Melbourne Housing Shortage Drives Apartment Boom

Apartment Boom

There’s a building boom in Melbourne’s apartment market and it is being driven by changing lifestyles, housing shortages and investors, according to Melbourne property experts.


The growth in apartment building was part of a surge in new-home construction, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released showing a rise of 8.9 per cent in Victoria in the June quarter this year.


The figures confirmed a recovery in new-home building was starting to flow through to real building activity, Housing Industry Association senior economist Andrew Harvey said. More than $5.5 billion of multi-density construction started in Victoria last financial year – mostly in Melbourne – compared with $1.3 billion the year before, figures from property information group BCI Australia show.


Most buildings are getting taller and bigger – on average double the size of the apartments built a year earlier. Projects launched in the first six months of 2010 are two and half times larger than those built in the first six months of 2008.


Figures from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria show a long-term drift towards more sales of units and apartments as opposed to stand-alone houses in metropolitan Melbourne. In 19 of 32 local government areas over a 10-year period to 2010, the proportion of apartments sold increased more than sales of detached homes, REIV figures show.