Media Release


Melbourne Outer Suburbs Offer Home Buyers Choice



The Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria) today said the future planning of Melbourne needed to offer a choice of housing options for home buyers ranging from high rise apartments to more affordable housing and lifestyles in the growing suburbs of Melbourne's fringe. 



Tony De Domenico
Executive Director 

Executive Director of the UDIA (VIC), Tony De Domenico, said, "The recent announcement by the Victorian Government of the inclusion of an additional 6000 hectares of land within Melbourne's growth boundary for six new suburbs to house more than a 100,000 people, is both responsible and a necessary step to maintain housing choice and affordability."

"The recent release of the projected Victoria in Future 2012 figures by the Victorian Government showing an average growth rate of .3 per cent between 2011 and 2031 seeing Victoria's population grow from 5.6 million to 7.3 million will underpin demand in the property industry long term and maintain a demand in outer suburban areas."

Mr De Domenico said much of the criticism of expanding Melbourne by academics under the environmental banner is ill informed and fails to recognise the demand by many home buyers wanting to have a lifestyle and bring up a family where there is a back yard, local parks and high quality open space which is guaranteed in housing projects.

"The simple fact is having some space and a garden is part of the Australian Dream and is a strong important factor for housing demand in outer suburbs."

"We do not see why home buyers across all age groups should be criticised for aspiring to obtain home ownership and pursue a lifestyle for their family in the outer suburbs."

Mr De Domenico said in recent times the importance of the back yard has been underlined as an vital part of health where gardening and having a place to relax is important.

"Whilst there is an increasing trend for many people to choose apartment or medium density living related to lifestyle and employment choices, the major demand remains in outer suburban areas."

"Critics of expanding Melbourne also fail to recognise that much of the land being used for future housing is tree less degraded farmland which is restored and re-vegetated with mass tree plantings and in many cases natural habitats including wetlands to improve water quality."

In 2011 Melbourne Water acknowledged the Victorian development industry spent $93 million on wetland projects across Victoria.

Mr. De Domenico said for many years new projects on the fringe had strong community programs implemented in their overall planning to create ongoing opportunities for social infrastructure such as clubs and general community activity.

"There is an increasing trend for many new residential projects to include a community hub within the project that includes a swimming pool, gym, restaurant and a community meeting space."

"As an industry we have a responsibility both economically and socially to maintain a supply of affordable sustainable houses as a failure to do so would mean escalating prices both for new homes and rents for those waiting to get into the housing market," Mr De Domenico said.

The National Housing Supply Council's release of its Housing Supply and Affordability - Key Indicators underlines the country's housing shortage according to the Urban Development institute of Australia (UDIA)

In revising its findings from the 2011 State of Supply Report, the Council found that the housing shortfall increased by some 28,000 dwellings in the year to June 2011, taking the cumulative shortfall since 2001 to 228,000 dwellings. Without appropriate action the gap could rise to over 663,000 by 2031.

"The demand for housing in the growing areas of Melbourne also presents a challenge for Government at all levels in relation to providing infrastructure which has lacked adequate investment over the past decade."

"In Victoria the industry directly employs around 310,000 full time employees, contributes around 12 per cent of the state's gross domestic product and contributes $4.6 billion in taxes to all tiers of government".

"Home ownership in Australia is one of the cornerstones of economic and social stability as well as a major employment driver,"Mr. De Domenico added. .

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA (VIC) Mobile: 0417 329 201