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Houses Becoming Smaller

It’s hard to credit but the average size of new dwellings has dropped from 200 square metres in 2010 to 158m2 in 2019, according to interest.co.nz. That’s quite a drop in such a short time.

My childhood home was a 100m2 box – three bedrooms, one bathroom and a separate garage in which I was brought up perfectly well.

Over the years, houses got bigger and bigger. However, now the baby boomers – a dominant sector at present – are starting to retire and no longer need large houses.

At the other end of the scale, first home buyers are being hit by rising costs so smaller is more affordable (except that construction costs keep rising – but that’s another story!)

Property editor Greg Ninness says, for almost a decade the average house size has been dropping, but gathering pace particularly since 2014. In 2010 the average size was 200m2, last year it was just 158m2, down 21% on 2010.

You’d think that the decline is due to more high-density properties like apartments being built, but in fact almost all residential property types are getting smaller.

The only one to record a marginal increase in average size since 2010 is retirement village units. These have grown slightly from 115m2 to 118m2.

Oh, how life has changed.

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