This story amused me, doubly so because it was being shared approvingly by people on Facebook:
WA’s port city is rolling out a new breed of infill that will cap house size at 120sqm, encourage smaller homes of less than half that size and mandate green space to stop the loss of trees to infill.
At 120sqm the maximum house size will be less than half the size of the average home being built in WA.
The plan is initially earmarked for pockets in Fremantle, White Gum Valley, Hilton, O’Connor, Samson and Beaconsfield. However, if successful it could be rolled out more widely.
A ban on building houses over 120sqm in a given neighbourhood will absolutely delight those who already own houses larger than this, as their value will increase considerably. I wonder how many people behind this decision stand to benefit in such a manner?
City of Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said it would be “radically different” from conventional infill.
“It’s very smart planning and at the heart of it is trying to match what is Fremantle’s existing demographics with what we’re building,” Dr Pettitt said.
Do you think Dr Pettitt, who draws a salary from the taxpayer, lives in a home smaller than 120sqm?
“Your average house size is 2.2 people but you’re building on average a house that is four or five bedrooms. We’re keen to get young couples and young families into the area.
So why isn’t the market providing them? I don’t know, but I suspect a plethora of planning rules and regulations make building small houses economically unattractive. If only a small percentage of the overall costs of a new house is in the land, materials and construction, why not build bigger houses which can be sold at a higher price?
“Your average standard house in Fremantle is $800,000-plus, that’s pretty hard on an average income. But also we’re really keen on ageing in place. We’d love this to expand beyond Freo and for it to become the norm across the metropolitan area.”
As in the UK, house prices in Australia have rocketted beyond the reach of many people, especially youngsters, because of government policies intended to hoodwink the middle classes of a certain generation into thinking they are wealthy as a result of shrewd investment rather than dumb luck. Naturally, the solution is for the government to interfere further in the housing market by capping house sizes in certain neighbourhoods.
The maximum size of any dwelling would be capped at 120sqm but Dr Pettitt said they would also encourage homes of 50sqm.
All the joys of living in a something the size of a Paris studio, in an Australian backwater. What’s not to like?
Car bays would be capped at one for every new house and two for existing houses.
What’s this got to do with making housing affordable? Nothing whatsoever, it’s just some green shite tacked on the end by lunatics in the local government who want to virtue signal. What it means is any household where both adults work will be put off buying one of these new houses. Bear in mind this scheme is supposed to help young couples.
Ms McKenzie, who is working on a prototype for compact, affordable and moveable housing, said different solutions were needed to address Perth’s urban sprawl.
“The consumption of land here in Perth is far greater than anywhere in the world,” she said. “I take my hat off to Fremantle: they’re doing something and it’s new and it’s different.”
There was an old joke that the Saudis were so dysfunctional they could run out of sand. I think it’s time to update that joke to Western Australians running out of land.