It is sometimes the case in Australia that buying investment property or a house is cheaper than renting an apartment. This is known to occur in Carlton in Melbourne and Rushcutters Bay in Sydney. House prices have fallen practically everywhere.
Months ago, the cost of a house in Australia declined for three consecutive months, the longest move downward for at least a decade, although Celeste Tay, an economist for 4cast Ltd who is located in Singapore, said that last year’s interest rate cuts had been of little benefit to the property market. This year, Australia’s four biggest banks raised their interest rates for standard variable home loans, arousing a great deal of ire because they were not passing on cuts in the official rate by the Reserve Bank.
People considering making real estate investments would be well-advised to contemplate doing so in Australia. There, the house prices of every city are considerably higher than in other countries. Demographia, which monitors house prices in Australia, said that the cost of the average home in Australia was something from 60 to 80 percent higher than in the United States and that Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth were in the costliest three percent of housing markets in the world. Compared to income, the cost of the average house in Sydney was three times that of equivalent U.S. cities such as Atlanta and Dallas, and two thirds higher than in Los Angeles.
Australia has the largest houses in all the world: 10 percent larger than U.S. houses. One headline of the <em>Sydney Morning Herald</em> summarized the situation as “Australia trumps U.S. when it comes to McMansions.” In Australia, the floor space of a new, standalone house is an average of 2,615 square feet, while it is 2,390 in the United States. The biggest houses of all are found in Sydney. In Europe, the largest houses are in Denmark – 1,475 square feet – while the tiniest are in the United Kingdom – 819 square feet. The size of Australian houses backs up the claims of the Reserve Bank’s deputy governor, Ric Battelino, that houses in Australia are more expensive because they’re superior.
It is believed that after increasing in size by 40 percent over the last two decades, house sizes are now at a peak, and that a population that is ageing will desire to reside in houses that are, shall we say, more compact and bijou and nearer to amenities. Houses in the Northern Territory and Western Australia continue to grow larger, but the trend has turned tail in the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, and South Australia, where newly-constructed houses are smaller than they were 10 years ago.
75 percent of Australian houses are detached and 10 percent are semi-detached. Apartments represent 14 percent of houses in Australia. In 1991, the figures for each category were 79, 8, and 11, respectively. Australian houses generally lack basements and attics, which U.S. houses usually have.
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