First, houses in the UK
Today we are going to be looking at houses, lots of them. Look, here’s one already…
That used to be my house, it’s where I lived when I was a young child, from around 2 to 14. There were about 100 or so houses in my street, and they pretty much all looked exactly the same. One or two houses in the street were slightly different, but for the most part, the same design of house was repeated throughout.
Houses in this street are called semidetached, that’s two houses joined together and then there is a gap before the next two houses.
This is a different street in the same town…
Again, all the houses are pretty much the same, maybe the first house on the left has a slightly different design. These are called terraced houses, that is to say they are all joined together. So in this picture, there are 10 different houses.
Now let’s take a look at some houses in the north of England…
These are, for the most part, tiny terraced houses, there are probably nine houses in that first picture, but it’s difficult to know for sure. Some houses in the UK can be incredibly small at just about 4 metres wide. I actually lived in a one-bedroom terraced cottage once and it was probably less than 3 metres wide.
Now houses in Australia
A few years ago I was speaking to Brian, an estate agent I’ve known since I arrived here in Australia. He’s the guy we bought our house from. He moved here from Newmarket, England about 30 odd years ago. He told me how difficult it was at times to price up houses here in Australia because, as he said, “no two houses are the same, it’s not like England“.
I was very much reminded of that fact when regular reader Warwick sent me some photographs he’d taken of housing in Sandgate, a suburb north of Brisbane and on the coast. Sandgate is a suburb I like very much, I wrote about it in a post called A Visit to Sandgate and the Einbunpin Festival.
No need for a running commentary on these houses, the pictures speak for themselves. Sandgate has a bit of history though, the suburb was established in 1853, so many of these houses could well be very old. Just not this first one…
By contrast, these next two suburbs, Moggill and Bellbowrie in western Brisbane, have much newer housing. Development here didn’t really get under way until the late 70s and the area has been rapidly expanding ever since.
Let’s take a look at some of the houses here…
All houses, again, are detached and have plenty of room around them. Not everywhere in Australia enjoys this much space, these suburbs are in what is called ‘lower density residential areas”. Go closer to the city centres and you will find yourself in either medium or high density residential areas. These properties are built on smaller blocks of land.
Overall though, Australian housing is quite large and last time I looked, Australian houses were the biggest in the world!
Australia does have some flats, apartments and ‘units’ (terraced properties), but the vast majority of our housing is detached. According to the latest available figures (2012) from the ABS, 74% of housing in our capital cities was detached or ‘separate’ as they called it.
That figure rose to 81% outside of our major cities.
I’m not saying that all the streets in the UK consist of rows of houses that look exactly the same as the house next to it, but I think it’s fair to say the majority of their streets are like that.
I’m also not saying that every house in Australia is unique or different, or that every street consists of vastly different styles of housing, but I do think that for the majority of the time, that is the case.
And I’m not suggesting that the houses I’ve shown you here either in the UK or from these Brisbane suburbs are typical or representative of all housing in each of our countries, but they are quite commonplace.
What I am saying though is that my estate agents “no two houses are the same” comment certainly fits Australia much better than it does the UK.
NB. Please click on any of the above images to enlarge it.