It seems big is better when it comes to the Australian home, which now super-sizes all other countries in the world. Averaging 215 square metres, the Australian home is now 7 per cent bigger than homes in the US, double the size of those in Europe and triple the size of those in the UK.
Data recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the floor area of freestanding houses (a measure of the useable space) has also reached a record high at 248 square metres, making Australian houses 10 per cent larger than a decade ago.
Over time the typical house has evolved from having three bedrooms, one bathroom and separate living areas into a more open plan layout, a fourth bedroom and ensuite facilities. Around 20 years ago only one in every six homes had four or more bedrooms. By 2006 it was one in every 3.5 homes.
Popular extras like home theatres, family rooms, studies and walk-in wardrobes and pantries all contribute to the modern home's expansion.
Sydney's homes are by far the nation's biggest, with new free-standing houses typically spanning 269.5 square metres, giving each occupant an average of 100 square metres of personal space.
By contrast, the size of the average US home fell from 212 square metres before the financial crisis to 202 square metres in September. In the rest of the world, homes are much smaller still. Denmark tops the ranking for homes in Europe at 137 square metres and Britain the smallest at 76 square metres.
Does size really matter?
The trend is towards bigger homes, but size is only one factor to consider when buying or investing in property. As your mortgage broker we can advise you on the steps to take when buying a new home, such as the following key considerations.
Finances: decide how much you can afford and what you can afford to spend. A large home can give you the extra space you've always wanted but it will cost you more to maintain, furnish and decorate.
Priorities: Consider what is important to you - does the size of the home have a higher priority to the home's access to schools and shops, its proximity to your work, its backyard, privacy or views?
Location: Location is the number one rule in real estate. You can change almost any imperfection in a home but, once bought, you cannot change your home's location. Think about your target neighbourhood - is it close to services and transportation? What are the property values like in the area?