Did you know that there are over 2 billion houses in the world as of 2021 according to Architecture and Design? And building homes provide jobs to countless construction firms, contractors, duplex builders, and home renovators. In the Australasia region, there are 13 million houses. Each has its own style, purpose and legacy. One of them is a duplex, which is a type of dual occupancy where residential space is shared as two dwellings with one roof separated by a dividing wall.
While it is common to read about duplex homes in Sydney online, the term duplex per se is actually not used in New South Wales. They refer to these types of dwellings as “dual occupancy.” Legally, this may mean having one title with both units that must be sold together.
Duplexes as low rise housing
As of recent the NSW government has updated their classification of project homes, putting duplexes (or dual occupancy homes) under the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code. This code prepared by the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment classifies duplex homes in this category helping fast-track development approval within 20 days. Development of dual occupancy homes are allowed in R1, R2, R3, and RU5 zones.
Financial Review reports that dwelling completions have gone down dramatically from over 40,000 in 2018 to less than 10,000 by 2022. However, duplex builders can find a silver lining during and after the pandemic as more people plan to move into suburban areas with less traditional housing options.
Duplexes as worthy alternatives
As of 2016, the total reported number of private dwellings in the Greater Sydney Area is 1.8 million. More than half of them are separate houses while the rest are composed of medium density, high density, and other types of dwellings. Various reports online have stated a housing boom during the pandemic as finding a new home became a priority for most families and individuals. Duplexes have become worthy options as homeowners can move in at a lower cost.
The average cost of building a duplex is reported to be within half a million to a little over one million Australian dollars. But duplex builders are offering many reasonably priced options as it promotes alternative housing types to “traditional freestanding houses”. And with the COVID-19 pandemic still looming around, it is unlikely that people will prefer to live in high-density areas and will continue to seek dwellings in the suburbs where costs can be shared or divided with other occupants.