Perth blocks have shrunk by about a quarter in 10 years, driven by price pressure, State Government policy and shifting social mores.
The median lot size in the Perth metropolitan area and Peel region shrank from 564sqm in September 2004 to 410sqm last year, Planning Department figures show.
At the same time, the percentage of newly approved subdivided lots 500sqm or smaller soared from about 25 per cent of all new subdivisions to about 65 per cent.
Experts expect the trend to continue as WA's population swells.
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Figures for the September quarter last year compared with 2004 show Perth's changing landscape with a clear trend for smaller lots.
In 2004, the most popular size for new lots was between 500sqm and 599sqm, followed by 600-999sqm and 500sqm and under. Last year, the most popular lots were 320-499sqm, followed by 320sqm and under and 500-599sqm.
Bexleys principal Clem Davies is agent for a Wembley property bought 13 years ago and recently put on the market as two lots of 384sqm and 385sqm.
It is part of a trend towards subdivision that Mr Davies, who has sold real estate for 34 years, said he had particularly noticed in the past five.
"Most subdivisions these days are blocks 250sqm to 400sqm," he said. "I just sold a 680sqm block with a house in Greenwood - lots of interest with potential triplex in 18 months when the zoning is changing from R20 to R40.
"The kind of buyers for smaller blocks are young families with kids or older people downsizing."
Urban Development Institute of Australia WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said the trend towards smaller lots had multiple drivers, including government policy allowing higher density, demand from people who did not want a big backyard to maintain and affordability.
Ten years ago, land accounted for about one-third of the cost of a house and land package. Last year, it accounted for about two-thirds.
"Small lots are the way of the future," she said. "We'll certainly see more of the sub-500sqm blocks."
Builder Dale Alcock said smaller lots were here to stay but the rate they had shrunk would not continue.
"That is just not possible," he said. "You reach a point where you cannot carve the land any tighter."
Property Council WA executive director Joe Lenzo said though shrinking blocks were partly a response to demand for more affordable housing, they did not necessarily mean cheaper homes.
"House sizes have stayed the same, reducing the land around the home," he said.
"The trend to smaller lots is going to continue. This may encourage smaller, better designed houses, thus increasing density."