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Surge in supply of Medium Density Housing shows up in Census

Analysis of the recently released 2016 Census, by property and data researchers CoreLogic, has identified a spike in denser housing stocks between 2011 and 2016, revealing a growing demand for medium density housing in particular.

Because of the streetscape impact it’s often assumed high density units and apartments are the leading growth type in urban dwelling development. But the Census confirms it’s medium density housing that has surged more.

Ramp up in Melbourne medium density dwellings

In Melbourne, between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses, the medium density housing category led the field with a supply increase of 61%. These were townhouses, villas, semi-detached or terrace houses. Growth in high density dwelling supply gained around 8% growth, and separate housing was the lowest with around 5% growth in supply.

In Melbourne the overall proportion of housing stock by type was: Separate House 66.8%, Semi-detached & Townhouse 16.8%, Flats and Apartments 15.6%.

Although separate housing is by far the most dominant overall property type, over the five year period this sector saw the smallest percentage supply increase. This sector’s proportion is declining in most Australian capital cities as demand for medium density housing grows.

Decline in separate housing supply

Over the last decade, Sydney, with it’s limited space, registered the sharpest declines in separate housing stock. High density housing, that is, units and apartments, has is strongest base in Sydney, where it makes up 29.2% of the total stock.

10 years ago 61.7% of Sydney housing stock was separate housing. In the latest census figures it’s down to 55.7%. It appears that figure will go down a lot further over the next decade. By the next Census, in 2026, it’s likely that less than 50% of the housing in Sydney will be separate houses.

Lifestyle leads people towards the city

Projecting forward, infrastructure problems in both Melbourne and Sydney will make distance commuting more and more difficult. But closer proximity to the major CBDs brings lifestyle benefits beyond being nearer to work. Better access to major sporting venues, eating out, specialty shopping, and large produce markets all add to the pulling power for people with the desire, and deep enough pockets, to live closer to the city.

The Census figures support what has been obvious to industry observers – that medium density dwellings are providing a popular solution to this demand. Driving increasing development and construction of semi-detached properties.

According to Research Analyst at CoreLogic, Cameron Kusher, the demand for this category in our capital cities means “construction will remain elevated”.

Amendments to Melbourne Residential Zone development regulations were introduced in 2017 to assist medium density construction and housing supply in established suburbs. Looking forward, the trend is gaining more momentum.

For more information about medium density housing development and construction in Melbourne, SAW Constructions are pleased to assist. Just call (03) 9550 0700.