Melbourne's Medium Density Approvals Soar With 114% Increase


 A new report by Bankwest has revealed that traditional houses are taking a back burner to Melbourne’s love of medium to high density developments.

According to information from

The Bankwest Housing Density Report for Victoria, approvals for units and townhouses in Melbourne has more than doubled in the last five years, with figures showing that high density housing approvals have increased by 114.5 per cent as opposed to housing approvals, which have declined by 8.6 per cent.

The report also detailed that 45.6 per cent of approvals in 2013 were for medium density dwellings, which include units, townhouses and semi-detached houses, but not high-rise apartments.

Executive General Manager of Retail for Bankwest, Andrew Whitechurch believes that these figures demonstrate how Victorians are turning to medium to high-density as a way to overcome potential issues with the booming population, which is currently sitting at an annual growth rate of 1.9 per cent.

“This figure is well above the national average of 1.6 per cent and for many, the most affordable and attainable inner-city dwellings will be medium density,” Mr Whitechurch said.

News Limited previously reported that new unit and townhouse approvals increased by 18.9 per cent in Victoria to 26,748 between November 2013 and November 2014, with the highest proportion of medium density approvals being in Melbourne City (99.9 per cent).

In contrast, new house builds increased by only 17.9 per cent in the same time frame.

CoreLogic RP Data Victorian housing specialist Robert Larocca told media that the report showed State Government strategies in the past 20 years to increase density in inner suburbs were working.

“If we don’t see this level of approvals for increased density in the inner city, our housing affordability will become a lot worse a lot quicker,” Mr Larocca said.

“Last year, the median value of units and apartments in Melbourne went down in real terms, while houses went up and that is because of the increased supply of higher density property.”

According to the report, Victorian cities Stonnington-West and Brunswick-Coburg increased by 95.9 per cent and 91.7 per cent respectively, with Preston and Reservoir accounting for 82.3 per cent of all approvals in the past three years.

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