Australia’s Habitable Land: A Closer Look

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, AustraliaAustralia’s land area can make people debate whether it’s a country or a continent, and that's due to its size relative of its neighbours in the Pacific. Its land area is an estimated 7.692 million square kilometres, which is about 5% of the world’s total land mass. This makes Australia the world’s sixth largest country — behind to Russia, Canada, China, the United States, and Brazil.

Do you know how much land is habitable in this country, though? There is land for sale in Melbourne’s West to cater to growing market demands, but what of other areas you might be considering to build your new home? Official numbers indicating residential land use shows:

Crunching Numbers

According to data from Geoscience Australia, the area of land used for so-called ‘intensive’ human settlements is increasing. New South Wales has the largest area allocated for human use, with 1583.78 square kilometres. Victoria follows with 1799.07, Queensland has 928.75, Western Australia has 773.39, and South Australia with 596.43.

Overall, roughly 63% of Australian land is for human use. Much of this is grazing land. When speaking specifically about residential land, there is adequate supply for everybody. That doesn’t mean that competition for a new land lot isn’t fierce, though. There is more than enough demand to go with the supply, which drives prices up.

The tail-end of 2015 saw the median price of vacant land rise at $265,000. This number encompasses all vacant land across combined capital cities. Moving out of major metropolises, however, shows that the price drops down significantly. About $156,000 is the average median price for combined regional markets. According to analysts, the difference of as much as 70% is a record high.

What this means is that there are major differences in certain areas. This includes the variances in the cost of building property in capital cities, relative to minor areas outside urban centres. One important trend to note is that while the price increases over time, land size goes the opposite. Both capital city areas and regional real estate markets show a drop in land size in terms of square metres from December of 1990 to December of 2015.

Australia boasts a relatively sizeable landmass compared to its neighbours, but how much of the still undeveloped areas are habitable? The answer is a lot. All you need is to find the right opportunity for you.