Our 10th investigation into vacant land and housing in Melbourne is available here.

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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.