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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Australian home size is growing

Over time the typical house in Australia has evolved from having three bedrooms, one bathroom and separate living areas into a more open plan, including a fourth bedroom and ensuite facilities. Popular extras, such as rumpus rooms, walk-in wardrobes, walk-in kitchen pantries and the like, may add to the overall size of modern homes. This has resulted in an increase in the size of new residential buildings.

Residential buildings, both houses and other dwellings (such as flats, units, semi-detached houses and townhouses) have increased in size over the past 18 years. The percentage increase was higher for houses than for other dwellings. The growth in the average floor area (footnote 1) of new residential buildings (footnote 2) during the period 1984-85 to 2002-03 is shown in graph 19.7.

Graph 19.7: AVERAGE FLOOR AREA OF NEW RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS



The average floor area of new residential buildings increased by 37.4% (from 149.7 m2 to 205.7 m2) between 1984-95 and 2002-03. New houses increased by 40.3% (from 162.2 m2 to 227.6 m2) while new other residential buildings increased in average size by 35.2% (from 99.2 m2 to 134.0 m2) (table 19.8).


19.8 AVERAGE FLOOR AREA OF NEW RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

1984-85
1993-94
2002-03
Change
from 1984-85
to 2002-03
Change
from 1993-94
to 2002-03
m2
m2
m2
%
%

New houses
162.2
188.7
227.6
40.3
20.6
New other residential buildings
99.2
115.9
134.0
35.2
15.6
All new residential buildings
149.7
171.1
205.7
37.4
20.2

Source: ABS data available on request, Building Activity Survey.


The average floor area of new houses increased in all states and territories over the past 18 years. The largest increases were in New South Wales (53.8%), the Australian Capital Territory (53.1%) and Queensland (50.2%) (table 19.9).

The average floor area of new houses built in 2002-03 was largest in New South Wales (244.9 m2) and Queensland (232.8 m2), while the smallest were in Tasmania (177.6 m2) and the Northern Territory (182.9 m2).


19.9 AVERAGE FLOOR AREA OF NEW HOUSES

1984-85
1993-94
2002-03
Change from 1984-85 to
2002-03
Change from 1993-94 to
2002-03
m2
m2
m2
%
%

New South Wales
159.3
191.4
244.9
53.8
27.9
Victoria
163.6
177.4
222.4
36.0
25.4
Queensland
154.9
191.6
232.8
50.2
21.5
South Australia
160.4
181.7
196.6
22.6
8.2
Western Australia
185.4
204.2
229.4
23.7
12.3
Tasmania
149.9
167.9
177.6
18.5
5.7
Northern Territory
135.4
177.4
182.9
35.2
3.1
Australian Capital Territory
149.4
181.7
228.7
53.1
25.9
Australia
162.2
188.7
227.6
40.3
20.6

Source: ABS data available on request, Building Activity Survey.


The average floor area of new other residential dwellings (such as flats, units, semi-detached houses and townhouses) also increased in all states and territories in the past 18 years. The greatest increases were in the Northern Territory (47.3%), Tasmania (42.6%) and South Australia (42.5%) (table 19.10).

The average floor area of new other residential buildings built in 2002-03 was largest in South Australia (143.6 m2) and Victoria (140.1 m2), while the smallest were in New South Wales (127.1 m2) and the Australian Capital Territory (129.4 m2).


19.10 AVERAGE FLOOR AREA OF NEW OTHER RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

1984-85
1993-94
2002-03
Change
from 1984-85
to 2002-03
Change
from 1993-94
to 2002-03
m2
m2
m2
%
%

New South Wales
96.6
117.6
127.1
31.6
8.1
Victoria
100.7
115.3
140.1
39.2
21.5
Queensland
97.7
111.7
137.5
40.8
23.1
South Australia
100.8
115.4
143.6
42.5
24.4
Western Australia
107.0
127.3
134.4
25.6
5.6
Tasmania
87.2
94.1
124.3
42.6
32.1
Northern Territory
89.4
110.8
131.7
47.3
18.9
Australian Capital Territory
98.3
112.4
129.4
31.7
15.1
Australia
99.2
115.9
134.0
35.2
15.7

Source: ABS data available on request, Building Activity Survey.


Endnotes

1 The ‘floor area’ of a building is a measure of the amount of areal space in a building (and its attachments) and is measured in square metres (m2). The boundary of the recorded floor area of a building is delineated by the external perimeter of the external walls of the building. If a building has an unenclosed verandah, carport, etc., attached outside an external wall of one or more storeys, then the area under the verandah is excluded. <back

2 The floor area data used in the analyses was obtained from ABS Building Activity collections and is a measure of the floor area of a building at the final stage of its construction. Average floor area data was not stated for about 10% of all dwellings and, therefore, these were excluded from the analyses. Average floor area was calculated using the formula: Total floor area of all completed dwellings in the year/Number of completed dwellings in the year. <back

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