spacious apartment in Sydney, Australia
IMAGE: Adobe Stock
  • Four Sydney councils mandate larger minimum apartment sizes than standard regulations.
  • Apartments in these areas can be up to 57% larger than standard sizes elsewhere in Sydney.
  • Larger spaces are increasingly valued post-pandemic, accommodating work-from-home needs and enhanced living comfort.

In her latest contribution to The Property Tribune, Fiona Yang, Executive Partner at Plus Agency—a leading project marketing firm with over $300 million in annual sales—explores how select Sydney councils are reshaping the property market with regulations that prioritise spacious living in new apartment developments.”

Imagine living in an apartment so spacious that it feels like a luxury suite. Some Sydney home buyers have discovered this dream can become a reality thanks to unique local council regulations.

The “Golden Four”

There are 33 council areas in greater Sydney. Almost all of them rely on a NSW government document called Apartment Design Guide when it comes to setting the minimum size of their new units.

But there are four councils that set their own minimum apartment sizes. We call them the “golden four,” and they are the Hills Shire, Lane Cove, Burwood, and Waverly.

When you buy a new apartment in one of these Council areas, it will usually be larger than an equivalent apartment anywhere else in Sydney.

Let’s look at how that works out.

Across most of Sydney, the regulations stipulate that new studios must be at least 35m², one-bedroom apartments 50m², two-bedroom apartments 70m², and three-bedroom apartments 90m².

In Burwood and Lane Cove, however, new studios must be at least 5m² larger than the minimum in most of Sydney. That’s a 14% increase.

In Waverly, new two-bedroom apartments must also be 14% larger than what is required in most council areas. That gives buyers an additional 10 square meters of living space.

Fiona Yang
Fiona Yang, Executive Partner of Plus Agency. IMAGE: Supplied

Apartments as much as 57% larger

Hills Shire is the council area that mandates the largest minimum sized apartments. Not every new apartment in Hills Shire Council is larger. The council mandates a higher minimum size for about two-thirds of the new apartments in any building.

So, in Hills Shire, about a third of apartments can be the standard NSW size. Another third can be around 30% larger than that. It’s in the final third of apartments that you can see much larger units. In this tranche of apartments, floorplans must be 50% to 57% larger than the standard in most of the rest of Sydney.

Extra space is more important post-Covid

Take Mark, for example. He is a recent buyer in Castle Hills, part of the Hills Shire council area. Mark and his wife secured a two-bedroom, 74-square-meter apartment. “If our apartment were 5% smaller, it would feel too small,” Mark told me. The extra space is important to him.

In 2024, spacious living is crucial. Over a third of Australians now work from home: an increase of 15% since the pandemic. Whether working from home, raising a family, or just enjoying your living space, size matters more than ever.

By choosing to buy in one of the golden four suburbs that mandate larger minimum apartment sizes, you may be able to maximise your space.

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