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Australia becoming a station nation

station

 

More than a third of new dwellings built across Australia’s four largest capital cities over the last 15 years were built within a kilometre of a train station, in what is a trend that has been steadily increasing over the same period.

Of the 1.5 million new homes built in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth between 2006 and 2021, 35 percent were within that distance of a train station, a recent analysis by KPMG Australia has found.

According to KPMG urban economist Terry Rawnsley, train stations have had a significant impact on housing supply.

“Our analysis highlights that long term precinct planning policies can have a positive impact by clustering jobs and services near a major train station,” he said.

Between 2006 and 2021:

  • Greater Sydney produced 430,000 additional dwellings, with 49 percent located within one kilometre of a train station.
  • Greater Melbourne produced 565,000 additional dwellings, with 35 percent located within one kilometre of a train station.
  • Greater Brisbane produced 273,000 additional dwellings, with 28 percent located within one kilometre of a train station.
  • Greater Perth produced 239,000 additional dwellings, with 16 percent located within one kilometre of a train station.

Housing development within one kilometre of a train station in Greater Sydney grew particularly strongly between 2016 and 2021, with almost 110,000 new dwellings compared with less than 60,000 in the previous five-year period.

  • In Greater Melbourne, 83,000 new dwellings within a kilometre of a train station were developed between 2016 and 2021, up from 70,000 in the previous five-year period.
  • In Greater Brisbane, 39,000 new dwellings were built within a kilometre of a train station, compared to 21,000 in the prior period.
  • Greater Perth saw 11,000 new dwellings within a kilometre of a station built between 2016 and 2021, down from 14,000 in the prior five years.

“New rail line developments were not just new apartments but also detached homes and townhouses, with rail networks covering the CBD, middle ring and greenfield growth areas,” Rawnsley said.

“Across the four cities, within one kilometre of a train station of the new dwellings, 65 percent were apartments, 24 percent semi-detached and 12 percent detached. This is compared to the overall mix of dwellings of 31 percent were apartments, 46 percent detached and 23 percent semi-detached.

“Rail lines constructed over the past two decades have opened up new development fronts.

“Examples of these new rail lines include the Mandurah Line in Western Australia; rail extensions on the Gold Coast; the Regional Rail Link in Victoria; and the Northwest Rail Link in Sydney.”

Greater Sydney’s long-term focus on centres such as Parramatta, Penrith, Campbelltown and Liverpool, have created a ‘polycentric’ pattern of housing development around the city’s train stations, Rawnsley said.

In contrast, Greater Melbourne has experienced much more of a monocentric development pattern with the inner suburbs.

Greater Brisbane and Greater Perth shared a similar pattern with train station development concentrated in the inner suburbs and in some coastal locations.

“The analysis shows that the housing markets vary within each city and that in the area surrounding each train station there is a need for appropriate land use planning and place-making initiatives to ensure that housing, local services and infrastructure is provided to help attract new housing developments,” Rawnsley said.