News that developers are selling postage-stamp-sized sections in the Bay of Plenty came as a shock to some readers recently.
First-home buyers and, I expect, last-home downsizers are being marketed sections as small as 200sq m, as well as attached and terraced housing, with apartments also on the literal rise in the region's CBDs.
I'm not sure why this came as a surprise, we've been heading in this direction for ages.
Perhaps those shocked had entered the housing market at a time when the Kiwi quarter-acre dream - that's just over 1000sq m - was both affordable, available and realistic.
Those days are gone for anyone who wants to live near a major jobs centre and have a mortgage that won't cripple them.
In 1990 Tauranga's median property size was 600sq m. By 2010 it was 507sq m. No doubt the advent of 200sq m sections will drag the 2020 figure down even further.
Sections in Rotorua are also dropping in size. The average section was 782sq m in 1990 and 726sq m in 2010. I'm picking smaller again in 2020 if we're going by trend.
Smaller sections are just something we are going to have to get used to - that's the way of the future and it's nothing to be afraid of.
The Bay's population is growing and developers must find a way to accommodate the apparently never-ending influx of people.
Letters to the editor: White Island and smaller sections
I think we will start to see smarter use of space within the smaller sections too.
All in all, I am pleased to see developers thinking outside the square to give first-home buyers opportunities to get on to the property ladder.
But smaller sections should be accompanied by outdoor spaces such as parks, lakes and beaches. If we can't have our own backyards, we are going to have to make use of the public outdoor spaces provided.
Our councils, as they write guidelines for city planning that allow for greater intensification, must ensure our outdoor spaces are both beautiful and plentiful.