(MAP) Where are the hotspots for residential development in Australia?

(MAP) Where are the hotspots for residential development in Australia?

Georgia Allan 04 Oct, 2019

Building approvals are a leading indicator of the general level of residential development, economic activity, employment and investment in a given area. Approvals are also an important data point in the framework shared in our housing report starter guide (which is now available for download here) to understand housing supply as part of the housing affordability story.

In this blog, Georgia shares a heat map showing which parts of Australia have seen the most residential building activity in the last financial year (it’s at SA1 geography too, so you can zoom right in and see specific sites in your neighbourhood!).

Residential building activity depends on many factors that vary with the state of the economy including interest rates, availability of mortgage funds, government spending, and business investment.

For Council planners who need to understand and plan for local housing supply, it’s important to look at sub-LGA data so you can understand the level of development that is occurring in your area, and where it is occurring. This data can be particularly useful if you are wanting to evaluate previous strategies, such as directing development into particular activity centres. The heat map below shows building approvals data for every SA1 across Australia.

Residential building approvals, by SA1 | 2018/19

This data is a custom order of the ABS Building Approvals dataset (ABS Cat. 8731.0)

When you move across the map and scroll into local areas, you can see some really interesting patterns. If you’re interested in how you could replicate this information for your local area, with more detail around the timing of these building approvals, download a copy of our Housing Report Starter Guide.

Which Local Government Areas have the most building approvals?

When looking at building approvals data for LGAs across Australia, the correlation between building approvals and population growth is significant. Take the ‘top ten’ list below for building approvals over the past Financial Year for example – many of Councils featured on this list also feature in ‘top ten’ lists for population growth. Many of them are also geographically large – not all LGAs are the same size – so some of the positions on this list are determined by the sheer size of the LGA.

Local Government Area Building Approvals 2018/19
Brisbane, Qld 7,622
Wyndham, Vic 5,199
Blacktown, NSW 5,186
Gold Coast, Qld 4,799
Moreton Bay, Qld 4,200
Sunshine Coast, Qld 4,165
Casey, Vic 4,061
Parramatta, NSW 4,036
Logan, Qld 3,422
Greater Geelong, Vic 3,374

Do you need an evidence base for housing policy?

Click here to learn about the work our housing team are doing to support planning, policy and community engagement on housing affordability in councils across Australia.

Tags: Housing
Georgia Allan

Georgia completed a Masters in Population Studies and Demography at Flinders University in Adelaide. At .id, Georgia is a consultant in .id's housing team. She was heavily involved in the creation and continued development of, the online tool developed to give councils an accessible evidence base for planning and advocacy. Georgia has prepared housing demand and supply analysis for a range of councils, including those in inner-city, middle ring, growth and peri-urban areas. When not in the office, she is likely to be cooking, knitting, crocheting, or buried in a good book.

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