While houses seem to be increasing in size, along with their price tag, people worldwide are rejecting the idea of a mortgage and financial debt by downsizing, and not by just moving into a smaller house, but a really, really tiny one. This social and architectural trend, known as the tiny house movement, took off in the late nineties in the US, and has not looked back.
According to Ryan Mitchell of thetinylife.com, a tiny home generally measures between 9.2 and 37 square metres – a small amount of space that can offer a debt-free life and a simple, more sustainable lifestyle. In 2005, the movement captured further attention, after providing a solution to the housing crisis left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It quickly became a viable option for those facing financial strain or a change in circumstances.
According to the latest ‘Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey’, Sydney is the second least affordable city to live in, with Melbourne at fourth place, tied with Auckland and San Jose. So it’s understandable that this ever-growing trend is gaining interest in Australia. With many Australians now priced out of the housing market, the tiny house movement makes sense. A tiny home is considerately cheaper to build than conventional housing, and with less heating and cooling requirements, the cost of living is significantly lower. Fewer resources are used for construction and the footprint is smaller, so it’s more environmentally friendly. It also offers a simpler life with fewer possessions and, with many tiny houses built on wheels, there’s always the opportunity to relocate.
Overall, the tiny house movement provides an overwhelming sense of freedom – not only by living debt and clutter free, but also living where you want, and doing the things you want to do.
Maybe big is not so beautiful after all?