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What is the average house size in New Zealand?

Posted 21 months ago | By Latitude Homes

Whakamaru exterior 3 bedroom

The great kiwi quarter-acre dream seems like a distant memory these days. A popular expectation in the 1950s and ’60s, the quarter-acre section was roughly 1000 square meters. It was part of the New Zealand way of life, along with a 3 bedroom house, a dog, 2.5 kids and lawns as far as the eye could see. 

Why have New Zealand houses got smaller?

With the ever-increasing demand for urban land, limited supply and skyrocketing land prices, New Zealanders have had to readjust their version of the quarter-acre dream and the size of their dream home to match. 

With our section sizes shrinking, many new subdivisions are being developed on a 600 square meter plan, and should you be looking in the main centres you may even face the task of fitting to a 350-450 square metre section, leaving you with a whole lot less lawn to mow and putting the squeeze on house size. 


What’s the average house size in New Zealand?

The average house size in New Zealand has reduced from 200 square meters in 2010 down to 156 square meters in 2019. This has also been the result of a boon in townhouse and retirement village developments but there are no doubts economic factors affecting the cost of building materials and a desperation to get a foothold in the housing market is reframing the size of homes being built.


But does this mean we have to live with less? 

Changing expectations and economic conditions are great motivators for clever design thinking and a smaller home doesn’t necessarily mean less space. We have designed and built many homes that still carry 3 to 4 bedrooms, ensuite, garage, separate living areas and yet still fall under the 160 square meter mark. That’s a lot of house for a small footprint!


Here are some of our favourites:

The Whakamaru 159 sqm
3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, double garage.
Family-friendly modern home with great light and space.

Latitude Homes Blog Images Whakamaru


The Chatham 154 sqm
4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, double garage.
With the bedrooms based upstairs, this is a great way to add more space to a small footprint.

Latitude Homes Blog Images Chatham


The Anchorage 2 153 sqm
3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, double garage.
Based on our very popular Anchorage plan, we added the garage giving you more space and storage options.

Latitude Homes Blog Images Anchorage2 


Adapting a house plan to fit a small section.

Many of the plans you see here can be reversed or customised to fit your small section. You may also be able to make the most of your existing section. Subdividing this can allow you to add a second dwelling and if you think space is getting tight you can still get a 3 bedroom home with a garage with our Waipa plan at a perfect 105 square meters.


The Waipa 105 sqm

3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, single garage.

Latitude Homes Blog Images Waipa


House design is changing to meet our expectations.

With land size shrinking and home design becoming smarter to create more space in a smaller footprint, house plans are adapting to meet the changing expectations of the New Zealand housing market. Latitude Homes continue to meet the market’s expectation, with over 50 plans on offer we have something to fit every section.

To find a house plan to perfectly fit your section, talk to your local Latitude Homes builder.


Totally awesome build, love our house!