Granny Flats: Game Changer for Builders in Sydney

They are small(er), but they are mighty! Granny flats are making a comeback in Sydney. Could they be your next renovation project?

What are granny flats?

For Sydney, granny flats are blooming like tulips in the Spring. Sydneysiders have appreciated the stylish, modern, and versatile alternatives for granny flat designs, enduring much popularity in suburbs.

A granny flat contains the following features:

  • A bedroom (often just one)
  • A kitchen/kitchenette
  • A living area (usually merging the lounge and dining room)
  • A bathroom
  • A laundry (usually adjacent to the bathroom)

Essentially, a granny flat is an ‘mini version’ of a home, built on the same lot of land, situated either behind, in front of, or to the side of your existing property.

Not limited to being used as a ‘home,’ granny flats can be used for anything from a guest room, study to a functional office. It is essentially space, flexible in nature, meaning they can be changed and re-designed to meet a numerous amount of needs.

Why Sydney is in the midst of a ‘granny flat boom’

In 2009, the NSW Government released the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) which better supported building opportunities, for both investors and residents, allowing for the building of granny flats without council approval, pending on the following conditions:

  • Area of land is or larger than 450m2
  • Property has a minimum 12m street frontage
  • Property must be zoned residential
  • Granny flat maintains 0.9m from side boundaries
  • A 1.8m distance between the granny flat and other structures is maintained
  • A 3m distance between the granny flat and large trees is maintained

With this, the Government allowed for granny flat building to emerge on the building scene, and are now accommodating to both investors and residents alike through their flexible use of existing land.

“Nearly 100 granny flats were being completed each week in Sydney alone, a threefold growth in five years, according to state government statistics.” - Financial Review

This data translates to approximately one granny flat for every ten dwellings that are built in Sydney.

With the potential to be used as an investment property, or even simply as a saving grace for one of your family members, granny flats have become the ‘go-to’ building solution for many families in Sydney, especially in the West.

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