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Families increasingly favour smaller yards

By Stefanie Garber
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Despite the common idea that large block sizes are more desirable in the suburbs, many people are now looking specifically for homes on smaller blocks, a Melbourne buyer’s agent has reported.

Ian James from JPP Buyers Advocates said increasing numbers of people were requesting homes with limited outdoor space.

This trend is also reflected in a survey by realestateVIEW, which found only 13.3 per cent of buyers saw an outdoor area as a necessity.

Historically, families have favoured large homes with extensive gardens in the front and back.

“Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Great Australian Dream was owning your own home on a quarter acre with a big back yard for the kids. That’s what everyone wanted,” he said.

Nowadays, Mr James finds many people are no longer looking for “the quarter acre and the Hills Hoist”.

Many of his clients these days request homes with yards smaller than 10m by 10m.

“Now, I’m asked to buy properties for people and the specifics are ‘I don’t want larger than 50, 80 or 100 square metres in the backyard,’” he said.

These families value low-maintenance options that can require minimum up-keep, he said.

In Mr James view, medium density homes like villas or townhouses may particularly appeal to this group.

However, he warned investors this may be more applicable in suburbs closer to public transport options.

In outer lying suburbs far from train or bus infrastructure, demand for medium density homes may be more subdued, he suggested.

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