Home owners are swooping on neighbouring properties to amass significant land parcels suitable for apartment developments.
It comes as Melbourne’s middle and outer suburbs continue to grow denser, as the city grapples with population growth and decreasing housing affordability.
A 2160-square metre site in Malvern East — comprising a family home, a duplex and a pair of semi-detached properties — is believed to have been accumulated by a family over several years, and is now offered as a development opportunity.
There is a proposal for 18 luxury apartments on the corner block, along Burke Road and Nyora Street and opposite Central Park.
Industry sources say the development site, in a general residential zone, could fetch between $13.5 million and $14 million.
The proposal, if given the green light, will join an increasing number of higher-density developments being earmarked for Malvern East, including 18-storey tower, Vanguard, on Dandenong Road.
Australian Bureau of Statistics building approval data, analysed by Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson, shows 179 apartments were approved for the area over the March quarter.
Speaking broadly, Mr Carmichael said people bought neighbouring land because they expected a lift in value once they could provide a site of sufficient scale to attract apartment developers.
It was common for neighbours to sell together, while other people bought next to their family homes when the opportunity arose, he said.
“People … want to take advantage of the rezoning, which occurred a couple of years ago,” Mr Carmichael said, adding that main arterial roads in the Stonnington and Boroondara council areas were designated for higher-density development because they were on good transport routes.
It is a similar story in Pakenham, where a homeowner accumulated four parcels of land at 37-43 Rogers Street over about a decade.
The 11,500 square-metre allotment is asking $6 million to $6.5 million, and is marketed as a “potential unit site”. All the properties are being rented, according to the listing, so the buyer will have rental income while they apply for permits.
While the vendors were more “mum and dad type” investors, he said, some developers bought one parcel of land and waited to see if another one came up or proactively acquired surrounding properties.
He said adjoining parcels of land were selling together because they achieved good prices. Two neighbours sold their houses on more than half an acre at 43-45 Princes Highway, Pakenham, sold for $1.12 million in March.