The average size of dwellings is trending smaller.

We can see from the graph that in the 1970s the average new house size was just over 110 square metres. In the 1990s it was 160 square metres, and in the 2000s almost 190. Now, the ten-year average has fallen to 180 square metres and the average for the past year has been just 156 square metres.

A key reason for the change in average floor area is that in most locations fewer houses are being built and more units are appearing – mainly as townhouses but also some apartments and retirement units. Nationwide, the proportion of dwellings built which are standalone dwellings has fallen to around 56% from over 80% ten years ago.

This change is most noticeable in Auckland where in the past year the proportion of dwelling consents which are for dwellings has fallen from around 78% to 37%. For the rest of New Zealand, the change has been from around 83% to 69%.

Source: Tony Alexander -Independent Economist and Speaker. Tony’s Views 29-04-2021

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