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What does Australia’s ideal house look like?

The ideal home is a concept that varies for different people, but if you had to design the most statistically sought-after home in Australia what would it look like?

How many bedrooms and bathrooms would it have, how big would the block be, and how many cars would the average Australian property seeker want to park in the garage?

Analysing more than 28,000 highly engaged listings on between 3 Feb 2016 – 5 April 2016 – listings that had more than 100 people interact with the property details – we came up with Australia’s ideal home.

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms

Turns out, we all dream of living large. The nation’s ideal house configuration is for a four bedroom, two bathroom house with a two-car garage on a 665sqm block that costs roughly $650,000.

This is the median configuration for bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, land size and listing guide price.  The surrounding environment and features of the house were also examined along with other location information such as being close to public transport.

ABS data shows the average Australian house has three bedrooms and the average block size is 474sqm, according to the National Land Survey Program.

On average, buyers are willing to pay $100,000 more than the value of their current home to land that dream property.

While we all love the beach, being closer to shops, schools and transport ranks higher, according to the findings.

The data highlights how unhappy homeowners are with what they have now, according to REA Group economist Nerida Conisbee.

“The ideal dwelling coincides with the reasons that most people are looking to move. ABS data shows 43.6% of Australian homeowners are dissatisfied with their homes because they are too small. Only 5% of households state that their homes are too large.

“Home buyers are also looking for relatively large land sizes. While the average land size nationally for new lot sizes is 474 square metres, according to the National Land Survey Program the median land size for prospective buyers is 665 square metres,” she says.

What we want vs what we need

The design specifications of the nation’s ideal house show Australians need to think more about what they actually need in their day to day life rather than what they want.

“It’s (the ideal house) probably not surprising, but it is unrealistic.  People are generally asking for more (in a house) than they can afford,” says Taras Woolf of Woolf Architects.

“It’s a basic they can’t expect too much (by way of) design for that price,” he says.

The architect – who says every project his firm works on is a prototype – insists that our central needs haven’t changed, but as a society we’ve grown to want more things that may not contribute all that much to the quality of our everyday lives.

“Meal times are quite special. Yet lots of people are creating dining spaces they don’t use.

“The idea of sharing space seems to be disappearing.  In my house there is one TV, if someone else is watching it you know what they’re about to watch. If you don’t like that, you negotiate,” he says.

Woolf says more homeowners should think about their long-term personal needs and invest in designing to meet those needs rather than ending up with a house just that looks good.

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