Australia’s leading builders and developers predict that an appetite for small homes will be the dominant theme throughout the coming decade, according to a new report.
Three other major trends to impact the residential housing sector in the next 10 years will be affordability, diversity and walkability.
“What leading industry players told us in our interviews is that we are seeing a maxing out of the average house size,” says Deon White, managing director of urban design and town planning firm RobertsDay, publisher of the new report.
“The trend of the McMansion is on the decline; Australians are turning away from the super-large Australian home. Instead, they’re starting to engage with the concept of the smaller home. People want to live a little more; they want less of their income drained into their weekly mortgage payments.”
This mirrors ideas in the United States where critics of McMansions and other large homes suggest the focus should move away from space and most bang for your buck to customization and community life. New Urbanists, for example, would likely approve of all of these forecasted trends. At the same time, planning for a diverse range of affordable smaller homes within walkable neighborhoods is not necessarily cheap and it requires a large change of focus than simply building different kinds of homes. To make this all happen on a scale beyond just a few new developments requires the combined efforts of builders, people in charge of zoning and regulation, mortgage providers and financiers, and buyers.