More house, less people

Jazz 11 January 2008 39

I’ve long held a theory that the reason we have such a squeeze on rental accomodation is that there are now fewer people per house. And lo, i am validated. At least according to this article in todays CT.

We’re now living at 2.6 people per household in the ACT compared to a decade ago when it was 2.8. May not seem like much but that 0.2 amounts to a need for 8800 additional dwellings in canberra’s current population, probably equating to 3 whole suburbs.

The more interesting thing to note is the massive increase in property size over the same 10 years. Everyone seeminly wants a McMansion because the average house size has increased from 203sqm to 247sqm in australia.

With these trends it would seem that the days of the basic 3 bedroom govie house are long gone, and with diminishing block sizes perhaps the time honored tradition of backyard cricket as well.

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39 Responses to More house, less people
I-filed I-filed 9:26 pm 14 Jan 08

Calculate the cost of commuting from Macgregor and driving into the blinding sun before you decide. Saving on commuting costs may mean you can afford a mortgage $40,000 higher and have more likelihood that your house value would hold. If I were buying my first home and couldn’t afford the inner North I would buy the most run-down house I could find in Macquarie. I actually think a house in Macquarie could be worth paying $400,000 for – the ex-guvvies there are quite well made, and it isn’t an awful suburb like many Belconnen suburbs. Live with an ordinary kitchen, resist the urge to redecorate, and do nothing but a lick of paint and basic maintenance. Concentrate on the garden – and don’t buy plants: propagate them with the help of neighbours & family with established gardens.

VYBerlinaV8 VYBerlinaV8 9:24 am 14 Jan 08

Nyssa, it depends on what you mean by ‘value’. Land is the one thing they’re not making any more of, so well located property will, in the long term, always rise in value.

The difficulty going forward is that over the next few years we’re likely to see property prices stagnate (generally speaking), but rents still rising.

My thought is that for your own home, it’s worth buying something if you can, and simply hold onto it for the longer term. Nemo’s point about a new place McGregor is well made – and if you decide to upgrade later, borrow against that place and make it an investment property when the time comes. Alternatively, try to find something with a granny flat (or similar) attached and rent that to someone to reduce your own costs.

There are ways to do it, but it may require a non-traditional solution.

nyssa76 nyssa76 9:02 am 14 Jan 08

Special G, hence my looking at houses when I was in Ballarat.

The prices aren’t value for money. Blind Freddy could tell you that.

No wonder people are leaving….they can get a better deal elsewhere.

Nemo Nemo 10:23 pm 13 Jan 08

You can get a brand new 126sqm 3br dbl garage house on a 510sqm block for $330k at the new estate in macgregor.
Live in it for a few years then upgrade.

I-filed I-filed 10:19 pm 13 Jan 08

Oh! Mind you, that’s the asking price … but that’s a RIDICULOUS price! I see what you all mean!

VYBerlinaV8 VYBerlinaV8 8:45 pm 13 Jan 08

You’re kidding right, I-filed? The cheapest property on AllHomes in QBN that is listed as a house is this:

It’s a 2 bedroom home on a 580sqm block. Now, this is still a nice place if that’s what you’re after, but I believe Nyssa has kids, and a 2 BR house may not be big enough. 350-400k is more realistic for QBN. It’s not a cheap place!

I-filed I-filed 8:09 pm 13 Jan 08

nyssa, why don’t you buy in Queanbeyan? You can get a decent house with a big yard in the old part for less than $300,000.

Nemo Nemo 8:03 pm 13 Jan 08

We have a 200+ sqm house on a 350m block. Because of the exceptional house design (multi level) we have a lovely backyard which is plenty big enough. No we can’t play cricket in it, but we have plenty of open parkland around us where we can.

Special G Special G 7:36 pm 13 Jan 08

Guess what Nyssa – prices went up. If you want a boat sized backyard its going to cost ya. Or try Yass – got some friends who recently bought 5 acres and are building on it – other side of things travel time although there are still schools out there for the kiddies and for you to teach at.

nyssa76 nyssa76 6:55 pm 13 Jan 08

Special G, I shouldn’t have to. Besides, we both know that it’s up to our Govt as to where he goes, not me.

It just irks the shit out of me that the house prices are so high – when really you aren’t getting value for money as neanderthalsis stated above.

