13th December 2009
THIS POST ALSO DUPLICATED ON ACTIVERAIN a few days ago……………but thought that considering the amount of readers here that probably regularly visit there…….it was worth posting here.
The Biggest Houses in the world, it would seem, are in Australia, USA and New Zealand……and in that order.
PHOTO Fairhaverns Great Ocean Rd Pole House** – video link here
PHOTO CREDIT – www.realestate.com.au
You see the ubiquitous word “lifestyle” bandied around so much these days.
So here’s the question I pose.
Have you considered that the actual larger size of our dwellings in Australiasia may have a lot to do with our lifestyle, or a visitors perception of it, perhaps, even if its only in an involuntary / unconscious sort of way?
Involuntary / Unconscious?
Well many visitors from overseas visiting NZ or Australia for the first time seem to always be struck by the lifestyle, well thats what they tell us/me anyway.
What I’m wondering out loud here is if the fact that our larger residences, say in comparision to the UK for example, could play a bigger psychological role in forming that overall lifestyle equivalent equation.
HOMES ABOVE – © adenbrookhomes.com.au
After all our larger Open Plan living area’s do mean you aren’t constantly bumping into another family member, or having to put up with juniors constant beep beep beeping of his handheld game machine…..something that might be just a tad different when your reception room is just 14ft x 12ft?
Usually large residences are the realm of Hollywood stars, millionaires, residents of California or Florida, or those folk who feature in editions of that US TV Show “Extreme Makeover.”
Just consider the above chart if you will.
The latest report was commissioned by the Commwealth Banks research arm Commsec, via ABS data.
The Courier Mail quoted CommSec’s Craig James as saying;
“The increase in the size of the average family unit may mean that fewer new homes need to be built”
One also wonders whether the fact that Kiwis and Aussies have so much of their individual personal wealth tied up in their family home doesn’t have something to do with it either.
Then again I’m not so sure that all countries measure the same way as we do too. I mean do other countries always count the garage square meterage as part of the home, likewise porch or patio?
And in a slightly related yet interesting factoid the Sydney Morning Heralds Peter Martin reported in his front page Monday story last week, that in Australia fully 1 in 7 new homes (15%) are only replacing demolished homes. That is interesting.
This quote below, albeit from April 2005, from Ian Graham of nationmaster.com also adds to the discussion;
The only point being made here is that people in the top five countries for this statistic have a lot of space, and that they all speak English, which is a factor of their sharing a common mother country. It isn’t surprising for the United States, New Zealand, Canada and Australia to have such large houses, since those countries all have population densities of less than 30 people per square kilometer, far less than the United Kingdom’s rate of 244.69 people per square kilometer.
One point I could make is that, along with its language, England also exported a culture which valued individuality and privacy, and also that these former colonies have prospered economically, with New Zealand having the lowest ranking of the five in GDP per capita, at 35th-highest in the world. Presumably, people in Pakistan, India and Nicaragua would build houses large enough so that up to three people didn’t have to share a room, if they could afford to.
Other points could also be made, such as the relationship that seems to exist between controlled population growth (all five of the countries with the largest houses have an average annual increase of less than one percent) and a higher standard of living.
Also in Australia, their Bureau of Statistics data in that report commissioned by CommSec also showed the average floor area of new free-standing houses (thats not including apartments or flats) across the ditch was 245.3sqm, a record high they stated.
CommSec’s Craig James told the ABC, in referring to new build house, that;
our homes are about a third bigger than they were 20 years ago, and 10% bigger than they were a decade ago
And the last interesting factoid to leave you with, courtesy of demographia.com ……….
Meanwhile, over the last 20 years, the average new detached house in Australia and New Zealand has increased by an amount equivalent to the average total size of a house in United Kingdom.
I guess as a Kiwi theres only one word to say here……Hmmmm?
** the Pole House pictured top is available to rent out for your next holiday I see here.