While narrow houses may seem unconventional, they offer several advantages, especially for seniors looking for affordable housing options.
As the cost of living and property prices in Australia continue to rise, more and more people are considering alternative living options. One such option is living in narrow houses, commonly known as skinny houses or apartments.
This article discusses:
- What are narrow houses?
- Skinny houses fetch a premium
- Benefits of senior living in a narrow property
What are narrow houses?
Narrow houses are usually long and skinny, with a typical width of around four to five metres. These types of properties are becoming increasingly popular in densely populated urban areas, like Sydney and Melbourne, where space is limited and at a premium.
In fact, some Aussie developers have begun to focus on designing and building narrow houses to cater to the increasing demand for affordable housing options.
These developers usually specialise in designing and building narrow houses for first-time buyers and downsizers. The properties range in size from 3.5 to five metres wide and offer various design options to suit different lifestyles and needs.
Narrow houses fetch a premium
One portent example of a narrow property that may be amenable for comfortable living is a flat at 5 Avon St in Glebe, NSW. It was sold in March 2023 to a couple for $1.305 million. Speaking to the Australian Financial Review’s Michael Bleby, presiding agent Renae Dickey said the property took two weeks after listing to sell and over 100 groups came over for a viewing. Some of these viewers claimed they might not fit into the space and even tall people could touch both walls when spreading their arms wide.
The 44-square-metre, two-bedroom, one-bathroom property is located in the inner-western suburb of Petersham and is just 2.1 metres wide, making it narrower than a standard car park. While the property may seem small and unconventional, it offers a range of benefits for those looking for affordable and low-maintenance housing options. The property has been cleverly designed to maximise space, with a narrow staircase leading to the upper levels and a rooftop terrace offering stunning views of the surrounding area.
The property’s location in Petersham is also highly desirable, with easy access to shops, cafes, and public transport. This is a major advantage for those looking for convenient and accessible living options, particularly for seniors or those with limited mobility.
A 5-metre-wide home in Manly fetched an astounding $10.5 million at auction, surpassing its reserve price by $4.5 million. The three-bedroom residence attracted buyers due to its prime location, providing breathtaking panoramic views of Little Manly Beach.
Similarly, in 2021, a 6-metre-wide home in Darling Point was sold for a staggering $15.5 million. This four-story dwelling also boasted magnificent views of Sydney Harbour.
According to the latest data from CoreLogic, Australian property prices experienced a 0.6 percent increase in March, marking the first rise in 11 months. Sydney took the lead in monthly gains, with a 1.4 percent surge, propelling the median property price back above the $1 million mark.
Benefits of senior living in a narrow property
Narrow houses offer several advantages, particularly for seniors looking for affordable and low-maintenance housing options. Senior living in a narrow property provides independent living while providing support and assistance when needed.
- Affordability. The cost of building or buying a narrow property is significantly lower than that of a traditional home or apartment. This is especially beneficial for seniors on a fixed income who are looking for affordable housing options.
- Low maintenance. Because of their small size, there is less space to clean and maintain for seniors who may have limited mobility or physical ability.
- Proximity to amenities. Narrow houses are often located in densely populated urban areas, where amenities such as shops, cafes, and medical facilities are easily accessible. Seniors who may have difficulty travelling long distances to access essential services will definitely benefit from the proximity.
- Security. Enhanced features, such as secure entry points and alarms provides added security for seniors, who may be more vulnerable to theft or other crimes.
- Independent living. Narrow property offers independent living for seniors who may need support and assistance with daily living activities.
- Accessible design. The property’s design can be accessible for those with limited mobility or physical ability. With features such as wider doorways, ramps, and grab bars — making it easier for seniors to navigate their living space.
- Social interaction. Living in a narrow property provides an opportunity to interact with neighbours and build a sense of community for those who may be at risk of social isolation and loneliness.
- Save money on energy bills. Narrow houses require less energy to heat and cool than traditional homes or apartments.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
Downsizing can greatly impact your retirement, for better or worse. If you’re considering equity release to meet your financial needs, we may be able to assist you.
We provide the ASAG Reverse Mortgage, which allows senior homeowners to access funds by unlocking the equity in their homes. This can help you achieve your retirement goals, such as funding Home Renovation.
Our ASAG team can provide more details on how our reverse mortgage program works. Contact us at 1300 002 724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
To begin, use our tool below to assess your available equity.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. The Australian Seniors Advisory Group has no relationships with any locale or property developer mentioned in the article.