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From Bark Huts to Mansions

New houses in Australia increased in floor area by 40.3% (to 227.6 sq metres) over the 19 years to 2003 according to the 2005 Australian Year Book from the ABS. For New South Wales and Queensland the increase was 53.8% and 50.2% while Victoria (no doubt watching the cost of heating space) was much lower at 36.0%.

In pioneering days 200 years ago, the iconic Australian house was the Old Bark Hut with floor area of say 8 to 10 sq metres and household size of say 6 to 10. Today's house of 227.6 sqm and average household size of 2.6 gives an increase in floor space per household member from 0.8sqm to 87.5sqm over 200 years. Big issues coming are retirees with wealth tied up in the house and no money to live on, and young couples unable to finance the 21st century mansions - looks like a return to communal living for the hippies of the 1960's and their grandchildren. Refresh your memory on communes at http://www.communa.org.il/welcome.shtml

Posted Wednesday, 26 January 2005

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