What makes a sale fall through?

This week in the news, some interesting answers to that question; Aussie homes are getting smaller but are still among the biggest in the world; most Australians optimistic about property; and the guerilla architects getting around planning rules…

Australian home sizes shrinking

Australian homes are the smallest they've been in two decades, according to a new report released this week.

But still, at around 190 square metres, they remain on average almost the biggest in the world, second only to the US on 204.3sqm. Not surprisingly, Hong Kong has the smallest average home floor size of just 43.6sqm.

Why are our homes getting smaller?

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What bubble?

Australians are optimistic about the state of the property market and will continue to invest in it, new research has revealed.

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10 simple tips for pool landscaping

With summer officially starting next week, your pool is likely to be the focus of family activity over the next few months. While there's nothing better than swimming in sparkling clean water, having the right plants around the pool helps create a relaxing atmosphere and soften areas often dominated by concrete paving and timber decking.

Not all plants thrive around pools, however, so before you head to the nursery, keep these tips in mind...

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What makes a sale fall through?

Most property transactions have happy endings, but every now and then the unexpected can happen, resulting in the deal being called off.

Here are the top reasons why contracts fail to complete...

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A shelter in disguise 

What do you do with perfectly good space when planning legislation gets in the way? If you're anything like London-based design and architecture studio PUP, you ventilate the creativity.

In a playful subversion of permitted development rights, H-VAC is a rooftop pavilion that appears from the outside as an oversized air-duct system. Built around a sturdy wooden frame with cladding shingles cut from reclaimed Tetra-Pak printed rolls, the structure includes a rooftop garden, a small room and benches, allowing up to 6 people to enjoy the elevated views over the nearby canal. PUP envisage H-VAC as the first of many guerrilla habitation initiatives of London’s roofspace, producing a landscape of rooftop structures akin to New York’s famous city water towers.

Not so smart, after all

Home assistant technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are fast becoming popular here and around the world, but a German homeowner recently found they’re not always as ‘helpful’ as the ads suggest.

Oliver Haberstroh swears his sound system was turned off when he went out for the evening, but news sources report that police had to break into his apartment around 2am after neighbours complained about deafening music. Turns out, his Alexa started up of its own accord, causing a hefty locksmith’s bill for its bewildered owner.