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New Homes Around 20 Percent Smaller


12 February 2020

The average floor area of new homes consented in 2019 was about 21 percent (42 square metres) smaller than the peak of 200 square metres in the December 2010 year, Stats NZ said today.

“The drop in new home size is primarily due to stand-alone houses getting smaller,” construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

“While stand-alone houses still account for the majority of new homes in New Zealand, an increasing proportion of townhouses, apartments, retirement village units, and other multi-unit homes consented in recent years has also contributed to smaller overall home sizes.”

The median floor area of new stand-alone houses consented in 2019 was around 180 square metres, down from just over 200 square metres in 2010. The median floor area of multi-unit homes has hovered around 100 square metres (which includes a portion of any shared spaces).

Half of all new homes consented in 2019 had a floor area smaller than the median of 148 square metres, and the other half were larger.

The size of new homes decreased in all regions except Northland and Marlborough between the December 2010 and 2019 years. The biggest homes were intended for Marlborough, with a median floor area of 187 square metres in 2019.

The median floor area of new homes in Auckland decreased around 60 square metres between 2010 and 2019. This affected the 2019 national results significantly, as Auckland accounted for over 40 percent of all new homes consented in New Zealand in 2019.

“In the December 2019 year, over 50 percent of all homes consented in Auckland were multi-unit homes, compared with a low point of about 16 percent in 2010.”

There were 37,538 new homes consented in New Zealand in the year ended December 2019, more than twice as many as in 2010 (15,602).

The overall record for new homes consented is still 40,025 in the February 1974 year. This was when the population of New Zealand was around 3 million, compared with about 4.9 million today.

The average size of homes consented in the year ended December 1974 was about 110 square metres, compared with around 160 square metres in 2019. Floor areas consented in recent years are more likely to include attached garages, than those consented in the 1970s. An attached double garage could add around 36 square metres to a new home.

Large variation in new house sizes for Auckland

Across Auckland there was a difference of 117 square metres in the median size of new stand-alone houses consented in 2019. Howick had the largest median floor area (269 square metres), and Manurewa the smallest (152 square metres).

“The difference in size between new houses consented in Howick and Manurewa in 2019 was the size of an average home built in the mid-1970s,” Ms McKenzie said.

Download the Excel file below for more detailed data.

(See attached file: floor-area-of-consented-new-dwellings-year-ended-december-2019.xlsx)


For more information about these statistics:

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