Why townhouses will be the way of the future


High property prices and increased cost of land have seen demand for new-build duplexes and townhouses explode in Sydney, according to recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

Property prices have steadily increased over the past decade, before soaring during the past 2 years amid the pandemic lockdown.

As Australia’s population expands and our suburbs become more heavily populated, the amount of available land is falling meaning properties on larger plots come at a premium price.

But the mismatch between property prices, wages growth and cost of living means instead of paying the higher prices, many Australians are instead opting to buy or build houses on smaller blocks of land.


And this trend for building duplexes and townhouses to maximise living on smaller land parcels has certainly boomed over the past decade as buyers snap up large plots, demolish older houses and build 2 (or more) in their place.

It’s unsurprising then that approvals for semi-detached dwellings, which include duplexes, terraces, and townhouses, have increased by 24% in NSW in the year to April, according to the ABS.

That compares with a 5.4% increase in house approvals during the same time period.


The regions leading the way with duplex and townhouse build

The Outer South West region, which takes in Camden, Campbelltown, and Wollondilly councils, led the way with a 204.5% increase in semi-detached building approvals in the year to March, according to ABS data.

It was followed by Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury (up 155.4%), Central Coast (up 86.5%), and North Sydney and Hornsby (up 57.9%).


There are only 2 areas where the number of semi-detached building approvals actually fell over the year to March: City and Inner South and the Northern Beaches.

Who is driving demand for townhouses and duplexes?

We know what is driving demand – high land prices, the rental crisis, and housing undersupply – but what about who is driving the demand?


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