Our Q1 2023 Greenfield Market Report has revealed that thousands of growth corridor residents are eagerly anticipating the keys to their new homes, following the frenzied residential land buying spree and subsequent construction backlog over the past few years. And as such, developers are shifting gears.

Commercial land projects are emerging as a core focus for the greenfield market, as developers seek to support burgeoning populations with vital community infrastructure.

Over the last three years, Melbourne’s growth areas have sold more than 54,000 lots. With a projected average of three of three people per household, those lots will support a population above 160,000 once developed.

Consequently, RPM has identified a growing appetite for commercial and mixed-use development sites in proximity to populous residential parcels, driven by these considerable numbers.

The physical community asset and lifestyle needs of a growing population unlock core opportunities for savvy developers. The recent sale of Craigieburn Central Shopping Centre of $300 million demonstrates the long-term value of community infrastructure in a residential growth corridor.

Across Melbourne’s current growth areas, particularly with the prevalence of young families (with 57% of purchasers in RPM’s buyer surveys households with children and an additional cohort of young couples planning a family), childcare is one of the first community demands that requires delivery. This is often followed by medical services, commercial and convenience, all the way to fully immersive town centres.

Some developers are harnessing the future potential of population diversity, with specialist offerings such as Indian supermarkets being developed where a high migrant population ha purchase land.

Private schools are an additional value-add opportunity for developers, with our Transactions & Advisory division recently opening expressions of interest for two school sites in rapidly growing residential areas – Beveridge and Eynesbury – as developers consider the full life cycle and infrastructure needs of Melbourne’s expanding communities.

With 23,500 lots sold in the Caroline Springs and Cobblebank suburbs in the Western growth corridor in the past eight years, and so few supermarkets, it’s clear the delivery of vital community infrastructure often doesn’t keep pace with this level of growth. This is resulting in strong interest from all around the country for these types of Melbourne greenfield assets, given the opportunity for smaller-scale commercial centres which can be operational far earlier than major town centres with anchored supermarkets.

This article references findings from our Q1 2023 Greenfield Market Report. For the full report, click here.