Does unprecedented population growth equal unprecedented opportunity?
As most people would have heard, Melbourne is experiencing population growth never seen before in Australia (over 200 people a day / around 1,500 people a week / around 75,000 people a year). Given that this population growth is largely being driven by overseas students and migrants with different cultural backgrounds and often varying housing demands, it has the potential to change the nature of housing demand in Melbourne. In particular, there is increasing demand for higher density living closer to the CBD, often in areas where obtaining a planning permit is a long and costly exercise. There has been a lot of attention placed on developing the urban fringe, including creation of the Growth Areas Authority. More focus now needs to be placed on assisting the approval process for appropriately designed and located higher density residential developments in the inner suburbs and in particular in and around activity centres. Perhaps the development approvals committees are a first overdue step.