The Big Rise Of The Tiny House

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The tiny house movement is at an all-time high. There are even TV programs about tiny house living, Facebook groups are thriving, and small delightful houses are popping up on Instagram feeds. But, what exactly is a tiny house and is it a viable option for permanent living? Can you realistically take up residence in a home which is just 500 square feet?

Buying a house in Sydney, or in fact most major cities in Australia is a pipe dream for most hard-working Aussies, and this is reflected in the large shift to lifelong renters. A million dollars is what you need on average to buy a house in Sydney, and all it takes is a fluctuating mortgage rate, skyrocketing utilities, or job insecurity to bring your household budget to its knees. Managing household finances for most Australians is like walking a financial tight-rope. Australian rental prices are also high, with Sydney being the second highest in the world, and so a tiny home is becoming a viable alternative and the demand is there.

A tiny house can vary in size, but on average they’re about 500 square feet, carefully designed with high-end furnishings and innovative storage options. Most don’t have plumbing but do have solar power batteries and are set on wheels for easy transportation. However, others can be slightly larger and hooked up with electricity and water, along with sturdy footings for a more permanent abode. Prices can range anything from $40,000 to $100,000+ for a top end of the market mini mansion!

Tiny homes are the future of housing in Australia! A lot of people don’t know it yet, but the reality is that for most people a tiny home will be where they live in the next few decades. A tiny home is the most social and environmentally sustainable structure available on the market. It uses an appropriate amount of resources to house an individual or family group. Most cost between $60,000 and $100,000, and if your circumstances change you can simply hook it up to a tow vehicle and move with your life!
Grant Emans, Director – Designer Eco Tiny Homes

How did the tiny house movement start?

Tiny houses have provided human shelter for hundreds of years. From early settler homes and log cabins to mobile homes in caravan and trailer parks today, which have high-quality interiors and made to feel like a regular house. Foreclosures and evictions spiked in the U.S. in 2009 which seemed to be one of the leading triggers for the growth in the tiny house movement, and this movement has made its way down under. An idea initially meant to offer temporary, safe housing for the homeless or low-income families, has been taken up by those looking for a practical alternative to expensive rentals and unattainable mortgages. So, what kinds of Aussies are making the move to a small house?

Australian Women In Their 50’s

Australian women in their 50’s are the fastest growing demographic at risk from homelessness and poverty, and the figures are double that of the UK. A jarring statistic. Work discrimination, divorce, and a lack of suitable superannuation are the main reasons why women in their 50’s are left single and with depleted assets and savings. Tiny houses become a lifeline and a secure abode for these women at extreme risk of homelessness. They are also a great alternative to a granny flat for elderly parents who need some supervision, yet want to keep their sense of independence.

Grant Emans, Director of Designer Eco Tiny Homes says “I’d say we sell to all categories except families of larger than 4. We have had enquiries from families of 6+ but never a sale as yet. All age groups are covered, but there is a trend for single women over 55 as the one that stands out the most.”

Young Australians

Newlyweds and young couples are buying tiny homes which they can set up on their parents land, or rented plots, as a means to save for a mortgage or live a more sustainable life. Solar energy is used to power the home and water is collected, used and saved. This saves thousands a year in utility bills alone and enables young couples to live free of financial burden and debt.

Home Office Or Studio

Getting out of home, even if it’s to the bottom of the garden, gives a sense to any freelancer of ‘going to a workspace’. For $60,000+ a light-filled, fully functioning studio and home office can be created. Perfect for online businesses and freelancers and space which can also double up as a guest house.


Retirees are choosing tiny homes as an alternative to campervans when they head off to tour our great sunburnt land and they’re also perfect as a holiday/weekender home. A fully furnished tiny home can offer all the creature comforts you can think of and whenever it’s time to move on, a tiny home can be packed up and towed to a new location. For those that don’t feel comfortable towing a tiny home, there are transporters out there who will do it for you!

Home Renovators

Building your own home can take years and a forecasted 6mth renovation can end up 3-5 years until completion, just watch an episode of Grand Designs! Setting up a tiny home on the land while you build keeps you close to the building project and able to get some much-needed sleep and comfort at the same time.

Australians Looking For A Greener Lifestyle

People are becoming increasingly conscious of the impact we are having on our environment. We are becoming more considered about what we eat, where our products come from, and also where we live. A tiny home uses far less energy than a standard one, and there isn’t enough room to stockpile wardrobes full of clothes and throwaway gadgets, making every purchase a mindful and considered one.

Lifestyle series tiny home with solar panels

It all sounds great, right? Not only are tiny house homeowners benefiting from affordable, environmentally friendly houses, but country and rural towns, farms, and communities can also benefit by renting out their land and gaining revenue by advertising land space on Airbnb and other rental sites. However, there are some considerations.

Are There Downsides To Downsizing?

With all these pluses, is there any downside to buying a tiny home? Well, yes there is. Councillors don’t quite know what to do with these mobile tiny houses yet, and the law needs to catch up quickly to ensure that tiny homeowners are protected when renting plots of land. There’s also a need for minimal safety requirements to ensure that unscrupulous and shonky manufacturers don’t flood the market with flammable, or dangerously kitted out homes. If you’re in the market for a tiny house, make sure you buy from a reputable Aussie business so you have peace of mind and contact your local council before investment so you know exactly what you can and can’t do.

The tiny home and small house movement will no doubt continue to grow and innovate as Aussies look for affordable housing, where they can sleep in a safe space, travel in comfort, and reduce their impact on the environment. As with all new transportation breakthroughs such as Uber, the regulations and safety aspect need to catch up to support the tiny house movement quickly. This will ensure the safe growth of a new market emerging in the Australian real estate industry.

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