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The numbers behind Melbourne's apartment boom

No great surprise that inner Melbourne and the CBD in particular is experiencing a population boom; we hear about it just about every week via various media outlets.

Within their capacity, the City of Melbourne maintain a comprehensive monitor of all major new commercial and residential property development in their municipality. Figures for the current Development Activity Monitor to May 2014 are impressive or worrying (depending upon your perspective of course).

For the year to date Melbourne’s residential apartment stock has experienced unprecedented growth, with 2,800 new dwellings built to this point. Forecasts show that in the vicinity of 5,800 residences are are expected to be built by the end of the year, whereas the average over the last decade has been 2,100 apartments per annum.

City of Melbourne's boundary and suburbs. Image courtesy melbourne.vic.gov.au

Council's response to recent robust population rises:

We have known for some time that inner Melbourne is booming. The City of Melbourne is working hard to ensure that with this growth, we have diversity and quality in our housing stock as well as infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing community.

We have recently released a Draft Housing Strategy, which is one example of how we are working to maintain a good standard of living for future generations. We don’t know how long this increase of supply will be sustained, or how many of the proposed developments will proceed. What this research does is show us what Melbourne could look like in the next decade.

Cr Stephen Mayne, Deputy Chair of Planning

Released twice a year, the Development Activity Monitor's highlights for the May 2014 cycle include:

  • There are 44 residential developments currently under construction which are anticipated to result in 9666 new properties by the end of 2017.
  • There are an additional 99 developments with town planning approval yet to commence construction. If these all proceed they could result in 18,737 new dwellings.
  • One per cent of new dwellings are designed to be studio apartments, 44 per cent to be one bedroom dwellings, 51 per cent two bedrooms and four per cent to have three or more bedrooms.
  • A further 48 developments are currently seeking town planning permits which, if approved, could add an additional 23,216 dwellings for construction to commence in three to five years.
The changing face of Melbourne

In other sectors, the Development Activity Monitor also forecasts that by end of 2014, 51,622 m² of retail floor space is likely to have been completed, the lion's share held between The Strand redevelopment and Emporium Melbourne. There is currently 23,362 m² of retail space under construction and 35,776 m² is expected to commence construction in the next two years.

In terms of commercial developments, there was 346,797 m² of new office space under construction in May. The forecast monitor also notes that 228,999 m² of new commercial space over a number of new buildings has town planning approval and is expected to commence construction in the next two years.

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