Australia builds the worlds largest homes!

@RawBill1 (8542)
Gold Coast, Australia
August 25, 2011 3:11am CST
A recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that Australia continues to build the biggest homes in the world! This is an average figure of all new homes built, not that we build massive structures the size of palaces! With the decline in the USA economy, it means that Australia builds homes with a floor space 10% bigger than the USA and 9% bigger than New Zealand. Australia has usually battled hard with the USA for this title, but the USA has been declining in this area for the last 3 years since the GFC. So what does this mean? Does it mean that we Australians are better off because our houses are bigger? Or does it just mean that we have to work harder to pay off these larger homes and work harder to maintain them? We also have to buy more stuff to fill them. Stuff that we ultimately do not need. In contrast the UK has an average home size less than half the size of the average Australian home. This does make sense as Australia has a huge area of land and a small population, but is it the way to go? Modern homes may be bigger than in the past, but the size of the land that they are built on is smaller, meaning less privacy from the neighbours. Personally myself, I would rather have a larger parcel of land with a smaller house so that I could enjoy the outdoors in privacy and grow more plants to feed myself. What is your take on all these statistics and how is it where you live?
7 people like this
13 responses
@SIMPLYD (79623)
• Philippines
25 Aug 11
A big house isn't an assurance that it will be a home. I would rather have a small house where all the members could easily see each other always rather than have a big house, where everybody is doing their own thing on the confines of their room, and don't even see each other. I would rather also have a small house , enough for the family members to have their own space and with a spacious garden in front and at the back of the house, where the children could run and play. Here in the Philippines, there are big houses too, but they are not as plenty as moderately sized houses. Big houses, are an attraction for robbers and that's what we avoid.
1 person likes this
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
You have added a good point here. Large houses which have separate living areas are common here these days and that does create distance between the family members. Teenagers want their privacy from the adults and the adults want their privacy from their children at times, but this does not create a loving family environment where each are involved in the other's lives. This trend might be slowly changing though as many immigrants these days come from Asian and Pacific Islander communities where it is common to have large families sharing the one house. Having a large yard is vitally important to me as when I was a child, I was always playing outside.
@SIMPLYD (79623)
• Philippines
27 Aug 11
Yes, we had a very spacious garden at the front and back of our house , when we were kids. Until now, that garden serves as the playground of all our children whenever we gather for a visit to our parents.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
27 Aug 11
We had a large backyard in our last house, but now we are on a larger property again which is nearly an acre. It is amazing how this extra space has made my children play outside more often than they used to in our last house.
@veganbliss (3903)
• Adelaide, Australia
25 Aug 11
Really? I thought the new homes were all much smaller than they used to be? Little Australia finally starts building stuff bigger than the USA? It's hard to imagine! New Zealanders of course, need to build smaller homes so they can fit more sheep on their property. You've got a point there - tricky to maintain with less & less time nowadays & we just end up buying stuff we don't need with money we don't have... you know the story - you've said it yourself before. I've seen all those renovations & real estate shows from the UK - boy those houses are not just strange, but really awkward to get around in - I honestly don't know how they do it! I dunno, Bill. Everything outdoors is also getting more & more polluted these days. I reckon I'll get a big house & go closed-system hydroponic indoors! Whaddayareckon?
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Aug 11
Good point about the Kiwis! It is funny that you should say that they are getting smaller as the study showed that South Australia builds the smallest houses in the nation. You are obviously very observant! NSW builds the largest which is no surprise. I have seen those UK shows too and having been there myself, I can say that the designs are quite weird. But when you consider that a lot of them were built before electricity when everyone shared the same rooms more often, then you can understand why they are strange as they would have built on rooms over the centuries. Nah, I like the outdoors too much to live indoors. The air quality is not what it used to be, but we just have to move into the forest to avoid that problem.
1 person likes this
• Adelaide, Australia
25 Aug 11
Observant? Me? I just let others do all that sort of work & present it to me at property seminars! How about those great big Queenslander houses? Are they still building those? I guess people can't afford them anymore. Ah the forests! Don't let them take those away from you! I hear the soil, the energy & everything is massively depleted now over what it used to be due to - guess what? Agricultural cheap cheating & quick profits. Hmmm.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Yeah, they are still building Queenslanders. I would love one of them as they at least have some character to them. They are pretty expensive though I think and the maintenance would be incredible down the track a few years. But with modern fittings and appliances, I reckon I could handle it. Yes agriculture! Hopefully soon permaculture will take over from agriculture as the main farming practice throughout the world.
