Granny flats get modern makeover

Move over two bedroom apartments, granny flats are the new economical housing option for Sydneysiders, and they’ve undergone a revamp.

Today’s granny flats are sleek, stylish and sophisticated thanks to a group of Australian architects, developers and builders who have recently launched the ‘Module ’ as a solution to Sydney’s housing crisis.

“Housing crisis in some areas of Australia is reaching unprecedented levels. One of the most efficient and economical ways of relieving pressure on housing market is building secondary dwelling on established lots,” says Module’s sales manager James Brennan.

‘‘With prices around $120,000 including site costs and approval costs, Module’s very contemporary living space can transform someone from virtual poverty to absolute luxury in just 10 weeks.’’

Ranging in size from 29 to 59 square metres, the flats can be one bedroom, two-bedroom or even four-bedroom.

The resurgence of the granny flat in Sydney backyards is largely due to a 2009 NSW government policy to enable 10-day approvals for secondary dwellings on a property.

The change in policy seems to be working with the number of granny flats approved across the state last year up by 76 per cent.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NSW Department of Planning’s Local Development Performance Monitoring report showed the number of granny flats approved across the state under the new law rose from 487 in 2010-11 to 858 last year. That followed a doubling of the number approved in the previous year.

Granny flats are proving a popular option for older Australians wanting a retirement home, renovators needing temporary accommodation, first home buyers and property investors.

Domain.com.au reports the granny flat is a cash cow for investors costing about $100,000 to build, with an average rent of $250. That’s a yield of 13 per cent.

However, before you jump in and start building, you need to consider the law. Your block must be a minimum of 450 square metres and in a residential zone.

In other states, rules around granny flats vary. A building permit is required in Victoria, and in Queensland granny flats are officially intended for older people, not for rental purposes. So it’s important to research your local laws.

Don’t forget once the granny flat is up and running, Grace Removals can help relocate your family members to your backyard.