Overall, residents of Victoria prefer detached homes to any other kind of property – and this is reflected in the breakdown of different types of housing throughout the state.

New data compiled by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria based on the housing statistics from the 2011 Australian Census shows that 77 per cent of the properties across Victoria are comprised of detached homes, compared with 13 per cent apartments and flats, and ten per cent semi-detached properties, townhouses and terrace homes.

It won't come as a surprise that the larger – and more expensive – the property, the greater the number of people living in it. Conversely, apartments were the preferred housing option for single occupants and couples without children.

Approximately 48 per cent of apartment-dwellers live on their own, and a further 20 per cent are couples without children – figures that underscore this is the preferred type of dwelling for smaller households.

Whether you are buying an apartment as an investment, purchasing your first home or moving to a larger place as you enter a new life stage, the type of property you choose will have an impact on your home loan.

The best way to prepare for this major step is to do careful research. Begin by asking yourself questions to get the process started. For example: Where do you want to live? What kind of lifestyle do you envision for yourself? How much money do you want to spend? Have you saved a deposit?

This can help to give you a starting point as you begin to examine your options for home loans – and can also give you some ideas of what you may need to discuss with your mortgage broker as you work through your choices.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.