Good Ol’ Post-War Australian Homes Face the Bulldozer

Post-war Australian housing.

After the Second World War, millions of people moved to Australia and built homes inspired by their European backgrounds. (Image: via Wikimedia Commons)

After the Second World War, Australia adopted a “populate or perish” policy under which the government encouraged immigration from Europe. As a consequence, almost 4.2 million people moved to Australia between 1945 and 1985. These people built homes inspired by their European backgrounds and contributed heavily to the aesthetic and architectural culture of Australia. Today, these post-war homes are increasingly being demolished.

Post-war homes

“In the post-war period in Melbourne, architecture was the reason that culture was on the agenda for discussion. The whole idea of cultural difference emerged in Australia because of the very visual changes that Southern Europeans were making to the built environment. The bigger windows and spacious front terraces, lemon trees planted out the front, espresso bars and cafés, these icons made the transformation of the city obvious to the majority of people living there,” Mirjana Lozanovska, author of Migrant Housing, said to Deakin University Blog.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Most of the people who built those homes are now old, with their children and grandchildren having moved to other locations. Their homes usually have two or three bedrooms and a sizeable open area like a garden or backyard. This is in stark contrast to the current generation of Australians who live in one-bedroom apartments.

More Australians during the post-war era had families with many kids. As such, a big home was necessary. But today, an increasing number of Australians are choosing either to live a single life or to get married but not have kids, which inevitably supports the trend of one-bedroom homes.

This also means that no one has any use for these old homes with so many rooms. As such, the only thing to do is to bulldoze these structures. One 4-bedroom post-war home in Melbourne that sold for US$800,000 was so big that the real estate agent estimated that multiple townhouses could be built at the site. As the population of Australia increases, the pressure on the local administration to level post-war homes and build more efficient housing is strong. However, Lozanovska believes that the government and local officials should become more culturally sensitive about post-war homes.

Australians today have no use for such big homes, so they are being bulldozed.
Australians today have no use for such big homes, so they are being bulldozed. (Image: via Pixabay)

“What we tend to do in Australia is to start from a clean slate rather than work with what we’ve got… I’m not saying that every single one of these places has to be conserved, but there may be particular cases which are valuable to the community and our history as Australians… To leave traces in the built environment is a very important way to develop a culturally sustainable society, rather than swiping the slate clean,” she said to ABC News.

Australian housing market

Property prices in Australia have almost rebounded back to their peak levels after falling for several months. The price of a median unit rose by 3.4 percent in the last quarter of 2019 to US$378,218. This was only US$8,000 short of the peak from mid-2017. It is the strongest unit growth since 2015. Some experts believe that prices could hit new highs this year.

Property prices in Australia have almost rebounded back to their peak levels after falling for several months.
Property prices in Australia have almost rebounded back to their peak levels after falling for several months. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

“[The property market] has come back a bit faster than was expected… That made affordability better, then you look at Sydney and Melbourne and see unemployment rates below 5 percent, so you’ve got better affordability, people feeling a little bit happier and economic conditions that are okay — that’s the big picture story,” Alan Oster, NAB chief economist, said to Domain.

Some other factors that have contributed to rising buyer confidence include certainty in tax settings and record low interest rates. Lending restrictions have been eased. In some cities, population growth has outstripped the supply of new homes.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

A woman holding her hand over her face.

18 Resourceful Ways That Help Reduce Mental Stress

Many people have experienced stress at some point in their life. People generally sense that ...

Various colorful superfoods such as acai powder, turmeric, matcha green tea, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, dried goji berries, cape gooseberries, raw cocoa, hemp seeds, and others in bowls on a marble surface with blocks spelling the words "super foods."

The Top 8 Superfoods

“Superfoods” are foods considered to be beneficial to our health. Among the superfoods that made ...

Comic portrait of a retro pinup woman with a beehive hairstyle.

6 Hairstyles That Could Damage Your Hair: Tips for Healthier Choices

For eons, hairstyles have been a prominent beauty symbol for women worldwide. In most cultures, ...

Respect is a fundamental aspect of our interactions with others.

The Power of Respect: A Lesson From a Successful Entrepreneur’s Grandfather

Respect is a fundamental aspect of our interactions with others. It not only reflects our ...

Living cells.

How Pigs With Human Brain Cells And Biological Chips Cheat Scientific Ethics

Earlier this month, scientists at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health announced they had ...

Beautiful panoramic view of rooftops in the old town of Zug, Switzerland, with the town hall tower, Lake Zug, and the Pilatus mountain in the background.

Switzerland’s Safety Unveiled: A Journey Through Security and Serenity

Switzerland, often called the heart of Europe, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, pristine lakes, ...

A fishmonger's display on the Mediterranean island of Crete.

A Mother’s Wisdom: A Single Sentence that Changed a Fishmonger’s Life

In a quaint town in the south, there was always a line at a fish ...

Two men and a woman studying a graph.

8 Qualities of a High-Value Man That Make Him Stand Out

Becoming a high-value man is about showing people that you deserve their loyalty, respect, and ...

Ancient Chinese sitting and standing on platform.

9 Amazing Things Invented by the Chinese

China today is often mocked as the “copycat nation” due to its tendency to take ...

Send this to a friend