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, Ian James, said increasing numbers of people were requesting homes with limited outdoor space.

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This trend is also reflected in a survey by realestate VIEW, 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 my 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.  These families value low-maintenance options that can require minimum up-keep”, he said.

This interesting change in housing trend is a fact investors should think about when looking at their next purchase.  A smaller yard means less maintenance to a tenant and more time to spend with their family or out and about enjoying other things in life.  It also means that there should be less potential maintenance and upkeep issues for landlords.

However, investors should do their research as these trends may be more applicable in suburbs closer to public transport options and city centres.

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