Secondary suites or “granny flats” (as Australians call it) are smaller, detached units within the same property of the main house. This particular type of dwelling is highly popular in Australia, particularly in New South Wales where over 6,000 granny flats in Sydney and surrounding suburbs were built in 2018 according to the Housing Industry Association. The state of Queensland comes in second with 2,365 granny flats and South Australia with 910. The states of West Australia and Victoria chime in last with 638 and 166 granny flats constructed in 2018 respectively.
Larger lot sizes usually have this type of dwelling constructed but are not limited for use by the elderly. Granny flats also become project homes for property owners who want to rent out the space for additional income or it can also serve as an additional accommodation for extended family members and relatives. In fact, the Property Council of Australia noted that home values can be boosted by up to 30 percent by simply building a granny flat. It further suggested that over 583,000 homeowners in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are eligible for building a granny flat in their property.
The Property Council of Australia cited that a two-bedroom granny flat will cost around AU$200,000 while a one-bedroom set up will cost around AU$120,000. This housing annex would include a bathroom, a mini kitchen, and a living room. Other floor plans would include additional partitions for various purposes but they all have the same general spaces as a typical apartment would. While a typical granny flat design would follow the same look and aesthetic of the main house, a home builder can design it differently as well.
Granny flats in Sydney fetch a lot of rental income especially in densely populated or expensive areas. Granny flats all over the world have been listed in Airbnb offering better rental alternatives to tourists. They’re also rented by foreign exchange students and workers who live within the area. It can also serve as a separate home for children in the family who would like to remain independent without spending too much for housing.
While granny flat development is more prominent in Sydney’s suburbs, other cities are also catching up, particularly in Melbourne and Brisbane. This type of dwelling offers a lot of potential and value to homeowners while those who rent find it more affordable and even more comfortable then renting an apartment in a crowded neighborhood. The development of granny flats in Sydney and in other key cities may just be the new future of property rental in Australia.