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Granny Flats Then & Now: Why Granny Flats Have Become So Popular?
We all know times have definitely changed. From times when milk was delivered to your doorstep and homes were warmed by the wood oven in the kitchen. Styles have come and gone and so too have our homes, in particular ... granny flats.
When you think of traditional granny flats you may think of a rectangular box with a flat roof. Perhaps single bedroom with a combined kitchen, dining and lounge room. You might think all one level with sliding fly screened doors and windows, and the walls made out of good old 'fibro'. Nowadays this style is hard to find. Modernism has impacted every inch of our world including the architecture, building and design industries. People are looking for sleek and simple designs that also illustrates luxury and class. Technology advances have also impacted home designs with the introduction of space-saving furniture and interior designs allow for more stylish additives such as elaborate kitchens with centre islands and decks for entertaining.
New legislation in Brisbane, regarding granny flats has legally allowed for more space within flats. "The draft new City Plan will allow for an increase to the maximum size of a secondary dwelling (granny flat) on a low density residential lot from 70m2 to 80m2 without a development application." (Brisbane City Council, 2014). This sizing change has provided that extra room for more elaborate kitchens, ensuites, offices and second bedrooms with storage. This is one of the reasons why more Australians are turning to granny flats or modular homes as a cheaper alternative to building or buying a standardised home. Granny flats no longer look like a feature from the past, they are luxurious 1-2 bedroom homes perfect for couples, retirees or even home businesses.
Modern Granny Flat Designs
According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, in Queensland, "the total number of dwelling units approved," from June 2014 to 2015 increased from 1'166 in 2014, to 1'271 in 2015. This 9% increase mirrors a 4.2% increase in Brisbane property prices from December 2014 to December 2015 and a 1.6% increase from September 2015 to December 2015 alone.
Thus it goes to show, especially looking at other states such as Canberra, Hobart and Melbourne, just how much the nation's property prices are also affecting individual's property choices.
In NSW, Sydney in particular, granny flats now can also have larger "ancillary structures"* such as garages and awnings attached whereas previously only a 20sqm x 3m (H) structure was allowed. Another excellent new change was the extension permission granting an extended proximity distance of 3 metres from a parallel road boundary. In Brisbane one carport is allowed for granny flats and one for the main dwelling. Be sure to always check with your local council in regards to size and other restrictions before constructing a separate dwelling.
Multigenerational living is becoming more common with the "baby boomers" reaching retirement age. Many families are choosing to extend their homes to make room for their elderly relatives to better care and support them affordably. Young couples are also finding it more affordable to independently step out a few metres from support and advice. This gives them the independence they need without the heavy mortgage weight on their young shoulders. Furthermore Ipswich City Council (south of Brisbane) is now the first region to approve granny flats being rented out to non-family members without council approval.** The Brisbane City Council has proposed changes that in future granny flats may be able to be rented out to individuals not related to those residing in the main house; however currently you need to gain council approval to do so in Brisbane.***
There's no reason not to make the change to better and affordably support your family or even just extend your home or set up a home business.
- 8731.0 - Building Approvals
- 6416.0 - Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities
- *New NSW SEPP Legislation Now Live!
- ** Granny flats now lucrative investments in Ipswich
- ***Fact sheet 15. Houses
Need help to create your very own modular home or granny flat? Ask us how today!
* Hassle free...leave the Council regulations to us!
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