6 types of houses in Australia and their differences (with examples)

These are some of the most common types of house style in Australia;

By Mandy Chen

Housing in Australia can be expensive, especially in capital cities. Nevertheless, there are many different types of houses to choose from in the country, depending on your lifestyle preferences and budget. The top 6 types of Australian dwellings are stand-alone houses, terraces, semi-detached houses, duplexes, townhouses and apartment units. We will be going into detail about what makes each type unique; to give you a better idea for the right choice that suits your needs. It is important to know that dwelling definitions change from state to state and council to council.

What is the most common house type in Australia?

Normally, the stand-alone houses have three or four bedrooms; semi-detached houses have two or three bedrooms; and flats, units, or apartments have one or two bedrooms. The three-bedroom house is by far the most common residential property in Australia.

1. Australia House Styles: Stand-alone house

Stand-alone house in Australia

This type of dwelling is similar to a Bungalow. Stand-alone dwelling buyers own the land and can build any form of housing in Australia within its boundaries, as long as it does not violate any regulations. Land size usually varies depending on the distances, locations and the price often diminishes from the outer to the middle ring suburbs. This house style can be knocked down, renovated or extended, provided it complies with council regulations.  The dwelling types are a popular choice among families with younger children as they usually have more accommodation and garden space. However owners will need to pay for higher land rates (due to the bigger plot of land), the build-up size usually depends on the land sizes and they can build a single-storey or double-story.


2. Terraced houses style

terrace house in Australia

A lot of people tend to ask: What is a terrace house in Australia? Terrace houses are housing that is built in a continuous row with a similar style. Just like all the terrace houses in the world. A row house is an easy way to put in words to describe what is the house style.

A large number of terraced houses were built in the inner suburbs of large Australian cities, particularly Sydney and Melbourne. These house styles were introduced to Australia in the 19th century when people were striving for elegance and sophistication, adapting to the opulent architectural styles of homes in London and Paris. Built near the Central Business Districts of Australia’s major cities, many terrace houses today are highly sought after dwellings in the real estate market with prices are relatively high.

Older terraces are being renovated due to their location, accessibility to amenities, and low maintenance. The downfall of this house style, they don’t have any in-house parking space or an attached garage. Modernized terrace types are making their way into master-planned communities, ranging from one story to four storeys in height, two to four bedrooms and front and back gardens or courtyards.

3. Australia House Styles: Semi-detached house

An example of how Semi-detached houses in Australia

A semi-detached house is a single-family housing sharing a common wall with the house next to it. The name distinguishes this dwelling style from detached houses, with no shared walls. The dwellings give you more privacy than an apartment or a townhouse but less maintenance than a house. The price can be higher in premium suburbs where especially land is scarce and demand is high.

Read more;
A Buying Guide for Australian Property
What are the costs of buying a property in Australia?

4. Australia House Styles: Duplex

An examples of how Duplex looks like in Australia

In Australia, a duplex is often considered a residential building containing two homes that share a common central wall. As such they are usually a mirror image of each other in layout. A duplex house plan has two living units attached, either next to each other as townhouses or beside each other, on an upper and lower level like apartments. They can be on a single title or two titles, allowing each dwelling to be individually owned and sold. Duplexes usually require a building insurance policy that covers both homes.

Because they require less land than two stand-alone homes, duplexes are getting popular for investors as they will drive up to two rental incomes incomparable with two detached houses, but at a lower land cost. Also, some investors will reserve one floor for their use and rent out another floor. There’s only one neighbor to consult when planning changes and usually a decent backyard for pets and play. Such a plan requires local council approval.


5. Australia House Styles: Townhouse

An example of how Townhouse in Australia

A townhouse in Australia is a type of terraced housing with a smaller footprint and multiple floors. These dwellings are commonly found in the suburbs of major cities. In most cases, an old house on a large block of land is demolished and replaced by a short row of townhouses. These types of housing in Australia are considered more affordable and a better choice in comparison to apartments, not just that you’ll also have the entire building to yourself. There are more townhouses in development in prime suburbs where houses are becoming expensive and the land is scarce.

These house styles come with 2 to 3 storey layouts where it serves as the living and dining rooms, another for bedrooms, a courtyard for outdoor dining, and a garage for parking. Typically a townhouse is under a Strata title; where you need to pay annual levies to a body corporate that takes care of common property maintenance such as access way, landscaped areas, public corridors, building structures, and others. This type of investment favors smaller families who are upgrading from apartments and prefer to stay in landed prime areas or the city.


6. Australia House Styles: Apartment/Unit

An example of how Apartment in Australia

These are sometimes called “flats” Down Under, which range from “studio apartment” or “studio flats” to one-bedrooms or even four to five bedrooms. Units can be described as large apartments that are separated but built into blocks. Whether it’s a luxury or mid-range condominium, it is still called an apartment/unit.

These housings are situated everywhere in the CBD, inner-city or suburbs where land is scarce. There are some high-rise apartments with full facilities whereby the body corporate is high; some are low density with no facilities offered and the body corporate is less pricey. Besides that, these types of houses are usually people will convert into vacation homes like Airbnb.

What is the average rent in Australia?

A price chart of the average rent in Australia based on major city

(Keep in mind, that the 2022 rates have yet to be published.)

This is a good option for anyone who cannot afford to purchase an entire house, only requires limited space, and wants to be close to amenities. These dwellings tend to offer better security, all the amenities, and facilities such as gym, swimming pools and require less maintenance as compared to a house.

Now as a home buyer or an investor looking for a house to purchase, you can make a better choice as you have understood each style and its differences. For home buyers regardless of what type of property you buy all serve as living spaces.

Not for investors they looking for a property that has a few criteria to it. One of them is the architectural style. This is one of the main things they will look at as the more beautiful the property the higher the value can be. That’s why in some of the popular house styles, no one is living in the house as they bought and purchase it to make an investment.


Are houses in Australia expensive?

It depends on each city, the median price is the middle of a range from highest to lowest. As a whole house price in Australia is quite expensive but it depends on whether you buy or rent a property.

What is ranch house style?

the ranch house is basically a single-story house built with an open concept layout and devoted patio space.

What is a single-family home?

single-family homes are those that are built on a single lot.

What is a farmhouse?

The main house on the farm is called farmhouse.


For more information on investment in Australia, please refer here for more projects information, or leave us a contact and let’s talk! 

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