New Australian homes will have to shrink to squeeze in millions of new residents

It’s been the Australian dream for decades: the quarter acre block with a home in the middle, garage on the side, driveway out the front and enough space out the back for both a Hills hoist, a shed and space for the kids let off some steam.

But the big house is the dream we’re going to have to give up as increasing numbers of people crowd into our cities.

It could be au revoir rumpus room and see ya home cinema.

Sydney and Melbourne are inexorably growing and will soon be the size of Paris or London. And with Sydney particularly constrained by geography, our ambitions for a large home will need to shrink.

That’s the warning from Chris Johnson, chief executive officer of development lobby group the Urban Taskforce.

But there’s plenty of fat to trim, with Australian homes the second largest in the world. You could fit almost five Hong Kong homes in the average Melbourne McMansion.

“We’ve reached a tipping point where you can’t sustain forever the spreading low rise suburban model,” Mr Johnson told the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s Out There Summit last week.

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