transition into different living arrangements.
  • Financial potential
    A home can be an intense financial investment, so having contingencies in place is a great idea. A larger home means the potential for renting out your extra room or creating an Airbnb space for extra income.
  • Resale value
    Due to market trends, owning a larger home with a more flexible layout will appeal better to potential buyers in the event you decide to sell.
  • Professional potential
    As workplaces move towards flexible arrangements and working from home, larger living spaces are proving advantageous. Sharing your space with another whilst trying to work is a difficult task, so having designated areas for work or study is crucial to the future of modern working.

However, having a workable space is half the battle when planning a home; it’s also important to consider your home layout. Whilst the ideal home layout can vary from family to family, some good rules to follow are:

  • Square metres per person
    Considering the amount of space delegated to each person can help give you a benchmark for how much space you’ll need overall. As a rule of thumb, each person needs roughly 55m² to 65m². So for a family of four, at minimum, you’ll need 220m² to 260m². From there, it’s a matter of considering your needs versus wants.
  • Maximise storage
    Saving on wasted space and getting creative with storage design can free up your home for more meaningful living.
  • Room location
    Consider the placement of noisy areas such as the garage, kitchen and laundry in relation to quiet spaces like a home office or bedroom. With a larger home, you have the freedom to layout your home in a way that compliments your lifestyle; this means having options such as an individual laundry room.
  • Room functionality
    Consider spaces like study nooks for your children. Separating technology from their bedroom will not only benefit your child’s ability to separate relaxation from active learning.
  • Bedrooms
    Ensure you have enough bedrooms for each member of your family (including any planned for the future) as well as an additional bedroom for guests. A bigger house means your guests can spend the night in comfort, rather than on the couch.
  • Bathrooms
    Another useful rule of thumb is one bathroom for every two bedrooms. If you’re planning on a 4-bedroom house, you should look at having at least two bathrooms. Additionally, if you have an ensuite in mind for the master bedroom, budgeting a bit more for two separate vanities will help you and your partner avoid frustrating bathroom waits before work.
  • Open floor plan
    Consider an open floor plan to not only bring your family together but ensure that you can continue to spend time with your family when cooking or cleaning.

Equipped with a sound understanding of the average house size in Australia and the various factors that determine the appropriate home size, you can confidently approach a custom home builder. Forme Homes will assist you in assessing your budget, land size, and lifestyle needs during the planning phase of your custom home build in order to design the right-sized home for you. The Australian property market prefers large homes for their practicality and liveability, so selecting a space that meets your family’s needs and land constraints will give you a competitive advantage and a more comfortable lifestyle. Start your journey to a bigger and better home with Forme Homes today!