The ABS has released its first edition in a brand new series - its Population Grid based upon the Census Data from 2011.
The Census data helps to produce graphics of population density per 1km2 as at August 2011.
Australia the sixth largest country in the world comprising well over 5 percent of the total landmass of all the countries on earth, and is the largest country on the globe with no land border to neighbours.
And most of Australia is completely empty!
Clearly there is no actual shortage of land, particularly out in regional Australia.
- an increase in the size of Australia's population; and/or
- the increasing wealth of that population
For example, London has some 327 square kilometres of land with more than 8000 people per square kilometre!
Why is this the case? Because outer suburban housing is readily substitutable with more fringe housing.
If you invest in property where land is not scarce or in high demand, then this can be akin to investing in the future price of bricks - and project homes actually seem to be getting cheaper over time rather than more expensive.
The macro picture can only tell you so much, however. It's also important to understand markets at a micro level.
Well I don't go to Melbourne all that often, and am surely no expert in that state, but if Melbourne's market mirrors that of Sydney in any way the likely answer is that the residential construction boom has largely comprised:
- Fringe detached housing for which there is a relatively low demand; and
- High rise unit blocks, with low owner-occupier appeal.