The dream of the quarter acre block with a dog or two and a barbeque is fading fast.

Australians are favouring smaller, more affordable homes, with approvals for the construction of flats, townhouses and semi-detached houses nearing their highest level in 20 years. Approvals for those smaller dwelling are now closing in on approvals for freestranding houses. In the year to November, multi-unit dwellings accounted for 43 per…