@millertime (1398)
• United States
27 Aug 11
Wow, that's really surprising. I thought America had the market cornered on oversize houses. I guess we still have the title for the most oversized cars though. It's probably mainly the economy that is driving this trend. Of course, here in the states, ALL housing starts are down, which would stand to reason that the big ones would be the first to go. When, or maybe I should say IF, the economy picks up and the current glut of housing gets used up and new construction starts up again, they'll most likely get back to building the overdone, oversized, over the top houses that they once did. Hopefully though, most people will retain the sensibility they have now, the realization that overly big houses are just wasteful and not really needed.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
30 Aug 11
Yes, you do still keep the title for having the worlds largest cars. You guys do love using that crude oil! I think the fact that Australia builds the biggest average floor plans in the world is more do do with the decline in the economy of the USA than them growing massively bigger here. They are definitely bigger than they used to be a couple of decades ago, but they are not generally massive. I hope the USA economy does not crash too much worse, but it is not looking good. The recent storm damages would not help either! What part of the country are you in? Hopefully you have not been affected by all that. Perhaps if the USA stopped getting involved in all these conflicts around the world they would have billions of dollars less debt and be able to subsidise the country's poor a little more? Crazy thought I know!
• United States
3 Sep 11
I'm in S. Florida, the prime target of most Atlantic hurricanes. So far this season we have been dodging them though. I agree with you on your last point also and a lot of Americans feel the same way. I wish our government would stop sending our military to police the world. I just don't see it as our responsibility to impose our military might upon other countries. The worst part is, in many cases it is done to stabilize the availability of oil. Many Americans feel that we need to break our addiction so we aren't controlled by it so much. Unfortunately, our government officials seem to want to do what they think is best and they don't always listen to the American people. There seems to be a new awakening of political awareness in this country though so maybe we can elect officials that will do the right things in the near future.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
6 Sep 11
That is great news that you have dodged the storms so far this season. I know some people in that part of Florida and have heard about the storms down there many times. Hopefully you will remain safe from them this year. I actually do not think the governments are in control at all. Big business controls the world these days and the governments are powerless to stop them. These massive corporations have so much money that they control most governments and their greed stops at nothing. They have no interest in the welfare of the environment and the people. They only care about filling their pockets and ego's. I think that most powerful politicians have these corporate giants feeding them, so they do not want to stop them, even if they do pretend to try and change things. There may be genuine politicians who get into leading roles in government but then they get sucked into the system and find that they are powerless to make a difference. It is a shame.
• Australia
26 Aug 11
It doesn't surprise me, but I've always thought that these large monstrosities are simply another example of Australia's own variant of the ME generation and the fact that most of these fools are Americans in training trying to outdo the Masters. Me, I live in a Federation (early 1900's) hand-hewn timber Queenslander, with enormous high ceilings - it will still be standing at the start of the next century, they built to last in those days. Today's AITs (Americans-in-training) would consider my place at the very least to be eccentric lol. Lash
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Your place sounds awesome. I do love Queenslander homes and would love to have one myself. The only thing that puts me off them is all the painting and maintenance that is required to keep them in good condition as opposed to a brick and tile house. But man, the character that they have would be well worth it I reckon! "Americans-in-training" I like it! Yes it does seem that we have copied the Americans in everything over the course of my lifetime at least. Unfortunately most of these traits have allowed us to lose our unique Australian look and feel. Buildings in most areas look just like the rest of the buildings in modern cities throughout the world and have lost that charm that they once had. I think this is why I like road tripping through country Australia as we get to see the real Australia with it's unique architecture, characters and attitude to life. I have just added you as a friend Lash. I thought I did this a couple of years ago?
• Australia
26 Aug 11
I can't remember, I've been away for about that long. Lash
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Have you? Well welcome back then.
