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The City of Boroondara is located in the established inner eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The municipality is predominantly residential, although there are significant commercial centres at Camberwell, Hawthorn (Glenferrie) and Kew. Urban development in the City dates back to the nineteenth century, with development initially occurring in Hawthorn, Kew and Camberwell. These areas were relatively accessible to central Melbourne due to railway and tram links. Initial residential development along the rail corridors quickly spread across the City generally from west to east, a process that continued to the end of the Second World War by which time much of the City was established. The primary housing market role that the City of Boroondara played during this period was to provide home owning opportunities for families and prospective families from the inner and inner eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
The City matured significantly over the next fifty years and by the 1970s and 1980s, there was evidence of regeneration due to mortality in the original settlers. This provided opportunities for families to move in and take advantage of the access to private schools in the area. During the 1990s, new development opportunities were realised, with the conversion of public school sites, part of the Kew Residential Services and surplus government and utility land to residential uses. This further entrenched the process of regeneration by adding new dwellings in strategic locations. The development and expansion of Swinburne University of Technology over the last twenty years has also facilitated significant change in the character of the population. This is particularly evident in Hawthorn where the demand for student accommodation has resulted in the construction of new apartment buildings near the University. There is significant pressure for residential expansion within Boroondara from both existing residents and from people wishing to move into the area from neighbouring parts of Greater Melbourne, but also notably from overseas, interstate and regional Victorian sources. However, the ageing of population, with a greater number of retirees and "empty-nesters" has resulted in the loss of people to the Mornington Peninsula and to other destinations offering lifestyle opportunities, as people downsize. Additionally, affordability issues are significant with many areas of the City having very high property values; this is a significant push factor for first time home buyers and families wishing to buy family housing, with a significant loss of these groups, who instead access housing in the middle eastern suburbs and growth areas. It is assumed that a number of these patterns will continue into the future, notably the large migration flows from overseas into the City.
Note: The migration flows depicted above are historical and do not represent future or forecast migration flows or subsequent council boundary changes. The arrows represent migration flows to the area as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the area. Overseas flow shows overseas arrivals only, based on answers to the census question "where did the person usually live 5-years ago.
With the residential development of the City over a century and the large size of the municipality, areas have developed different roles within the housing market. These roles generally fall under two categories: 1. Young adults and tertiary students and; 2. Established and mature families. The first pattern is more prevalent in the west of the municipality, especially Hawthorn and Hawthorn East due to the proximity of Swinburne University and access to other tertiary education facilities in the inner City. The second pattern is more characteristics of the eastern side of the City, such as Surrey Hills, Glen Iris, Ashburton, Canterbury, Balwyn, Deepdene and Balwyn North, where the housing stock, the amenity and attractiveness of the areas drive local migration patterns. Kew, Kew East and Camberwell tend to combine elements of both migration patterns. This difference in function and role of the small areas in the City of Boroondara means that population outcomes differ significantly across the municipality.
There is also significant difference in the supply of residential property across the City which will have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the next five to twenty years. Major redevelopment opportunities are scarce and sites are also highly constrained and expensive to develop. Most future development will be through infill or the redevelopment of existing commercial / retail land. The planning scheme also has significant influence over the pattern of future housing supply, imposing a Neighbourhood Residential Zone over much of the existing residential area aimed at controlling the scale of development within these neighbourhoods. Much of the future development within the existing residential areas is therefore envisaged to be lower scale unit or townhouse type development aimed predominantly at owner-occupiers; meanwhile, in areas marked for regeneration and in the existing commercial centres, there is likely to be more pressure for medium and higher density type development, aimed at the student market (in areas such as Hawthorn) and investors looking for a rental income.
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