News

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


The Secret Agent Report – Upzoning

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Affordable housing is an issue many cities are currently facing. Upzoning is a potential solution to the issue, however prominent geographer Michael Storper suggests that upzoning actually makes housing more expensive.

The process in which zoning restrictions and building codes are removed to allow for higher density housing is called upzoning. Upzoning as a definition is simple. However, the deregulation of land zoning has consequences that are much more complicated to predict.

In this report, Secret Agent will take a deeper look into upzoning and how it has been impacting property markets in various cities of the world.

Access the Upzoning report now!

 


The Secret Agent Report – Shrinking Cities

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Urbanisation has been an ongoing trend over the past few decades. It has had a huge impact on shaping our cities into what they are today. It has also influenced property prices.

Urbanisation is fuelled by population growth. This is often a result of people seeking job opportunities or education in cities and obviously happens at different rates depending on which particular city you’re talking about.

What is becoming apparent from population measurements and predictions, is that a reversal of urbanisation is taking place in some cases. Just as there are positive feedback loops which propel the growth of a city forward, the opposite is also true.

With limited land available, as well as congested infrastructure and roads, it’s plausible that there is an upper limit on how urbanised an area can become. What happens once this limit is reached is not known for sure. There are indications that it can result in the opposite of urbanisation which is de-urbanisation. The world’s biggest cities need to prepare to manage this carefully in order to continue to thrive.

In this report, Secret Agent will discuss the potential impact of de-urbanisation and shrinking cities.

Access the Shrinking Cities report now!

 


The Secret Agent Report – Downsizing

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

It’s a difficult decision to choose to downsize your family home. The longer you’ve been living in it, the more memories it has and the more uncomfortable it will be to leave. Just because it may be easier to stay, doesn’t mean you should.

When it comes to downsizing, there are many benefits, as well as downsides. The experience can be a positive or negative one depending on a number of things. The more thought you put into weighing up the pros and cons for your situation, as well as choosing a new home, the more likely you will be happy with the final outcome.

In this report, Secret Agent aims to help you feel more confident in your decision to downsize. It will give you some insight into the experience so you can get a better idea of whether downsizing is the right move for you and how to best prepare.

Access the Downsizing report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Gentrification

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Most of us have heard of gentrification and associated it with the Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick, Abbotsford, Footscray and Collingwood. These suburbs have gone through huge transformations in the past decade or so. From unattractive areas, high in crime and drug use, they’ve become popular places to visit because of their edgy vibe as well as their trendy food destinations. The areas have been cleaned up and crime has decreased. Younger people especially, are easily seduced into moving to an area once they experience the lifestyle. They desire the convenience of being located close to work, whether that be in the CBD or tech hubs such as Collingwood and Cremorne.

Gentrification is a lot more complex than the revitalisation of an area. In fact it is very different. It’s not about the old being replaced by the new, or poor becoming improved.

This report Secret Agent is going to take a deeper look at gentrification and the way it affects urban neighbourhoods.

Access the Gentrification report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Natural Light

More and more, so it seems to me, light is the beautifier of the building.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Natural light in our homes connects us to nature. In our increasingly built up cities and suburbs, lack of natural light is becoming more of a problem. This is compounded by the fact that people generally spend more time indoors and less time in natural settings exposed to sunlight.

This month, Secret Agent discusses why and how natural light in our built spaces is critical for our own health and wellbeing.

Access the Natural Light report now!

 


The Secret Agent Report – Drift

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

The buying process is far less personal than what it used to be. Algorithms determine a lot of what we see when it comes to searching online – we are presented with options with little effort. By relying on smarter algorithms we miss out on both randomness and serendipity which have always played a role in human affairs. We may be able to find things more quickly but we are limiting ourselves in the act of ‘surprise’. Often we don’t know what we want until we come across it by accident.

Secret Agent believes that in the digital age we are in, random encounters are more important that ever. In this report, we will discuss the concept of drift to help explain how buying things like property can be best done by going outside the normal rules and routines of your life and embracing some randomness.

Access the Drift report now!

 


The Secret Agent Report – The Driverless World

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

It would be hard to imagine a time without cars on our roads. They have changed our lives in many ways, especially in terms of where we choose to live.

In a similar way, it is hard to imagine a time when we will be able to jump into a car and go anywhere we desire, without having to be driven by someone or drive it ourselves.

Autonomous vehicles are a part of our future, whether we like the idea of them or not. They will likely impact all of us in some way. This issue of The Secret Agent Report will look at the potential impact autonomous vehicles may have on the city and on property prices.

Access The Driverless World report now!

 


The Secret Agent Report – Walkability and Greenery

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report.

Secret Agent has intensively investigated the impact that location and environment has on property value in the past.

In this report we summarise our research on two of the most important factors which influence what a good location is: walkability and greenery.

Access the Walkability and Greenery report now!

 


The Secret Agent Report – Healthy Occupants

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report.

In this report, Secret Agent will summarise some of the common issues within buildings that influence the health of its occupants.

We have previously discussed things like light and noise in our reports on health. This report will consider issues other than these including cramped spaces, greenery, water damage and emissions from building materials.

Access the Healthy Occupants report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Digital Cities

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report.

The predominance of technology in our everyday life has rapidly increased over the past decade. From smartphones to smart homes, spearheaded by products like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are beginning to look like an unavoidable part of modern life.

The predominance of ICT is not solely confined to the personal sphere. Governments and companies are also responsible for an ever-expanding digital infrastructure, particularly in cities. This “digital skin” is made up of millions of sensors which create vast amounts of data on everything from consumer habits to traffic patterns.

In this report, Secret Agent offers an outline of the digitisation of cities, and what the implications of this might be for the future. We primarily draw on a 2014 paper by Chirag Rabari and Michael Storper, but also bring in research from elsewhere.

Access the Digital Cities report now!