Comparing Industry Salaries With Housing Prices


Property prices have grown, but what about the salaries of people creating these properties?Kingfisher Recruitment have run the numbers to determine whether the average pay for development industry professionals align with the increase in property prices.

The findings reveal that while the increase in salary has been relatively low over the years, development industry professionals still earn more than the average Australian.

Salaries were compared to housing prices over the years, where Kingfisher Director Rohan Christie refers to Melbourne’s Median House Price as the best representation of these increases.


The findings show that since 2008, Melbourne’s Median House Price has risen 107%, with apartments and units up over 70%.

To compare salaries during this housing price increase, three different roles within the development industry were reviewed over a nine-year period:

  • Senior Development Manager – typically a profit centre owner, making investment decisions on development product and strategy, ensuring that revenue is secured and costs are controlled.  Typically measured by a return on investment.
  • Development Manager – assisting with matter related to an SDM role but less strategic and more task focused.
  • Assistant Development Manager – more junior, less than 5 years’ industry experience and typically managing administrative tasks assigned by their superiors.
  • Senior Development Manager – 46.7%
  • Development Manager – 10.0%
  • Assistant Development Manager – 9.2%

The average Australian wage was also recorded and shows a growth of 30.9% over the same period of time.

The findings show that while Senior Development Managers’ salaries typically exceed average wage growth and Assistant Development Managers with three to five years’ experience earn more than the average Australian, they still fall below property price growth.

Kingfisher’s data also show that there has been little growth in the average salary of a Development Manager, but is offset by the likelihood of people in this position moving on to a more senior role after three to five years of experience.

According to Kingfisher, the next move for development industry professionals is typically to move on to a role managing a team or becoming a private developer.

A move like this has been attributed to the recorded 107% increase in the median values of property prices since 2008, and will likely lead to salaries that will far exceed the wage growth expected in a corporate role.

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