The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.

New apartments: What to expect


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Key findings

  • 1 bedroom apartments will be 8% bigger on average.

  • 2 bedroom apartments remain the same size.

  • 3 bedroom apartments will be 4% smaller and remain rare.

  • Little to no 4 bedroom apartments are being proposed.

  • Most apartments meet the minimum balcony size.

Following up on our recent Supply report, Secret Agent wanted to dig deeper into what sort of apartment buildings are being proposed by developers. Using planning permit applications sent to local Melbourne councils, we sampled 1,680 proposed apartments from 34 buildings in 15 suburbs of metropolitan Melbourne.

Our findings are summarised in the table at the end of this post. We’ve noted the composition of one, two and three bedroom apartments in each suburb, as well as the average sizes of internal and outdoor (balcony) areas. As a benchmark for comparison, the current average apartment size (indoor area only) in inner Melbourne is as follows:

  • 1 bedroom: 47sqm
  • 2 bedroom: 73sqm
  • 3 bedroom: 119sqm

Note that the majority of Cremorne apartments sampled are from the proposed development at 2 Gough Street and is thus more of a reflection of this specific building than the entire suburb.


The Victorian Government’s Better Apartments draft design standards suggests a minimum of 8m2 of outdoor area for 1 bedroom apartments and 10m2 for two bedrooms or more. Most regions seem to exceed this standard, with the only exception being Cremorne one bedroom apartments (7m2).

Where to find the biggest two bedroom apartments?

Looking at just two bedroom apartments, here are the suburbs with proposed developments that are bigger than average, followed by those below the average:

  • Above average two bedroom apartments: Abbotsford, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Richmond, South Melbourne.
  • Exactly average: Coburg and Thornbury.
  • Below average two bedroom apartments: Box Hill, Brunswick East, Cremorne, Highett, Preston, Reservoir.


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