Residential accommodation has surpassed office space in Melbourne’s municipality as the largest use of floor space, according to the latest data from City of Melbourne.
The report shows there was almost 1.7 million square metres more in residential floorspace than office floorspace last year.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp says the change is noticeable as Melbourne’s municipality increasingly becomes not just a place to work but to live.
“Residential development has been at historic highs and evidence is showing a tapering of activity,” she said.
“This is about getting the balance right as new commercial spaces will be vital to keeping Melbourne’s economy strong.”
The data shows a significant role reversal in comparison to 2007, when there was 200,000sq m more office floorspace than residential in inner Melbourne.
Melbourne's municipality, which spans 14 suburbs from Carlton, Docklands, East Melbourne, to South Yarra West and West Melbourne, was home to 83,100 residential dwellings last year.
This figure includes 61,450 residential apartments, according to the City of Melbourne Census of Land Use and Employment (CLUE).
The number of dwellings has increased by almost 34,000 over the decade, with some 28,000 of these residential apartments.
"More than 15,000 new dwellings have been added to the CBD in the last 10 years – that's around the same size as the town of Warrnambool," the Lord Mayor said.
As new developments are completed fewer projects have commenced construction since 2015, reflecting floorspace under construction has dropped off.
Inner Melbourne’s economy is estimated at $94.96 billion, up from $92.1 billion the previous year.
“We've experienced annual average jobs growth of 1.9 per cent over the last decade," the Lord Mayor said.
But perhaps best known for its urban laneways and bustling cafe culture, Melbourne also now boasts 2360 cafés and restaurants across its municipality.