How our housing markets have changed – Higher densities and smaller lot sizes

Look how our housing markets have changed over the last 25 years.House Or Apartment

A quarter of a century ago the great Australian dream was to own a home in the suburbs with a front and back yard.

Today more home buyers are trading their back yards for balconies and courtyards.

They are trading space ( a big suburban home) for place (living in the best locations.)

The recent Aussie 25 year property trends report shows that over the past 25 years, more buyers are choosing to purchase a unit over a detached house because of the cheaper price points and often more strategic location.

Here’s an extract from the report:



Source: CoreLogic The percentage of unit sales is based on dwelling sales over the 12 months ending April 1993 and April 2018, except for Darwin where data commences from 1999.

Here are some more details from the Aussie report:

As the population grows, well located developable land has become scarcer and town planning regulations have changed to allow for higher densities within close proximity of major working precincts and transport corridors.

Twenty five years ago, only 22.7% of all property sales were for attached housing product such as town homes and apartments, whereas over the twelve months ending April 2018, 29.6% of all settled sales were for attached housing product.

The recent trend towards a lower proportion of unit sales will likely be revised higher as off-the-plan sales eventually settle, which can take several years from the contract date.



Source: CoreLogic Vacant land statistics are based on settled vacant land sales over a rolling 12 month period. Vacant land statistics are unavailable in the ACT and NT.

Due to changes in land zoning regulations and worsening housing affordability, there has been a consistent trend towards smaller blocks of land.  Melbourne, Australia

25 years ago the typical vacant land area was approximately 820sqm nationally and block sizes have trended smaller over the years to record a current median land area of 610sqm.

The recent upswing in median land area nationally is mostly attributable to vacant land sales across the Sydney housing market where new land subdivisions located in the outskirts of the city fringe have pushed the median lot size higher.


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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