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Melbourne housing estates attracting record numbers

Record numbers of Melbourne residents are buying up land on the fringes of the city, according to the latest data. 

Research carried out by property advisory firm Charter Keck Cramer - and it was suggested that this could mean the Great Australian Dream is more desirable than ever. 

The traditional dominance of house and land packages in the Melbourne property market was thought to be under threat from an increasing pace of apartment construction, Domain reports. 

Indeed, in Victoria, units were being approved at a greater rate than houses in mid-2015 but housing estates appear to be back on top a matter of months later. 

Over 22,000 blocks have been sold in Melbourne's outer suburbs 12 months ending June - and some developers are even struggling to keep up with the demand for serviced land. 

When asked why they would be willing to miss out on the conveniences that come with established postcodes, Jane and Charles Kerbage said it is a matter of value for money and a more traditional sense of community. 

"It's a different feel from the inner city where people hide behind their houses," Mr Kerbage told Domain.

Affordability remains a key driver behind the growing popularity of greenfield housing estates, with the average Melbourne serviced block price of $221,730 standing at less than half the price of lots in Sydney, which average $460,375. 

Victorian Planning Authority chief Peter Seamer said new levies for community infrastructure are assuaging old concerns of congestion and overcrowded schooling. 

"The sort of money that is being provided to councils for the development process is often ten times more than it was ten years ago," he remarked. 

New growth area suburbs now boast the highest ratio of open space anywhere in Melbourne, according to Mr Seamer - and 90 per cent of houses are within walking distance of a town centre.

"If you are a developer producing something that isn't affordable and isn't really well designed, there is somebody close by that is," Mr Seamer said, noting that competition between developers has driven reform. 

As a result of these trends, buyers are now able to choose between dozens of different estates in the north, west and south of Melbourne. 

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