If I’m going to spend $400K on a house, I want a backyard that isn’t the size of my car.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 5:52 pm 13 Jan 08

Jazz mentioned that actual building sizes have on average increased from 203sqm to 247sqm, but at the same time the land size has decreased. Back in the “olden days”, the 1/4 acre(or 1000 sqm) was standard, but how rare is it now.

Most newer estates are selling 300 – 400 sqm lots, put a 250 sqm house on it and you have no yard at all. I think we have found a culprit for the obesity epidemic, no backyard to play in for the kidlets…

VYBerlinaV8 VYBerlinaV8 1:23 pm 13 Jan 08

It’s worth remembering that if you compare the property market of today with, say 10 years ago, you are comparing different times of the cycle. At the end of the 1990’s property had hardly moved in 9-10 years, and the market was significant undervalued, which triggered the last boom. We are now in a relatively fully valued market, that is likely to stagnate for a while. Over time, wages and other prices catch up, and the cycle begins again…

miz miz 12:40 pm 13 Jan 08

While there are undoubtedly some people with a possible ‘excess’ (depending on your opinion) of space, it is certainly more of a community standard to have a separate space for computer room/study. I’m in a 3 br govie – one adult and three teens. Now, I don’t care about bathrooms (though an extra loo would have been good). BUT in a smaller place, there is the danger of cacophony stress! It drives me crazy when the telly is on at the same time as the computer (think, iTunes blaring) and while I would quite like to catch up on the news on the radio while I am getting dinner on, this will only add to the din. More space means a quieter, less stressful life.

I-filed I-filed 10:25 am 13 Jan 08

Look no further than ACT Housing mismanagement for the rent squeeze: three inner-Canberra government houses (11 bedrooms) are occupied by a family of two separated adults on welfare, one child of theirs (another, “difficult” child supposedly lives with Gran but only to qualify for an away-from-home allowance) and a nephew on welfare. Total rent paid: about $150 a week between them. Their rent is covered three times over by the market rent they are bringing in on the spare bedrooms (during the six-monthly housing inspections, said bedrooms are turned into “studios” with “daybeds” and the extra “tenants” simply stay away for the afternoon).

kris kris 9:44 am 13 Jan 08

Nysaa76 – If house prices increase by only 7% a year on average, and given you can get close to that just by putting your money in the bank its not excessive, then prices should double in about 10 years and nearly triple over 15.

Remember also that far south and far north suburbs in canberra are still very close in compared to other cities.

Special G Special G 8:10 am 13 Jan 08

Try Broome – $800/wk for rent on an unpowered caravan site. Singleton in the Hunter Valley you get a 3 bedroom weatherboard box for the $350-400k. Send your husband of to the gulf or Afghanistan for a couple of months you’ll be able to buy anything you like.

nyssa76 nyssa76 10:36 pm 12 Jan 08

Special G, that’s all well and good if the kids are close in age. Try 9 years apart! My 13yo does not want to share with her 4yo sister and I’m sure she’d want to share with her 8yo brother!

Whilst in Ballarat, I enquired as to the price of this really nice house – 5br, 2bath etc. $200,000 with lots of room.

The same house here? $400-500,000 and less per sqm.

The Canberra real estate market is BS.

I look at the new houses in the far south and far north of Canberra and I wonder how people can pay so much for such a small place when 10-15 years ago they would have paid half, if not a third, of the price for the same house.

I don’t want a Boganvilla. I want a simple 4br house that I can do up myself and sell later on when the kids leave home (if I so choose to do).

What I do have a problem with is having to move interstate to get a better deal than here.

Special G Special G 7:16 pm 12 Jan 08

I wonder where whatshisface from the best house in Canberra article has gone – this one is right up his alley. Obviously couldn’t handle the heat.

I have three bedrooms – two big ones and one little. We will have two bubs shortly and when they are a little older they will be sharing number two big bedroom- holy sh&t you say kids sharing a bedroom – crazy business.

Pandy Pandy 12:04 pm 12 Jan 08

One bathroom houses are for poor people.

One bathroom per bedroom and a powder room is what the better class of people in Forrest et. al. have.

s-s-a s-s-a 2:22 am 12 Jan 08

Not only is it related to the fewer children we are having now, but an increasing number of families require two houses when parents split up but are sharing care of the kiddies.

LOL at Boganvilla btw!

We do ok here slumming it in 125sqm with just ONE bathroom and ONE living area between three people.

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