Research by a Melbourne think-tank suggests Bendigo has an over-supply of family-sized houses, and is short on accommodation for singles and couples.
The Grattan Institute’s Peter Mares said Bendigo has a “higher than average” number of detached houses (80 per cent compared with 72 per cent of Melbourne residences).
“That might suggest a mismatch between the stock and housing preferences,” Mr Mares said.
“The affect could be that it inflates house prices, and there may not be a choice available.”
Mr Mares was invited to Bendigo this week by La Trobe University’s Planning Department and Student Planners’ Association, to speak about the future of Australian Cities.
He used figures compiled by the Institute in their recent report, “Tomorrow’s suburbs: Building flexible neighbourhoods”.
“Mixed-use neighbourhoods, diverse building types, and strong transport links have made redevelopment viable,” the report said.
Using figures from the most recent census, Mr Mares also showed growth in the population of Bendigo is coming from two major sources – people moving from Melbourne (including a high proportion of retirees) and overseas migrants.
The figures also showed that Bendigo has a high proportion of residents who travel short distances to work: more than 80 per cent of workers travel less than 20km and a “high percentage” travel less than five.
“This suggests a strong potential for increasing walking and cycling in Bendigo,” Mr Mares said.
Greater Bendigo Planning and Development director Prue Mansfield said the figures support council’s residential strategy, currently under review,
to encourage in-fill within the city, and medium-density housing.