While the average unit remains cheaper than the average detached home, it seems potential buyers are still keen to purchase a house.
According to the latest statistics from the Census, 75.6 per cent of occupied dwellings were for houses, suggesting they continue to be the dominant housing preference.
RP Data’s Cameron Kusher said the statistics were surprising given that the national house price is higher than it is for units.
In fact, over the last couple of years, the gap between house and unit prices has increased significantly with the difference reaching as much as $76,000 across the combined capital cities and $35,000 across the nation.
Yet, despite this, it seems houses remain the preferred choice for buyers.
Mr Kusher said this can be partially attributed to more off-the-plan unit sales which do not get included in sales figures until such time as they settle.
Mr Kusher also cites a decline in the response to available first home buyer grants and stamp duty concessions coupled with recent falls in home values which has improved affordability.
Unit values have typically recorded lower value declines than that of houses which may be leading to buyers taking the opportunity to buy houses as opposed to units.
“Over the coming years, we would expect that units are likely to grow in popularity. Although unit sales pale in comparison to house sales across the country, as developable land becomes scarce and more expensive to develop, property developers are likely to focus on higher density housing,” he said.
“The community at large is also likely to demand more units, particularly in suburbs close to city centres or along transport corridors. This will likely be driven by lifestyle and affordability factors as well as town planning strategies.
“Demographic factors are also likely to contribute to greater demand for units with baby boomers looking to downsize from their large family homes into something smaller and more easily maintainable. Also, the ongoing demographic shift to single person households and smaller families is likely to result in further growth in unit demand,” Mr Kusher said.