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The City of Stonnington is located in the established inner south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, with Prahran and Malvern approximately five and eight kilometres from the GPO respectively. The municipality is predominantly residential, although there are significant commercial centres along Chapel St (South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor), Malvern and at the Chadstone Shopping Centre (East Malvern). Urban development in the City dates back to the nineteenth century, with development initially occurring at the western end in South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor and to a lesser degree Toorak and Malvern. These areas were relatively accessible to the Central Melbourne due to railway and tram links. The nature of housing stock was quite different between these areas with Prahran and Windsor having a greater share of workers cottages, while Toorak, Armadale and Malvern having a greater share of villas and larger houses.
Initial residential development in the west of the City spread along the rail corridors from west to east, a process that was slowed in Malvern East as much of the suburb is beyond the tram belt. However, by the 1950s, most of the eastern end of the City was established as residential. The primary housing market role that the City of Stonnington played during this period was to provide home owning opportunities for families and prospective families from the inner and inner south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
The City changed significantly over following decades, with major changes including the construction of several large public housing projects in South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor and the ’flat boom’ of the 1960s and 1970s. By the 1970s and 1980s, the City was beginning to regenerate due to mortality in the original settlers. This also provided opportunities for mature families to move in and take advantage of the access to quality schools in the area. During the late 1980s and 1990s, new development opportunities were taken, with the conversion of industrial sites in South Yarra and surplus government and utility land to residential purposes, which further facilitated this process. There is significant pressure for residential expansion within Stonnington from both existing residents and from external migrants, most notably from overseas, interstate and regional Victorian sources, although affordability issues have resulted in the loss of people to the middle southern and eastern suburbs. There are also losses of young people to the inner north and inner west from the Prahran area. It is assumed that a number of these patterns will continue into the future, notably the large overseas flows 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 based on answers to the census question "where did the person usually live 5-years ago" and .id estimates of international out-migration.
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 tends to affect almost all areas in the municipality, especially South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor due to the proximity and access to tertiary education facilities in the inner City and the large amount of rental stock. It also has a major influence in Malvern East, such as those areas close to Monash University - Caulfield Campus and Holmesglen TAFE. The second pattern is noteworthy in the central parts of the City, such as Toorak-Kooyong, where the housing stock, the amenity and attractiveness of the areas drive local migration patterns. This difference in function and role of the small areas in the City of Stonnington means that population outcomes differ significantly across the municipality.
This process is heightened by the significant differences in the supply of residential development opportunities within the City which will have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the next five to fifteen years. Significant large development sites have been identified in South Yarra, Prahran and Malvern East while Malvern, Armadale, Toorak, Windsor and Glen Iris have numerous moderate level developments.
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