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
25 Aug 11
To tell u the truth i could care less what country builds the biggest houses.I think people go overboard everywhere building some of the houses they do.I'm proud to have my house & wouldn't do any different if i could afford a big ol' house which i can't but i don't need one either.I'm perfectly happy w/what i have.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
I am not concerned with the figures either myself and I agree with you. I do not need a massive house that is going to control me. It is true that what we own in turn owns us. I would rather be debt free and live a more simple existence.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
26 Aug 11
Me to. I'm glad mine is paid for. Hope y'all have a good weekend.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
That is great that yours is all paid for. We sold our house to get out of our mortgage. The house market is flat to dropping here, so we are renting for now which is saving us lots. We will buy again later when we do not need such a large mortgage. We might even just buy some land and then build a natural building on it. I will have a great weekend. Hope you do too.
@0CoOlGuY0 (103)
• Portugal
19 Sep 11
I don't know much about Australia but is most of the island populated?I have this idea that it isn't!! Anyway I would build average houses so that the people could at least out some grass around it and help the world reducing(even if it's by a very small amount) CO2 production and even increasing the appeal of the region!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
19 Sep 11
Very little of Australia is populated. We only have 21 million people and they are spread mostly along the eastern coastal strip. The reason for this is that this area gets the most rainfall. Much of Australia is simply too dry and arid to support large communities, so once you get into the 'outback' population is very spread out. Building medium or average sized houses is a good idea I think. Nothing too large, but comfortable enough to shelter in. I am not a fan of grass though as it is a time wasting useless plant mostly. Lawns are the most time consuming and least productive part of gardening. I prefer to plant lots of fruit trees and veggies such as I started doing at my old house before I sold it. You can see what I did here: http://www.squidoo.com/foodforest
• Portugal
19 Sep 11
exatly as i thought!!! Somehow i got that idea out of the Bear Grills(or what the hell he is named) shows
• Australia
29 Aug 11
Wow! I am really shockght the US would win hands down as the majority of houses seem way bigger than ours but these I guess are houses that were built more than 3 years ago! I know that our economy is doing slightly better than the US but I still think this just means we have to work harder.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
30 Aug 11
Yeah, I thought the same thing when I heard this report. I guess seeing as we took the world highest obesity rate per capita off them, we have to take this one as well so that we have room to to store everyone. Our economy is a lot better than the USA's economy. Theirs is ruined which is why they are not building big homes at the moment I guess. It is amazing that they are actually building anything at all. If they stopped pumping trillions of dollars into wars that they are not going to win, then they might be better off, but that is another discussion!
@Bashful87 (123)
26 Aug 11
I guess it's how it is being manifested, since they've got larger buildings compared with others then probably they're really progressing and becoming a better competitor towards other countries.^^ I thought so...
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Welcome to MyLot Bashful87. We did not experience a recession like others have in recent years, but the cost of living is pretty high here these days too, so it might happen eventually. We are unique way down here in that we are a first world country, but so far away from most of the other western countries.
@jennybianca (12915)
• Australia
26 Aug 11
I didn't know that, and I am Ausralian. It doesn't surprise me though. A lot of Aussies still want big homes, plus the Government encourages home ownership. I would think it is mainly families who wan the big homes. Australia did not go into recesiion in 2008 like the US did, so I guess that helped with the Governments nation building exercise. For me, I wanted to downsize. I had abig 4 bedroomed home, with a 1/4 acre block and it became to much work. After living in it for 20 years, I sold it and bought a smaller home. A lot of middle aged Aussies want to downsize now. I am not all that sure aussies work harder than the English or Americans. I thik it is that our ecenomy is better and we have a lot more land. Hence, our huge immigration rate.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Hi jennybianca. Just when I thought I had come across all of the long term Aussies here, I find you! I have added you as a friend as I think it is good for us Aussies to stick together. I heard the report on the radio, so I went looking for the link online and then read the whole article. It also said that for the first time in about a century that the average people per house had risen too. This could be due to the fact that recent immigrants from Eastern countries are more willing to live as an extended family under one roof than the traditional European migrants that we had in previous generations. I don't think that we Australians want to work harder either, but we will have to to pay off the massive mortgages that many people have these days. I recently sold my house and went back to renting as it is much cheaper to do so. My quality of life has improved and I am in a slightly larger home. We only have three bedrooms, but we now have an office and an en-suite which we never had before. We are on 3/4 of an acre at the moment which is like a rainforest. Loads of trees! We will buy again in the future no doubt, but it will be with a much smaller mortgage.
