At the end of the calendar year 2021, there was enough englobo land, both unzoned and zoned, to develop an estimated 320,096 retail lots (lots for dwellings to be built on) across Melbourne’s growth areas. Englobo supply acts as a pool for future retail lots. The amount of englobo land decreases as retail lots are developed.
Total englobo supply
Unzoned englobo land
There are 122,027 unzoned englobo lots across metropolitan Melbourne’s growth areas. Unzoned englobo land requires a Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) before the land can be subdivided. The development of PSPs can be led by councils or the Victorian Planning Authority.
Zoned englobo land
The Western growth areas (Wyndham and Melton) have the greatest level of zoned englobo supply with an estimated 79,366 lots.
The planning status of the PSPs can be viewed on Greenfields - VPA.
Zoned and unzoned englobo land supply
Retail lot supply
Retail lots refer to land that has been subdivided from the large englobo greenfield land parcels into land that is available for individual users to build dwellings on. There are two stages that the Urban Development Program (UDP) tracks: Proposed lots and Lots with a title.
In December 2021, there were 50,325 proposed lots in the growth areas. New lots are being added to the stock of proposed lots while others are removed as they are provided with a title or are removed as they lapse. The growth areas in Wyndham and Melton had the largest number of proposed lots across metropolitan Melbourne making up 48% of the total.
Proposed lots by Growth Area
Lots with a title
There were 17,198 lots released with a title in 2021 across metropolitan Melbourne’s growth areas. This is significantly less than the 22,740 lots approved in 2020. This decrease is related to the level of lot sales in 2019 and 2020 when sales were lower than the previous years. Given the record number of lots sold in 2021, with 33,689 lots, and the time required to subdivide the land, there is likely to be an increase in the lots released with a title in 2022 and into 2023. For more information about the relationship between lot sales and lots released with a title please refer to the Policy page.
In 2021 all growth areas, except Casey, experienced a decrease in the number of lots approved. The Melton growth area had the largest number of approved lots in 2021 with 5,788. On a subregional basis, the largest proportion of these growth area approved lots were in the western region and made up 51% of lots released with a title in 2021.
Lots approved by Growth Area
Lot breakdown by Growth Area, Status, and PSP
Size of greenfield lots
The last decade has seen a gradual and significant change in growth area lot sizes. Currently 89% of 2021 lots with a title in the growth areas have an area of less than 500 m2. This is a significant change when compared with the 2006-07 period when only a third of lots were below 500 m2. Furthermore, lots less than 300 m2 make up nearly 35% of new lots. Over the last decade the number of larger lots (more than 500 m2) has declined significantly.
The trend to smaller lots will continue with 90% of proposed lots having an area of less than 500 m2.The area of proposed lots provides insight into the size of future lots. Lots with an area greater than 650 m2 are a minority of those planned, making up 3% of currently proposed lots, compared to making up 20% of lots released with a title in 2007-08.
The decrease in the size of residential lots is leading to a denser urban form in Melbourne’s growth areas. This information about lot sizes feeds into the UDP’s estimate of future capacity of englobo land and the years of supply. This results in an increase in the capacity of the growth areas to accommodate residential development in the future.
Proportion of lot size category per year
Land supply and take up – years of supply remaining
The Planning Policy Framework identifies the need to “Plan to accommodate projected population growth over at least a 15 year period and provide clear direction on locations where growth should occur.” Greenfield supply is one element of the land required to provide dwellings to service population growth. Supply is also provided through development on major redevelopment sites (10 or more dwelling which are monitored by the Urban Development Program – Redevelopment) and infill development.
The table below provides an estimate of the years remaining of greenfield land supply in the growth areas. These estimates are based on the average rate of lots released over the long-term time period (between 2007-08 and 2021) and a short-term time period (2019 to 2021).
Using the long-term average, there is an estimated 23 years of land supply remaining in the growth areas. Using the short-term average, this is reduced to 18 years.
Supply and take-up are not evenly distributed across the growth areas with more mature areas, such as Casey-Cardinia, having limited supply and higher rates of approved lots compared to newly developing areas like Hume-Mitchell and Melton, where there are higher levels of supply and lower levels of lots approved.
Take-up scenario and estimated supply
Total supply (englobo and proposed)
Long-term average annual number of lots with a title 2007-08 to 2021
Long-term estimated years of supply
Short-term average annual number of lots with a title 2019 to 2021
Short-term estimated years of supply
These estimates will change over time as the:
- increased density of development extends the amount of supply remaining.
- rate of development in the growth areas varies.
Page last updated: 26/07/22