The size of the average property varies wildly from country to country, dependent on factors as diverse as climate, average income and even population size. In the luxury property market, location can often be paramount; many buyers will consider comparatively small central London properties preferable to expansive mansions in less convenient parts of the UK. However, even with allowances made for these kinds of considerations, there has been a notable upward shift over the past decade in average home sizes in the developed world.
New urban developments have increasingly acknowledged the psychological benefits of including parks and green spaces in building plans, and it seems that the size of a person’s home can impact wellbeing in a similar way. In Britain, new minimum space requirements included in the London Plan reflect a growing awareness of the impact of living space on quality of life, while in less-densely populated countries like the US and Australia, the size of the average home is considerably larger than its European equivalents.
Research carried out in 2011 compared average house sizes across the globe by usable floor space. Looking at the dimensions of properties built in 2009, Hong Kong, Russia and China were revealed as the countries that allocated the least space for new homes, which had averages of only 45m², 57m², and 60m² respectively. In 2013, it was reported that the United Kingdom built the smallest new houses in Europe, with an average property size of just 76m². Conversely, Denmark properties averaged 137m², making their houses the largest on the continent.
The same survey found that in the USA, average house sizes for 2009 builds stood at 201m², a figure that has steadily increased in the six years since. The average American home almost tripled in size between the 1950s and early 2000s, and US mansions spanning an area of 371m² or larger made up almost ten percent of new homes built in 2013, contributing to an inflated average of 241m². Australian properties had a similar 40% surge in the size of homes between 1984 and 2003, placing them alongside America in allocating space generously to new properties.
Rising averages in both regions have been influenced by trends at the higher end of the market, with a booming luxury real estate sector in America prompting a spate of investment in building larger homes. Record lows on interest rates over the past decade also undoubtedly played their part in the shift. A closer look at homes built in the past few years also reveals notable cultural changes; along with bigger outer dimensions, designers and architects are tending to opt for open-plan spaces and higher ceilings indoors. The United States housing market is famed for its palatial estate houses, some of which cover more than 900m². Three-metre high ceilings, sprawling entry parlours and professional scale stove-tops are all part of the real estate package in the US, with manicured grounds, infinity pools and tennis courts accounting for even more space outside.
Wherever you’re looking to purchase real estate, Engel & Völkers can assist you in finding the perfect property. Whether you are looking for a chic penthouse in the city or a stately home in the country, our website makes it easy to find properties in thousands of locations worldwide.