Tuesday, 8 Dec 4pm
Free Zoom webinar

Toilet paper & hand sanitizer. It’s troubling when essentials are hoarded. In a year in which we’ve rationed tinned tomatoes and put the homeless in hotels, can we still accept hoarded land & housing?

Join us as we launch Speculative Vacancies 10 – our latest analysis of vacant land and housing in Greater Melbourne.

In this report, author Karl Fitzgerald surveys the trends in vacancy since 2011, and we see whether the vacant residential property tax has had the desired effect.

 Key Findings

  • Water usage data finds 69,004 properties vacant, a ratio of 4.1% in 2019.
  • Vacancies recorded in 2019 could house 185,000 people at current household averages. 
  • Vacancies increased 13.3% between 2017 and 2019. 
  • Properties using zero litres per day on average over 12 months totalled 24,042, a ratio of 1.4%.
  • When added to the short term rental rate, some 4.7% of properties were likely vacant. 
  • Up to 16.1% of investor owned residential properties were potentially vacant.
  • Just 12.3% more properties were sold as were likely vacant.  
  • These findings do not include 370,000 vacant land lots, largely within master planned communities. 
  • The Valuer General’s quantification of residential property ‘assessments without buildings’ equates to approximately 63,314, a similar volume to our findings. 
  • Three times the amount of non-residential property stood vacant as was sold in last year’s vibrant industrial market.
  • The state government’s Vacant Residential Land Tax was levied on only 2.6% of absolute vacancies. No fines have been recorded against non-declaring landholders. Water consumption has not been used as a vacancy indicator. Weak enforcement has cost the taxpayer at least $160 million a year.
  • Vacancy rates in the gentrification belt of the inner north, alongside the cultural hotspot of mid eastern suburbs such as Box Hill and Glen Waverley, increased markedly in 2014 remaining >5% over five years.