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Different Types of House Designs in New Zealand

Different Types of House Designs in New Zealand

New Zealand is such a diverse country in so many ways. This also extends to the living preferences of its 5 million+ residents, with people being able to choose from a range of different house designs in New Zealand. Of course, housing has changed a lot over the years for a number of reasons such as improved construction techniques, modern design trends, and even the amount of available space.

Decades ago, New Zealand had an abundance of vacant lots ready to be built on, but particularly around the major cities, this empty space has almost been completely built on. This is why people who want to live in desirable locations often need to buy an existing home, knock it down, and build their preferred home.

Regardless, there is still plenty of opportunity for New Zealanders to access the type of housing that suits their lifestyle best. Let’s take a look at some of the popular types of housing available.

Single-detached housing

It has long been a preference for people to live in single-detached housing. This essentially means a single home on a private plot of land. As New Zealand’s towns have developed into cities, though, semi-detached housing has been pushed out of the cities and into the suburbs.

A lot of single-detached housing in New Zealand is designed in such a way that the house is quite close to the street, with more room behind it for a backyard. Of course, backyards used to be a lot bigger, but with pressure on available land in more recent times, there has been a tendency to subdivide larger plots of land.

Regardless, this still remains the most popular type of housing, even if the land size is smaller.

Semi-detached housing

The idea of putting two separate homes on one plot of land was mostly a result of congestion in towns and cities. As land became more valuable, developers had to find ways to make better use of the land. The answer was semi-detached housing. Traditionally, this meant joining two homes together with a shared wall, and the practice still continues today under the name of ‘townhouses’.

Semi-detached living is more affordable than single-detached living, which is why it is still reasonable popular today. However, the trend has moved away from forcing homeowners to share a common wall. In modern times, you’re more likely to see two or more smaller, yet still detached homes on one plot of land, often referred to as units or townhouses.

Terrace homes

Terrace housing is another way to combat the growing demand for land, particularly in more densely populated areas. A terrace house is one that’s joined to another by a side wall. To be considered terrace housing, there are usually 3 or more homes in a row, all joined together alongside each other.

Unless you’re on either end of the building, you’ll actually have a home joined to yours on each side. It’s still considered a medium-density housing solution, and in modern times it is more popular with investors who rent these homes out to tenants.


Most people are familiar with apartments. Much smaller, but mostly maintenance-free, apartments are a high-density housing solution in heavily populated areas. Not everybody wants to live in apartments, due to the close proximity to your neighbours. More than likely, you’ll have a neighbour on either side, as well as above and below. However, for people who enjoy urban living and being close to the city, apartments are still extremely popular.

Again, apartments are big with investors who rent individual apartments to tenants. But a lot of people shoes to buy individual apartments to live in. Often, this is in the form of strata or body corporate environment where all owners share responsibility for common areas and pay lot fees each year.

Acreage homes/farmhouses

New Zealand is known for its beautiful countryside, and that’s why so many people want to live right in it. The most popular way to do that is to buy a plot of land and build your home on it. Acreage homes, as the name suggests, are built on large plots of land, often multiple acres in size.

Because of the rural setting that most acreage homes are built in, they are also referred to as farmhouses. Why? Because with so much land available, many of these homes are part of working farms. Even if they’re not, many people enjoy living on rural properties to grow their own food, raise a small amount of livestock and generally live a more self-sufficient life.

In addition, your dollar goes further when buying rural land, which means many acreage homes or farmhouses are actually quite large and extremely impressive visually.

Are you looking for the best house designs in New Zealand?

No matter what style of home you want to live in, Stonewood Homes is your trusted, reliable building company to make it happen. We have a range of beautiful house designs to choose from, which saves you time and money in the building process. But we’re also just as comfortable building custom homes according to your individual needs. With a reputation for excellence over 35 years of building, you can count on us to get the job done right. Contact us today to find out how we can help bring your dream home to life.

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