G.J. Gardner Homes, Australia’s largest, franchised homebuilder*, has seen a significant rise in consumer demand for more compact homes, driven by a trend to subdivide and a desire to live closer to the city.
Ross Morley, Managing Director of G.J. Gardner Homes Victoria, explained that clients are increasingly subdividing land to meet their lifestyle and financial needs.
“We have seen a considerable number of clients, particularly in the retirement market, asking us to subdivide their land to build an additional dwelling, which is a real sign of the times. They realise that they can sell one home or rent it out for some passive income.”
“Some of these people are asset rich but cash poor. Their money is tied up in their block of land so they are looking for ways to, not only free up some of their assets but, to also have lower overall maintenance and living costs.”
To fulfil demand on this fast growing segment, G.J. Gardner Homes create tailored, compact homes that feature modern fittings that don’t compromise on design. These homes have new improved insulation ratings and energy saving devices such as solar hot water or rain harvesting systems.
Mr Morley said, “These small infill blocks almost always require a specific design to meet the site shape and planning requirements, so having a builder who can accommodate this at a competitive price is essential.
“Our designs mean that families don’t have to compromise on quality while maximising their lifestyle. We find alternative solutions to our clients’ design needs. For example, by swapping traditional brick cladding to lightweight cladding in some areas, we can create a more useable living space inside the home for the same size footprint.”
Mr Morley also said that homes positioned on a smaller block, created as a result of subdivision, are most often purchased by a young family trying to buy in an inner suburb.
“Many young families are looking for an affordable price point to enter the property market. We have seen this happen increasingly in areas such as the inner Eastern suburbs of Melbourne including Camberwell, Hawthorn, Kew and Burwood.”
“They want to live in an area that is close to the good schools, parks and nice restaurants, but not too far from the city. Sometimes, buying a smaller home on a smaller block, makes this possible for them.”
Last week, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures revealed that the average floor size for a new freestanding house was 243.6sqm, down from a high of 248sqm two years ago. New flats were the smallest in a decade with the national average being 133.7sqm and just 126.2sqm in Victoria.
G.J. Gardner Homes are increasingly building smarter family homes to meet the needs of their clients. G.J. Gardner Homes operate in 84 locations across Australia.
*G.J. Gardner Homes is Australia’s largest, franchised homebuilder by number of homes built (HIA 2010).