Are flat-pack homes the solution for housing affordability?

Housing affordability is a contentious topic and has been for the past few years.

Could the flat-pack house be the answer to this crisis? They do work out to be cheaper than buying an existing house, thanks to the prefabrication. Bunnings New Zealand are amongst the growing list of other companies providing flat-pack housing to first-home buyers and those looking to downsize.


According to Domain, flat-pack houses are not the answer for big cities in Australia or New Zealand as the land values are quite high. They might not be the answer for new subdivisions either which also tend to have high land prices and guidelines determining the size and look of future homes.

What remains, then, is small towns and vacant land on the outskirts of cities. This is where the value of flat-pack housing comes into its own.

Domain writes, “If you can pick up a piece of land for less than $300k you can be in a house for well under $500k. If you are prepared to downsize to 60 square metres you can do it for less than that.”

With these flat-pack houses (the Bunnings NZ model is shown in this story) you get all the benefits of a new home – double glazing, heat pump, insulation, solid materials and the latest appliances. You can also customize the pack with a big deck for outdoor living. They can also be put together in less than three months.

The smallest of the flat-pack houses on offer from Bunnings is just 60 square metres at just over $61k.

Domain notes that the Bunnings flat-packs have “gone to country locations and have been bought by a mix of first-home buyers, retirees downsizing, farmers building cottages for farm workers, people wanting a holiday home and others investing in rental accommodation.

Story first published in via

Pictures courtesy of Steve and Sharleen of Te Horo via

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