According to recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, Melbourne’s population has reached 4 million with Victoria’s population surging by 112,000 in the year to March 2009.
Melbourne is attracting more than 1,700 new residents a week or expanding by a staggering 90,000 annually.
Since 2001, when ABS figures showed Melbourne’s population was estimated at 3,366,542 residents, the city has grown by an unprecedented 18.8% or over 600,000 people. Astonishingly, that’s like adding two new cities the size of Canberra to Melbourne’s vast urban sprawl in a little over 8 years.
With the mantle that Melbourne is one the world’s most livable cities, growth estimates that it will reach over 5 million in less than 25 years and according to Treasury secretary Dr Ken Henry, will grow to 7 million by 2049, have now been factored into the future planning of Melbourne to accommodate this expected growth.
Certainly, the upwards pressure on housing availability and affordability will become an even more critical issue over the coming years with the Housing Industry Association predicting the housing shortage will worsen over the next decade.
Leading forecaster BIS Schrapnel says that Melbourne’s house prices will rise by 20 percent in the next 3 years as a result of the population growth and demand which on current new housing figures suggest a shortfall that may never be met.