Research conducted by Hobsonville Land Company into the desirability of smaller homes has found that, as the Kiwi lifestyle spreads its wings, Kiwis increasingly favour smaller homes, especially if they’re more affordable.

The Axis Series Small Home Test Lab opened at Hobsonville Point, in March, 2014, and since then consumers and members of the building industry have been able to visit the homes, and provide feedback by way of response cards and participation in an online survey.

Of those buyers surveyed, seven out of 10 were looking for a home for themselves with around one-quarter of respondents intending to buy in the next six months.

Overall, 69% said they could ‘very comfortably’ or ‘reasonably comfortably’ see themselves living in one of the three pilot show homes. Sixteen per cent were unsure, 12% said ‘probably not’ and just three per cent said ‘definitely not’. 

Respondents were very positive about the quality of the homes and their design, as well as the fact that they were within a community with a mix of types of homes.

The three-bedroom home was the most popular with 71% of respondents saying it would suit their needs. Thirty seven per cent of respondents said the two bedroom home suited their needs, and 10% said the same for the one-bedroom home.

Asked to rate features important when buying a new home, 82% of all respondents, and 91% of respondents looking to buy for under $485,000, rated the overall concept of a small, self-contained house and section for a lower price.

Among buyers in the market for a house under $485,000, the interior layout of the house was the most important feature followed by the location. Interestingly the size of the section ranked last out of 14 features that we asked questions about. 

In terms of building trade members surveyed, the two-bedroom home was thought to be the dwelling with the most market potential. Trade participants were asked what they thought the potential market size was for each of the Test Lab small homes. Ninety one per cent of respondents saw a medium or large market potential for the two-bedroom home, 78% of respondents thought that the three-bedroom home had medium or large market potential, with 34% for the one-bedroom home.

Two of the three small homes at Hobsonville Point designed and built for the Test Lab have been sold, with the new owners for the homes drawn by ballot after strong demand from Axis Series qualifying buyers. The third home is under offer to an interested buyer.

A copy of the full research report Small Homes Feedback Survey is available at The media release is available here.