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
25 Aug 11
Australia is better off economically compared to other nations around the globe. With your strong currency I have no doubt that Australians have no problem of owning mansions and landed properties. When I was young, not that I am old now, I always wanted a big house with a big land. I am not a materialistic lady but I like spaciousness and I got all that. I lived in that big house for many years until the children left the nest. I realized that having a big house on a big plot of land with almost empty occupants was only slaving me to upkeep the property. I have no time for other activities. I decided to sell the property to move to a smaller house with a manageable garden. I am happy with this smaller unit as I can do the daily house cleaning in lesser time and can spend the rest of the day relaxing.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Hi Zandi. You are right, we do have it pretty good here in Australia. The economy is far from booming and the cost of living is rising fast, but it is not that bad really. I used to desire a big house with lots of land too, but now I just want to live my life to the fullest enjoying every moment. I do not want to be trapped into paying a large mortgage and maintaining a large house. As long as I have a large productive garden and can grow my own food, then I am happy. Oh and travel too. That is another thing I would rather do than maintain a house.
@tigeraunt (6331)
• Philippines
25 Aug 11
hi bill, i see mushrooming slum dwellers nowadays. it is getting very crowded in the cities because the people in the provinces flock here hoping to find greener pastures but then they get disappointed. for me, i find it better if one stay in the province if they leave there and has properties. all that they need to be is to be industrious and keep planting. it is difficult to find a job nowadays and statistics show that there are more and more filipinos going abroad to find jobs. its not a very hopeful economy i should say.. the way layman's eyes could see. ann
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Hi Ann. Thankfully we do not have slums here in Australia, but we do have many homeless people in cities who cannot afford to have a home in these high priced times. People keep swarming to the cities here too and the outer suburbs of each city seem to be the areas where most of the building is happening. I have heard that a lot of Filipinos go overseas for work. That is good if they can then come back into the country with their wealth to support the local industries, but are they doing that? Or once they go overseas for work are they staying away long term? Forgive me if I am wrong, but doesn't your husband work abroad?
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
25 Aug 11
Hi Bill! There was a programme on telly recently, addressing the issues of (primarily) new build houses here in the UK being the SMALLEST IN EUROPE! The windows, for example, look a bit like those Lego versions, they're so small. The guy presenting the show sat in his own 50s apartment that had wonderful, panoramic windows, and had them all blacked out so there was no light coming in. He had to stick with this for a full week! He wasn't even allowed to go out of his apartment! Obviously, he was reliant on artificial light and it really wasn't the same as natural light and tests proved his theory was correct. All his reactions were monitored regarding depression, anxiety and such-like and there was a marked difference between the readings before and after so-to-speak. To say he was relieved to see daylight again is an understatement! This is why our new blinds are better than our old ones as they reflect light around the room due to their shimmering nature. I would go nuts in one of those "new-builds" I really would!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
This report did mention that the new homes being built in the UK were the smallest in Europe. Denmark had the largest followed by The Netherlands which does not surprise me as I know people from Denmark and people who have lived in The Netherlands and both places have been given glowing reports on the quality of life there. I know from my experience visiting there that the old homes in the UK were quite small and a lot had tiny yards as well compared to here. I would hate to see the new builds then if they are smaller than the older style homes! I could not live like that. You are right. Daylight is vital to our energy and happiness levels. Good old Vitamin D is amazing!
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
25 Aug 11
I think you would find that most of the people building large houses, do so because they bought cheap land on the outskirt of the city. Rather than putting there money in the land, they put it in the house. However, those people do not realise the cost of heating a large house, or cooling it for that matter. And they are also up for a nasty surprise when they will have to start maintening it in 10 years time. Just painting it will set them back $7.000 or more. That said, open spaces is the big Australian attraction. Big land and big house is what set us apart from the rest of the world. Except for America. And for my part, I like it. I have a big house, but I only heat half of it with a wood fire. You got to be sensible about things.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Aug 11
Too true. We need to be sensible when it comes to building designs. A large house is OK if it can be sectioned off like yours can. Some houses like our last one are open plan and cannot be sectioned off for heating or cooling. A properly designed house should use nature to help heat it and cool it. Yes, the outskirts of the cities are where all the development is going on no matter which city you live in or near. Suburbs are cropping up everywhere with streets that all look the same because the houses all look the same. I could not live in those estates. It would drive me nuts!