The increasing national demand for new duplex homes in high demand areas like the Hunter Valley region has been further boosted recently with changing council planning requirements and approaches.

A duplex is two separate semi-detached dwellings built on one lot, each with its own yard, but sharing the same roof line and separated by a central common or party wall.

According to Integrity New Home Director, Glenn Leet, duplexes are undergoing a resurgence amongst investors and new home buyers which is being supported through council zoning and town planning initiatives.

“Developers are also targeting this trend and increasingly offering more blocks in new subdivisions which are specifically designed for duplexes,” he said.

 “Duplexes offer a wide raft of advantages around flexibility and investment and are particularly suited to the changing nature of household and living arrangements around the country.”

Some of the advantages and attractiveness of duplexes includes:

·         Great appeal to investors because it is possible to live in one unit while the other is rented out and used as an income earning investment or both units can be rented offering better rental returns than could be achieved from single free-standing dwelling;

·         Close knit and blended families like the convenience of living close to each other to provide support and child minding assistance but still have separate private living areas;

·         Duplex blocks are generally freehold with each unit site privately owned and not part of group title arrangement requiring body corporate fees to be paid;

·         The duplex units can be sold as two individual lots or as one parcel;

·         Advances in construction materials and local authority planning requirements means the common walls in modern day duplexes are not only safe with fire retardant qualities but  there are also strong noise and climate insulation elements required;

·         Duplexes other advantages of a private garden and yard space but with generally the lower maintenance, as the units tend to be smaller than average freestanding dwellings;

·         Councils like the increased living density which makes better and more efficient use of a range of infrastructure resources; and

·         Developers are able to achieve better yields from land subdivision which allows more buyers to enjoy living in any particular estate but without the really high density of apartments.

“We have a range of single and double storey duplexes to suit a wide configuration of blocks,” Mr Leet said.  

“Many of our designs, particularly on corner blocks look from the street like two separate free-standing homes rather than a duplex.

“We even have in our portfolio a duplex which has one single storey unit and the other is double storey – this has been achieved through innovative council planning regulations and our extensive experience as design and construct builders, he said”.