Is Australian Housing Expensive?…. or Just Big?

overdevelopment 2You frequently see articles saying how expensive Australia housing is compared with other countries ……….But is this really true?

UK Houses

The last time I was in  England I had a look at some estate agents prices in my home town which is about an hours commute out of the major city of Manchester.

The typical price for a terraced house, of which there are thousands, is around 170,000 pounds. Now at the current rate of exchange that’s around $310,000.

So what do you get for the Money?

  • About 60 m2 of living space (around 6 square)
  • A block size of around 100m2 with a 5m frontage
  • Five smallish rooms consisting of living room, kitchen/diner, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.
  • If you are lucky you may get a 2m setback which is a small garden at the front
  • Possibly a single colorbond garage which will practically fill the back yard.

Melbourne Houses

Lets compare this with a basic house about an hours commute out of Melbourne, say Dandenong.

For around $650,000 you could expect:

  • About 180m2 of living space (around 200square)
  • A block size of around 550m2 with at least a 12m frontage.
  • At least eight generous sized rooms consisting of lounge, family room, kitchen/dinner, laundry, 3 bedrooms, bathroom with separate toilet.
  • A 5m setback for a garden.
  • A built on brick garage with concrete driveway.


At three times the floor area and over five times the block size, for a bit more than twice the cost, an Australian House looks much better value.

If we want lower cost houses perhaps we should be asking for smaller homes rather than complaining about affordability.


Is our housing expensive, or do we just expect too much? …………..What do you think?

For similar posts see Budget


  1. Kingsley Court

    You have written a fantastic resource.

  2. Riaan van der Merwe

    I like your comparison but it’s not as simple as that.
    Aus is also nearly 31 times bigger than the UK so the land should be cheaper but it’s not. Also the population size difference should have less than a demand, but it doesn’t. All I know someone is making a lot of money from it and it’s not 99% of us!

    1. Brian Ashworth (Post author)

      Thirty years ago when I moved to Australia things were a lot different but since then the size of Australian houses has increased.

      Also the population in Australia has massively increased, but only in the cities!

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