Depicts terrace housing

Terrace Housing vs Traditional Kiwi Living

Increasingly, there has been an abundance of terrace housing in New Zealand, in order to address the national housing crisis. Terrace housing is often viewed as an effective housing solution to combat this crisis, particularly in the social housing domain. However, the lifestyle that comes with terrace housing is extremely different to the traditional ways in which Kiwi homes are viewed.

Terraced homes’ are rows of homes that are connected via inter-tenancy walls. Normally, this type of housing ranges from two to three stories and typically has one to four bedrooms, depending on its size. Terraced homes’ have been popularised as an ideal housing option for young families and active people who often spend their weekends outside of their living space. Due to their size and structural connectivity, terraced homes’ are in most cases, relatively cheaper to purchase compared to detached or semi-detached properties. These homes are also more energy-efficient as their connectivity via walls retains heat in an effective manner. However, terraced properties are often criticised for noise pollution, as close proximity to neighbouring properties results in this.

Generally, traditional kiwi living is conceptualised as a stand-alone home with indoor-outdoor flow to a large backyard. In contrast, terrace housing can only offer so much indoor-outdoor flow as these homes are typically constructed in a confined environment. Terrace housing also offers minimal outdoor private space, which may not be suitable for larger families, especially those with children or planning to have children.

Overall, there is no clear answer as to whether terrace housing or traditional kiwi living is “better”. It is entirely context-dependent. Family size and lifestyle will be a large determinant on what option is suitable. Whilst terrace housing is an ideal option to mitigate the effects of the contemporary housing crisis, traditional kiwi living will often be more desirable as it mirrors the Kiwi dream that many aspire for.

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