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Properties in New Zealand bigger
The average size of a new property in New Zealand has been getting bigger as more detached homes with more bedrooms were built in recent decades, new research shows.

The size of properties has soared over the last 30 years, but the rate of growth is slowing as home owners are now faced with increased building costs.

Latest research from Quotable Value puts the average size of a home built since 2010 at 205 square metres compared with 142.4 square metres in 1980.

Quotable Value research director Jonno Ingerson said much of the increase could be put down to a rise in the construction of four bedroom homes, particularly during the last 20 years.

The research shows that since 2000 more houses have been built with four bedrooms than three for the first time. Five bedroom homes have also increased from 3% up to 11% per cent.

It also found that four bedroom homes currently account for about half of all new builds in New Zealand and ensuite bathrooms and extra living areas have been high on the wish list for many people.
Many modern houses also tend to have garages under the main roof, and where this is the case they also count as part of the floor area of a house.

The research shows house sizes were relatively stable until the 1930s and 1940s, when the depression and war led to smaller homes being built. Since the 1950s house sizes have steadily increased, with the rate of growth accelerating between 1980 and 2010.

However, significant increases in the cost of building in recent years meant the rate of growth was now slowing, suggesting homes may not get much larger.

‘There is also a push by some of the larger city councils to encourage medium density housing in fringe city suburbs. This type of housing will have smaller floor areas than the traditional suburban family homes that have been built over the last 20 years,’ said Ingerson.

The director of Massey University's real estate analysis unit, professor Bob Hargreaves, said there was also evidence that the McMansion type of house was becoming more difficult to sell, and more expensive to heat.

‘My feeling is that house sizes will start to level off and may fall in some areas as builders are faced with affordability issues for the end user when building costs are set to increase quite substantially,’ he added.
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