Large ‘McMansion-style’ houses are quickly losing their appeal as buyers seek smaller and more efficient houses, with three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes particularly popular, a report revealed today.
Director of Stockland Matthew Quinn said the size of an average four-bedroom home had already shrunk by 20 per cent since 2007, a trend that was set to continue, according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“While affordability is being addressed by governments and more land is becoming available, we will look, as a long-term plan, to reduce our house sizes,” he said.
Stockland’s chief executive for residential communities, Mark Hunter, said buyers were now keen on three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes. He told the SMH that buyers were happy to do without extra rooms in light of rising energy costs.
The comments came as Stockland announced its 2011 financial year results, reporting a 57 per cent on-year surge in statutory profit to $756 million.
The company said its residential communities division “achieved an excellent result, with lower than expected settlement volumes offset by strong price and margin growth.”
“We increased market share by 2 per cent to 29 per cent in our active corridors and continued to expand our geographic footprint, with acquisitions in key corridors that position us well for future growth.”
The company highlighted “two significant acquisitions in growth corridors of Perth and Melbourne,” and said it had “a large and diverse land bank and a flexible product mix, with a strong focus on affordability.”
“We have reduced our average lot sizes by almost 20 per cent in the last three years to help buyers meet the affordability challenge.”
The company said more first home buyers were buying product, and upgraders were also a key source of leads.
“While employment is strong and household incomes are growing, buyers remain cautious and weak consumer sentiment is delaying purchasing commitments.” It said there was an underlying demand for new homes in Western Australia and Queensland as building approvals remained below trend, and this was likely to become more evident in 2012.