Are lots smaller in the outer suburbs than in the inner suburbs?

The Financial Review (paywalled) reported on Saturday that the average house sold within 10 km of the CBD in Melbourne is located on a 511 m2 block, according to data collected by property information provider, RP Data.

Central Green, Highlands, Craigieburn - some lots are 213 sq m (click to enlarge)

Of course there is considerable variation in property types within that average. Houses in the inner city (0-5 km) are predominantly terraces on small lots whereas those in the inner suburbs (5-10 km) are predominantly detached houses on larger lots.

However what is especially interesting about this statistic is how it compares with the outer suburbs. The median size of lots sold in the Growth Areas is currently 513 m2, according to property consultants, Oliver Hume.

In other words, the average lot size is much the same in the two areas.

This is surprising, but a number of caveats are in order. First, some of the properties closer to the CBD would be destined for redevelopment whereas that seems unlikely in the Growth Areas.

Second, the numbers presented by the Financial Review appear to relate only to houses and hence do not take account of multi unit housing, which has a relatively small role in the Growth Areas but a large role closer to the CBD.  Third, the data on which the Financial Review relies is proprietary and I don’t have a subscription – so I can’t vouch for RP Data’s methodology or the accuracy of the Financial Review’s reporting.

Even so, what this tells us is that the average detached house in many “character” inner suburbs like Fairfield and Alphington sits on a lot that is actually considerably larger than those in many new subdivisions. For example, just from measuring directly off the cadastre, I can see that lot sizes near Alphington station are typically between 600-800 m2.

Oliver Hume report that developers in the Growth Areas have responded to higher prices by reducing lot sizes. For example, the same article in the Financial Review reports that Stockland is offering some 213 m2 lots in its new Highlands development at outer suburban Craigieburn, giving a $269,000 price for a three bedroom, six-star energy rated, house and land package.


7 Comments on “Are lots smaller in the outer suburbs than in the inner suburbs?”

  1. […] are rising in new developments in the outer suburbs, so can we expect a fall in obesity? I doubt it. It’s highly unlikely the […]

  2. […] are a number of implications. First, the current decline in lot sizes seems to be primarily a response to affordability rather than a permanent change in preferences […]

  3. […] to be a far cry from the quarter-acre block (1,000 sq m) stereotype. A leading property company reports that the median lot size in Melbourne’s growth areas fell eight percent over the last year and is […]

  4. […] built at medium densities with enhanced walkability to local activity centres. The Financial Review recently reported that Stockland is offering 213 m2 lots in its new Highlands development at outer suburban […]

  5. […] on the fringe at the lower end of the market. For example, Stockland, offered 213 m2 lots in its Highlands development at Craigieburn. It still has (149 m2) house and (294 m2) land packages for sale below $350,000. […]

  6. […] average lot sizes in the Growth Areas have fallen substantially in recent years, that’s been in response to a significant drop in […]

  7. […] as cheap as $145,000 (I’ve previously mentioned Stockland’s small lot offerings in its Highlands development at Craigieburn). I could say the jury’s still out on whether there’s a structural shift in […]


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