In most places around Australia, medium-density and high-density living have been on the rise.
The popularity of units has been rising.
In the last 25 years, the number of new units being built has increased by 75%.
Unsurprisingly, around 85% of people living in units are within capital city regions, most of which are between the ages of 25 and 34.
It’s also well known that units tend to be cheaper than houses, even for the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
However, when you compare the cost per square metre, it turns out that units are actually significantly more expensive than houses across Australia.
Differences in cost per square metre across capital cities
Per square metre, units cost around five to seven times more than houses.
Compared to all the other capital cities, Melbourne has the smallest price difference between units and houses in regards to square metre.
Melbourne units are 5 times more expensive than Melbourne houses, still a large difference.
Houses in Melbourne cost around $1141/sqm whereas units cost $5720/sqm.
This small difference is likely attributed to the whopping 636% increase in the cost per square metre of houses.
Units in Sydney are 5.5 times more expensive per square metre in comparison to houses.
Where units cost $7,580/sqm, houses only cost $1372/sqm.
Sydney units have reached the highest recorded national price this past year.
The biggest difference is in Hobart where units cost a massive 7.1 times more than houses per square metre.
Cost per square metre of houses is the lowest in the nation compared to other capital cities, sitting at around $486.
Units in Hobart are $3482/sqm, making them significantly more unaffordable.
Average floor size across the nation
Floor size in Australia has changed a lot over the past couple of decades.
Floor size of new houses was on a general trend upward until about mid-2008.
Since then, they floor plans for new houses have been decreasing, however, are still over 40% larger than they were in 1985.
For units, floor size has also been decreasing from about mid-2009.
On average, units are around 124.8m², equivalent to the average size in the mid-90s.
When considering the floor size of all new houses and units, the figure has dropped to 186.3m².
This is actually the lowest it has been in the past 22 years.
A standard size tennis court, 195m², would be larger than the average size home.
Even though floor plans remain large, the higher percentage of apartments has brought the average down significantly.
It’s clear that people are paying a lot more now for less space.
Even though the average floor size is decreasing, property prices have still been going up.
Units definitely make getting onto the property ladder easier for a lot of people since they usually come at a cheaper overall cost in comparison to houses.
However, it’s important to consider whether the space you get for your money is actually worth it.
Of course, units do come with their own benefits and it’s up to you to weigh out what factors are most important to you.
Guest author: James Pointon is a Commercial Manager at OpenAgent.com.au, an online agent comparison website helping Australians to sell, buy and own property.