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8731.0 - Building Approvals, Australia, Dec 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/02/2004   
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Feature Article - Average Floor Area of New Dwellings

This article was published in Building Approvals, Australia, Dec 2003


INTRODUCTION

This article presents information obtained from the quarterly Building Activity Survey relating to the floor area of new dwellings. It provides updated information from a similar article published in the July 2001 issue of this publication.


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. 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.

METHOD

The floor area data used in the following analyses was obtained from 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.

RESULTS

The average floor area of new residential buildings from 1984-85 to 2002-03 is summarised below.

Average floor area of new residential buildings, Australia
Graph: Average floor area of new residential buildings, Australia



There has been a steady increase in the average floor area of new dwellings over the last 19 years. The average floor area of new dwellings increased by 37.4% between 1984-85 and 2002-03, from 149.7 m2 to 205.7 m2. New houses increased from 162.2 m2 to 227.6 m2 (40.3%), while new other residential buildings increased from 99.2 m2 to 134.0 m2 (35.2%).


In the past four years the average floor area of new houses increased by 6.0 m2 (2.7%) and the average floor area of other residential buildings increased by 4.1 m2 (3.2%). The steady growth in the average floor area of new houses has not been as evident over the last two years, with the average actually falling in 2001-02. One of the factors that may have influenced that fall was the change in the proportion of new houses being built by first home buyers, following the introduction of the original, and then modified, First Home Owners Grant.

AVERAGE FLOOR AREA OF NEW RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS, AUSTRALIA

1984-85
1999-00
2002-03
1984-85 to 2002-03
1999-00 to 2002-03
m2
m2
m2
% change
% change

New houses
162.2
221.6
227.6
40.3
2.7
New other residential
99.2
129.9
134.0
35.2
3.2
Total new residential(a)
149.7
199.5
205.7
37.4
3.1

(a) Careful interpretation should be placed on data at the State or Territory level as annual variations can occur depending on the mix of houses with stated floor area.
New Houses

The average floor area of new houses increased in all States and Territories over the last 19 years. The highest increases were in New South Wales (53.8%), the Australian Capital Territory (53.1%) and Queensland (50.2%).


In the last four years, the average floor area of new houses in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory decreased, while the average floor area in the remaining States and Territories increased. The highest increases between 1999-2000 and 2002-03 were recorded in the Australian Capital Territory (6.7%), Western Australia (5.0%) and Victoria (4.9%).


The average floor area of new houses built in 2002-03 was generally higher in the larger States than in the smaller States and Territories. For example, in 2002-03 average floor area was highest in New South Wales (244.9 m2 ) and Queensland (232.8 m2 ), while the lowest were in Tasmania (177.6 m2 ) and the Northern Territory (182.9 m2 ).

AVERAGE FLOOR AREA OF NEW HOUSES BY STATE AND TERRITORY

1984-85
1999-00
2002-03
1984-85 to 2002-03
1999-00 to 2002-03
m2
m2
m2
% change
% change

NSW
159.3
241.3
244.9
53.8
1.5
Vic.
163.6
212.1
222.4
36.0
4.9
Qld
154.9
224.4
232.8
50.2
3.7
SA
160.4
207.4
196.6
22.6
-5.2
WA
185.4
218.6
229.4
23.7
5.0
Tas.
149.9
194.1
177.6
18.5
-8.5
NT
135.4
185.4
182.9
35.2
-1.3
ACT
149.4
214.3
228.7
53.1
6.7
Australia
162.2
221.6
227.6
40.3
2.7

New Other Residential Dwellings

The average floor area of new other residential dwellings increased in all States and Territories in the last 19 years. The greatest increases were in the Northern Territory (47.3%), Tasmania (42.6%) and South Australia (42.5%).


In the last four years, the average floor area of new other residential buildings decreased in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, and increased in all other States. The highest increases between 1999-2000 and 2002-03 were recorded in Tasmania (8.0%) and Queensland (7.9%).


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

AVERAGE FLOOR AREA OF NEW OTHER RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS BY STATE AND TERRITORY(a)

1984-85
1999-00
2002-03
1984-85 to 2002-03
1999-00 to 2002-03
m2
m2
m2
% change
% change

NSW
96.6
124.9
127.1
31.6
1.8
Vic.
100.7
134.9
140.1
39.2
3.9
Qld
97.7
127.4
137.5
40.8
7.9
SA
100.8
168.3
143.6
42.5
-14.7
WA
107.0
132.2
134.4
25.6
1.7
Tas.
87.2
115.1
124.3
42.6
8.0
NT
89.4
141.4
131.7
47.3
-6.8
ACT
98.3
149.1
129.4
31.7
-13.2
Australia
99.2
129.9
134.0
35.2
3.2

(a) Careful interpretation should be placed on data at the State or Territory level as annual variations can occur depending on the mix of dwellings with stated floor area.
For more information on this topic please contact James Inglis on 08 82377405.


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