Townhouse construction is making a comeback in Australia

GREG WOOD/AFP/GettyImages

Houses in many Australian cities are expensive, leading to an influx of apartment building in the eastern states over the past few years.

However, not everyone wants to live in an apartment, particularly if you have a large or growing family, which presents a problem if you want a bit of space, close to infrastructure, but don’t have the budget for a house.

However, a solution may be already at hand, and one Australia has used in the past: we’re building terraces and townhouses.

Yes, we’ve gone back to the future when it comes to the types of dwellings we’re building, as shown in this chart from Craig James, chief economist at Commsec.

Source: Commsec

It shows the level of semi-detached home approvals as a proportion of total dwelling approvals on a rolling annual basis.

They currently stand at a shade over 15% of total approvals, the highest proportion in 20 years.

That likely reflects cost constraints on many potential home owners, along with a shift in housing preferences, says James.

“Aussies are wary of the maintenance of a big house but they want a bit of backyard and some independence. Solution? Semi-detached homes like townhouses and terrace homes,” says James.

The national charge towards semi-attached dwellings has been led by Victoria, home to the fastest population growth in Australia and second most expensive housing market behind Sydney.

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