Population Growth and its impact on Melbourne

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Many articles have been written of late regarding the Victorian Planning Minister, Matthew Guy. He has recently announced a reform to Victoria’s planning zones. Every weekend we hear auctioneers tell us about Residential 1 property being the “highest and best” form of residential real estate. Public feedback is currently being sought but if the reforms pass into law then “Res 1” will be gone forever. Auctioneers will have to think up another catch phrase using “neighbourhood residential zone” or “general residential zone”. That will be a little more difficult to “roll off the tongue”

There will be huge arguments over these reforms. Some will say the planning minister is allowing “open slather” for developers. Some will say he is cutting red tape for development and this is a good thing. Others will talk about the potential to develop inner city neighbourhoods, from both good and bad perspectives. Whichever way this ends up going I think it is a very good thing to be discussing long term growth.

Australia’s population will most likely exceed 35 million people by 2050. The world will have another 2 billion people by that time. Australia is one of the few places on earth where most people would be happy to live. We have abundant food, stable government (arguable sometimes, but think about the Middle East and African nations), we have fantastic weather and only a few natural disasters that plague other countries. As the world population grows our nation’s population will grow faster. And every person who comes here via plane, boat or is born here, needs a place to live.

Our demographics are changing. We have an aging population and that means our productivity will most likely drop. We cannot allow this to go unchecked. We need to populate Australia. Every extra person who lands on our shores and stays helps our economy. We are ridiculously under-populated for such a fantastic place to live. It is not necessarily Matthew Guy’s job to get more people here, and I am not sure whether his planning reform will make it easier or harder to develop our city to sustain millions more people, but at least he is doing something.

Our federal politicians are too worried about keeping their own jobs to do anything useful. I would rather have a politician that will listen to a balanced argument and then do something rather than sit on their hands. If they are wrong then the people will dismiss them next time on polling day. BUT AT LEAST THEY HAVE HAD A GO. To try and remain a politician just for the money or the kudos is simply mind numbing.

With all this in mind, it makes sense that housing prices in established areas of the most liveable city on the planet will continue to rise over time. It does not mean property prices will rebound to huge growths, but it does mean that property will not be falling by 40% anytime soon.

Investment properties are for those thinking about the long term. Over the next ten to twenty years I believe established properties in good suburbs in Melbourne will maintain the growth we have seen over the last thirty years. That is between 8% & 10% per annum.

If you are considering purchasing a property in Melbourne over the next twelve months, give us a call and we can have a chat.

Ian James
JPP Buyer Advocates

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About the author

Ian has been operating his own businesses for more than 25 years. During this time the self taught lessons of building the business, dealing with staff, suppliers, clients and economic woes have been invaluable. Ian is a fully licensed Real estate Agent, a member of the REIV and registered with the Business Licensing Authority.

Buying property is not just sticking up your hand and outbidding your rival. It is an emotional, fiscal and psychological decision that needs to be planned and well executed. Ian is usually involved in over three hundred property negotiations per year; ranging from the $250,000 first unit purchase for a young couple to multiple million dollar residential developments. Ian's business background and endless numbers of negotiations make him one of the industry's leading negotiators.

Ian is married with two adult children, living in Patterson Lakes. He is a keen fisherman when weather and business allows the time.