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

Category Archives For: Property Development

Getting plans approved quicker

I constant theme that is emerging at the moment is the amount of time it takes to get issued a planning permit whether that be for an extension on an existing house or new development.

Many projects do not get approved for good reason but to be waiting a couple of years as some people are waiting at the moment to launch a new development is just too long.

One big issue at the moment is that Melbourne cannot build enough new residences for the massive amounts of new people coming to the city every week, this helps to create the massive rental shortage we currently face.

Many have spoken of changing the whole process of obtaining the approved permits, if think this would be a good idea if it’s fair and can speed up decisions.

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The effect of 90,000 new housing blocks in Melbourne

suburbiaUp to 90,000 vacant blocks of land are due to be released in Melbourne to assist with Melbourne’s problems of not having enough housing for our growing population the premier stated yesterday.

John Brumby has declared that Melbourne will eventually overtake Sydney as the largest city in Australia as the population keeps increasing ahead of forecast we need more housing blocks in outer Melbourne with the key being more affordable.

Some of Melbourne’s outer fringes will be re zoned so the land can be developed for housing, the problem I see with this strategy of trying to unlock more land is the fact that we are concentrating on making people live to far out from the city.

Melbourne and LA in America are two of the most sprawled out capital cities on the planet; this is not only terrible for the environment but means the state must spend a fortune in tax funded money on new roads, schools and transport services.

Let’s consider the average family on the outer belt of Melbourne, these families generally have two cars and are affected by interest rates more than most. The cost of running two cars and a mortgage must be horrific especially during these times of rising interest rates and petrol costs. Then we create an extra 90,000 vacant blocks and it’s hard to see that their property prices won’t go down significantly, supply and demand creates value with Real Estate which is so often why the inner city remains strong.

Victoria is roughly the same size as the entire United Kingdom; England alone has over 60 million people and we are talking about having only 7-8 years left of land supply left in Victoria because the mentality has always been to have huge land blocks.

People’s views seem to be changing though; many want to live in the inner city not in some far out place hours from work. Why lose 3 hours each day getting to and returning from work?

The mentality is starting to shift from the ¼ Acre block to a good balcony and a good coffee shop close by, trying to keep pushing people out I think will backfire in the long run and hurt the state and the people in a big way.

A better plan would be to look at ways we can make out cities more dense by freeing up development in the right spots and allowing more people to subdivide their blocks in the inner suburbs. Improve the quality of the existing public transport which will be far easier if we live in a denser city.

Do we want mass Suburbia or efficient, green but compact cities? I think I would prefer the second option!


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