Land and Housing Supply Indicators

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Experimental counts of land parcels and dwelling approvals by planning zone and land area, for selected Significant Urban Areas

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First release

Key statistics

  • 80.6% of in-scope land parcels were zoned residential, with 600 - 800 square metres the most common size
  • 59.5% of new dwellings in-scope were approved for land zoned residential, with 200 - 400 square metres the most common area per dwelling

Further information

This release provides the following estimates for selected Significant Urban Areas:

  • Counts of land parcels, classified by planning zone and parcel size
  • The number of dwellings approved, classified by planning zone, type of building and the site area per dwelling.

These address two of the recommendations from earlier research undertaken by the ABS.

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    Reference period

    The reference periods for this release are:

    • March 2022 planning data
    • February 2022 land parcels (cadastral map)
    • Building approvals for the 2021 calendar year.

    Geographic scope

    Major urban areas are characterised based on selected Significant Urban Areas (21 in total, including the eight capital cities).

    Land parcel counts

    The majority of land parcels in major urban areas across Australia were zoned for residential primary use (80.4%). Transition/masterplan zoning was the second most common (5.4%), followed by primary production (4.1%).

    Just under 80% of parcels in major urban areas were smaller than 1000 square metres, with the most common size range at 600 to 800 square metres.

    Parcels under 200 square metres were most prevalent in Melbourne (5.7%) and Sydney (5.3%) followed by Adelaide (2.7%). Over half of all parcels in Darwin (66.8%) were larger than 800 square metres, with Canberra - Queanbeyan (46.1%) and Hobart (40.8%) also having a significant proportion of parcels in this range.

    While residential zoned parcels made up the majority in all capital cities, the proportion ranged from 93.7% for Canberra – Queanbeyan to 71.1% for Perth. Where this was lowest, transition/masterplan zoning comprised a larger proportion of all parcels.

    New dwelling approvals

    The majority of dwellings approved were for land zoned for residential use (59.5%). A significant proportion of the remainder were for land zoned either for transition/masterplan purposes (22.5%) or for mixed use (9.3%).

    Residential zoned land accommodated the majority of new dwellings across all build types. Beyond this, transition/masterplan zoned land most commonly accommodated detached new housing, and mixed use and other zoned land accommodated significantly more attached dwellings.

    Number of new dwelling approvals, by FCB and zoning classification
    Zone classification110121122131132133134
    Mixed Use/Centre1,173511,112341554,65210,209
    Special Use N.E.S2,49953550083917
    Primary Production2,492311530000
    Conservation/Limited Use66832790000
    Community/Public Use3351532001550


    Dwellings approved have been classified according to the area per dwelling. For detached and most semi-detached dwellings this is the area of the land parcel the dwelling occupies. For buildings with more than one dwelling (e.g. apartment buildings), the area of the land parcel occupied will be divided across the number of dwellings contained.

    62.5% of all new dwellings used less than 400 square metres of land. For both detached and semi-detached builds, between 200 and 400 square metres was the most common amount of land used to produce a new dwelling. For attached builds, the majority (96.3%) of new dwellings used less than 200 square metres of land.

    Number of new dwelling approvals, by FCB and area per dwelling range
    Area per dwelling (sqm)110121122131132133134
    < 2004,2628678,8695161,88517,49821,043
    200 - 40042,3004,54913,97561118627577
    400 - 60036,0987781,54817630
    600 - 80015,636712960000
    800 - 10005,083441520000
    1000 - 100007,043256513001400
    > 100002,437000000


    Data downloads

    Data notes

    Land parcel counts

    Data files

    New dwelling approvals

    Data files
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