Why Granny Flats Are Popular In Avalon Beach

By Jonathan Fletcher

It’s no surprise that Avalon has a growing trend of building granny flats.

NSW has some of the most generous rules for granny flats in Australia, making it easy to build a separate dwelling out the back for family and friends or to make some extra cash. But does a granny flat add value to your property? Let’s look at if you should build a granny flat on your land.

Why build a granny flat?

On the Northern Beaches Peninsula, our community is largely made up of growing families, as well as established downsizers looking for a way to stay in the area without paying increasingly high prices. So homeowners here typically build granny flats to provide another residence for ageing parents who might need care, teenage children craving some independence or even older children saving to buy their first property.

But that’s not the only benefit. Granny flats are also a great way to bring in additional income, without needing to fork out for a more expensive investment property.

Granny flats are also very attractive properties for tenants as they can be quieter and more private than an apartment, and can offer an affordable rental price tag.

And a big plus? You can reap these benefits while you live in the property, but they’ll also be an appealing benefit to buyers when it comes time to sell.

Does a granny flat add value to your home?

According to the CoreLogic and Archistar report, a granny flat can add value far beyond family benefits and extra income – it could also boost the value of your home by 30% and add an extra 27% to your rental income if you rent out your home.

Of course, you do have to pay for the construction first – from approximately $120,000 for a one-bedroom unit and $200,000 for a two-bedroom – but it can be worth it at the end of the day. If that 30% stat holds true, the added value on an Avalon home with a median house price of $1.75m more than covers the cost of building the granny flat.

Is your property eligible for a granny flat?

For a granny flat to meet the Complying Development requirements, it usually needs to be:

  • Set up alongside another dwelling (your main home) and on the same piece of land (typically in the backyard)
  • Not included as part of a strata plan or community title scheme
  • On a property bigger than 450m2, with street frontage of at least 12m
  • No bigger than 60m2

The granny flat can be attached to your home, separate from it, or even within it.

Check the Northern Beaches Council website for more details on building a granny flat.

The details on building granny flats in NSW

It all comes down to regulations. In NSW, we now have fairly relaxed rules around building second dwellings on existing properties, because granny flats are seen to have a minor environmental impact on the neighbourhood. They fall under Complying Development, so they’re approved in the same way swimming pools or internal renos are – in a 10-day approval process, provided the flat meets the standards of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009. This means that they don’t typically require a full development application.

But there is another reason for granny flat popularity in Avalon – housing affordability. Sydney is known for expensive housing, particularly in sought-after locations like the beautiful Avalon and Palm Beach suburbs we’re lucky to call home. Granny flats offer an economically savvy housing alternative without needing to sacrifice lifestyle or move away from the place we call home.

If you’re thinking of adding a granny flat and would like an accurate assessment of your home and potential added value, get in touch with me today.

Photo – provided by BAAHOUSE of their 2019 BDAA National award-winning design for secondary dwellings & granny flat – Avalon Beach www.baahouse.com.au