What type of house do Australians dream most of buying? A castle? A mansion? A slick contemporary home that’s all straight lines, wide open spaces and drenched in natural light?
No, the answer may surprise you: a humble terrace.
“But I understand that!” said Stuart Langeveldt, who’s always loved terrace-style homes in Sydney, having lived in his latest for 22 years.
“With terraces, you have the best of both worlds – the mix of heritage and tradition, together with modern features when it’s restored and renovated.
“But even more importantly, you get to know your neighbours and understand who they are and often become good friends with them, which gives you a great sense of close-knit community.”
Another advantage of a terrace is that they’re usually built very close to the centres of cities, where space is at a premium, so they tend to be close to transport hubs, shops, cafes and restaurants, and all other urban amenities.
For instance, the terrace that Qantas executive Langeveldt, 52, shares with his partner, interior designer Richard Waller, 53, is at 17 John Street in Woollahra, in Sydney’s east.
Dating back to 1886, it’s been fully renovated to make it light, bright and open-plan – while retaining its heritage facade and features like fireplaces – and adding a second floor above and a pool and entertaining area to the courtyard garden.
“That’s another good thing about them; you can always value-add,” Langeveldt said of his, which is now up for auction, with the pair planning to buy another terrace nearby. “With ours, you could extend further back.
But at the same time that it was revealed Australians love old-fashioned terraces the best, it may come as surprising to some that contemporary homes are less sought after, coming in ranked at 10.
Other house styles that were searched for but didn’t make the top 10 included Hamptons, art deco, beach house and modern farmhouse.
THE MOST-SEARCHED HOUSE TYPES IN AUSTRALIA
Source: Domain Insights. Data is based on keyword searches between Feb 2022 and March 2023.
Agent Maclay Longhurst of BresicWhitney Inner East said he wasn’t surprised about the modest terrace coming out top in Domain’s research into the most-searched-for styles of housing in Australia.
“Physically, they are in and around inner-city areas, in close proximity to the CBD and amenities,” he said.
“Victorian terraces are also hugely aesthetically pleasing with those beautiful street frontages.
“Yet they each have their own distinctive style inside. You never know what you’re going to find; they can be all so different. They’ll often have cute al fresco areas for entertaining too, and they tend to be at a very popular price point.”
Next in the popularity stakes came cottages, another modest choice, perhaps reflecting how keen first-home buyers are to break into the market at a more affordable price.
Agent Brad Airs of Woodards Ascot Vale, north-west of Melbourne’s CBD, is currently selling a pretty two-bedroom Edwardian cottage at 21 Ascot Street with a price tag of $790,000 to $850,000.
“Traditionally, cottages are comparatively close to the inner city, which is where a lot of people want to live,” he said. “They don’t want to be fighting traffic from the outer suburbs, but stay closer in.
“They also tend to be at an almost budget-priced entry point for people like first-home buyers, and they’re usually freestanding and are on a decent-sized block of land. People like not having to share walls, and it means buyers can get in there and then maybe extend them upwards and outwards as their family grows, or they have more income at their disposal.”
Matt Devine, an architect and lecturer in heritage conservation at the University of Sydney, says the choice of housing types can tend to be quite locational – with people favouring those home types which tend to be closer to the cities.
“That goes for both terraces and cottages,” he said. “They are both often found the closer you go towards the centre of the city.”
For the third choice, however, that doesn’t apply. This time, it’s the Queenslander, with its typical timber construction, extensive verandahs and high ceilings.
While this style of housing is found throughout Queensland, it’s also been built in northern NSW where the climate can also favour such an airy, open home, while other states have their own versions.
A good example is a splendid four-bedroom home in Brisbane at 12 Richmond Street, Chelmer, on a north-to-south, 814-square-metre block of land – all the better for capturing the breezes.
Being sold by Lisette Schults-Rand of Ray White Sherwood for $2.5 million-plus, it’s a stunning example of its type.
“People love the timelessness of an old-fashioned Queenslander,” she said. “They age beautifully and they are well built and have so much character.
“All the floorboards might not be completely straight, but they all just feel like home. They’re built for the Queensland weather with beautiful high ceilings and phenomenal outdoor spaces with wraparound verandahs for the perfect al fresco lifestyle. Even the sight of them tugs at the heartstrings.”
The next most popular option for people seeking homes on Domain was Victorian homes, then industrial-style homes, then Edwardian-era ones.
Bungalows came in seventh on the list of Australia’s Most Wanted, then came Federation, split-level and, finally, contemporary homes.
Article source: Queensland Property Investor
Did you miss our previous article…