Years ago, plenty of homes has a small unit out the back called a granny flat but fast forward to 2015 and the humble granny flat feels like it’s from a bygone era. Actually, the granny flat boom is back as more and more home owners are building a separate dwelling on the same land.
According to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, 4818 new granny flats were built last year, which is nearly double the 2867 built the previous year and three times more than the 1511 built in 2010.
It’s amazing to think that granny flats are now considered as comfortable living spaces for one to four people, which is changing how land is being used.
And as mortgages are getting more and more unaffordable for the average home owner, it’s no surprise really that couples and their families would consider co-housing and sharing land with separate dwellings. According to sisters Liz and Fran from Carlingford, the granny flat on Fran’s property has meant they can be close but live independently.
Living in a granny flat on her sister’s Carlingford property has allowed Liz Slade to live independently, yet be close to her family at the same time.
They used to be known as “mother-in-law apartments” or “in-law suites”, but granny flats really are a means to an end for some – Sydney in particular ranks in the world’s 10 most expensive cities for prime residential property.
Mark Moumdjian, operations manager at Ian Cubitt’s Granny Flats and Studios, spoke to The Wall Street Journal and said “Demand has basically skyrocketed. We build in excess of 300 a year, whereas, say about five years ago, we were doing more like 30 or 40 a year”.
In January, MLC Finance expert Michael Miller wrote about receiving the pension and considering moving into a granny flat.
He said, “You might have done a bit of research to find out how your pension will be affected if you were to transfer title of your home, or sell the home and contribute to the construction cost of a self-contained flat on your carer’s existing land. There are concessions that can ensure you are treated similarly to when you owned your own home”.
“It’s important though if you’re transferring ownership of your home, or selling it and contributing money towards the construction or purchase of a suitable property, that you protect your interests”.
So tell us this evening, would you or have you considered renting or owning a granny flat? Why or why not? Do you think property prices will ease or will be soon be living in each others’ pockets more so than we are now?