The current housing situation in Australia may benefit older people opting to live on their own, or people in search of smaller, more affordable dwellings. Granny flats, among others, may become a primary housing option under the government’s housing diversity initiative, according to a NSW Planning and Environment report on housing demand.
Advantages of a Granny Flat
Granny flats emerged as an additional living space for extended families, such as “grannies”, but its function branched out to other markets.
Granny flats today are more than just extra living space; some homeowners treat them as property investment. In some capital cities, granny flats average up to $350/week. Homeowners looking to earn extra income may rely on granny flats as a solid source of money.
Building a granny flat is relatively cheaper than purchasing a separate home. It also offers lower mortgage rates. Some selection of granny flats serve as micro homes with quality amenities for every member of the family, says Granny Flats WA. This secondary dwelling can be built in as short a time as 8-12 weeks.
For some homeowners, granny flats serve as home offices or additional workspace. Such flats allow them to save on expensive commercial space.
For some families, it is also a great way to help their teenagers achieve some level of independence without the need to pay rent for an apartment or full house. Lastly, granny flats can add significant value to a property.
What Industry Insiders Say
Demand for apartments in Australia is significantly increasing every year, according to figures published by The Daily Telegraph. Sidney has the highest demand rate. As such, Douglas Driscoll, CEO of real estate group Starr Partners, predicts that even 20% of future properties in Sydney may not meet the local demand.
The NSW Planning and Environment report indicated that the increasing number of singles, couples and older people opting to live alone is driving housing development. The government intends to promote housing diversity by developing studio apartments, granny flats, townhomes and manor homes (four units in a building with separate titles).
Real estate groups say continuous demand for more affordable small apartments and granny flats would push freestanding houses out of the active housing pool.
By 2018, housing professionals expect 8,000 new dwellings to be completed in Sydney. Across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have estimated 45,000 apartments and flats which are due for completion by the end of 2016.