top of page


On Tuesday 19th November 2019, the Brisbane City Council voted for a ban on townhouses in low-density suburbs, one of a raft of amendments to the 2014 City Plan [1].

Under the changes, developers will be unable to consolidate ­numerous smaller lots into larger lots of about 3000m2 for medium and high-density builds.

The temporary local planning instrument, aiming to stop larger developments from moving into suburbs that are traditionally single houses with large backyards, was first raised in September 2018.

With the introduction of the bill, growing suburban regions are also expected to be rezoned from emerging community to low-density residential land, including suburbs such as:

  • Boondall

  • Tingalpa

  • Wishart

  • Mansfield

  • Aspley

The changes will mean that the land use will only be suitable for the construction of detached housing.

With rising land prices, there are concerns that some buyers will be priced out of these markets with limited options available outside of detached housing. Medium-density homes are considerably cheaper than detached dwellings and offer a cheaper entry point into the market.

According to Domain Group data, the median price for a medium-density dwelling is approximately 10-30% lower than the median house price house (see table below).

Source: Domain Group [2].

Demand for medium-density housing is likely to keep growing, underpinned by high land prices, strong population growth, longer commutes and changing housing preferences.

The Property Council of Australia, has been a vocal opponent of the proposed planning instrument and amendment package, warned that the changes, even though temporary, could cause flow on effects to housing affordability and diversity.

The challenge ahead will be how to supply the market with property located within corridors close to employment nodes whilst remaining affordable.

Bradley Wearne - General Manager & Head of Research at Meridian Australia

P: (02) 9939 3249


[1] Council Approved Major Changes to Brisbane's Planning Laws - Brisbane Times


bottom of page