Housing Affordability and Land Administration



Co-led by Dr Mohsen Kalantari, Prof. Abbas Rajabifard, Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure and Land Administration, Dr Jennifer Day and Dr Piyush Tiwari, Faculty of Architecture, Building, and Planning.
Victorian and Local Government Champions: Jan Snell, Director, Department of Human Services NWMR, Mick Carroll, Director, Department of Justice NWMR and Austin Ley, Manager, City Research, City of Melbourne.
Research Champion: Professor Abbas Rajabifard, Head of Infrastructure Engineering and Director CSDILA, The University of Melbourne.


This is a web-based analysis tool-kit to support housing affordability analysis. The tool is developed in its current form to focus on the analysis of housing in the North West corridor of Melbourne. However, it has the capacity to be extended and applied in any jurisdiction, provided the necessary data integration component is adequately implemented. The purpose of this tool was to provide better insights into the understanding of variables important for the assessment of housing affordability. The tool is intended to achieve 3 objectives:

  • To identify developable land parcels/properties that have potentials for residential development
  • to analyse land administration processes that impact approval of development right
  • to analyse sustainable affordability in the Greater Melbourne Area


Tool Application

This tool assists in the analyses of a combination of potential and constraint factors to identify land that has potential for residential development. It also assesses the efficiency of development assessment processes. The first module focuses on the identification of development potential. The requirement to calculate and determine the Development Potential Index (DPI) is closely related with the success of linking planning dataset with valuation datasets. DPI measures lands that are under-capitalised in the grey field areas (established inner and middle ring suburbs).

The resulting DPI index varies from 0 to 1, with higher value indicating high residential development potential. However, determining the Development Potential Index alone is not sufficient to make informed decision about land supply. In this regard, it is necessary to check the potentially available land against availability of physical and social facilities in a way to optimally recapitalise the land for all the stakeholders – developer, council, residents, and next generation . After the potential developable lands are identified, it is important to analysis the constraints that are potentially imposed through planning overlay controls. The second section of the module handles this, in a way to interactively determine suitable land for different categories of residential development.

The second module, development assessment Analysis assists to assess the efficiency of the development assessment processes. This is important in the sense that, even if land is available for development, the process of making the land available for development through planning control could potentially add to the constraints of actually developing such land for residential development.



Related datasets

  • Vicmap Property
  • Valuer General Data on Property information,
  • Public Transport route network through the Department of Sustainability & Environment (DSE),
  • Facilities data extracted from VICMAP – Features of Interest,
  • Planning Permit Activity Reporting System (PPARS) from Department of Planning And Community Development and
  • Overlay Controls data from VICMAP – Planning Scheme Overlay.

Link to the project blog: http://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/aurinands/

Link to the public source code repository: https://github.com/yiqunc/HousingAffordability


Licensing of final product is under creative commons and the source code is available via the GitHub.
Sustainability: The tool is currently hosted by the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration. In future, and resource-dependent, the tool may be fully integrated with the AURIN portal. This work has close links with the other demonstrator projects, being: walkability, health, employment, and access to community services. The ability of being able to locate and allocate appropriate land for appropriate uses has important far-reaching implications for decision making.

This project has been supported by the University of Melbourne Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure and Land Administration (CSDILA), the Victorian Government Office of the Valuer General, the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative.

Using the Tool

The housing tool can be accessed here

Obtain a login and password from CSDILA

Before you can use the housing tool you need a user account, obtainable from the CSDILA – Please email the Project Leader Dr. Mohsen Kalantari saeidks@unimelb.edu.au

There are three modules: Development Potential, Development Assessment Analysis and Sustainable Affordability Analysis Modules. Select any one of the modules by clicking on the Tab

Development Potential and Development

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Click on the drop down arrow to select all the LGAs you want to include in the analysis

There are two broad sections: Potentials and Constraints


Slide the slider bars to desirable level for each of the variables clusters: DPI (Development Potential Index), Distance to Public Transport, Distance to Public Facilities and Potential Land Use.

*Note: You need to select appropriate operator from the drop down list


Select as many variables as you want to consider for the constraint analysis from the constraint clusters: Geographic variables, Development Assessment Variables, Environmental Variables, Overlay control and Ownership variables. Then Click Analyse.

The Clear button will un-select all the currently selected observations. If you mess up by selecting more than you intended, use the Clear Selection button and start over.

Visualise outputs

Once the settings are complete, click the Analyse button and the results will be displayed on a new window. The following 2-frame gif shows the differences between turning “1000m Train Station Distance”  filter on and off, given “DPI”>=0.7 and “LGA”=HUME.

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Development Assessment Analysis


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Click on the drop down arrow to select all the LGAs you want to include in the analysis.

There are four clusters: Processing Details, Categories of Application, Change of Use Analysis and Application Outcomes.

Processing Details

Slide the slider bar to desirable level to select Duration of Assessment, this measures the time difference between the days planning application is formally received and when decision is made by responsible authority.
*Note: Select appropriate operator from the drop down list.

Categories of Application

Click to select (multiple selections) from the categories of application to analyse the reason for application and the use of land that is the subject of application.

Change of Use Analysis

Click to select the subsisting use and the proposed use as well as the cost of work to undertake the project.

Application Outcomes

Click to select categories of decisions by responsible authority that relate with the application

Then Click Analyse

The Clear button will un-select all the currently selected observations. If you mess up by selecting more than you intended, use the Clear Selection button and start over.

Visualise outputs

Once the settings are complete, click the “Analyse” button and the results will be displayed on a new window. The following picture shows the result when setting  “Duration of Assessment”<=30 and “LGA”=HUME.

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3. Sustainable Affordability Analysis

This analysis moudle is particularly designed for the entire Greater Melbourne Area. Given a set of affordability assessment criteria, it can generate a rank for each of 80 SLAs within Greater Melbourne.

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Affordability Assessment Criteria

There are 20 criteria (each ranges from 0 to 10) to control the affordability rank index generation. The outputs can be displayed on the map, in a chart or in a downloadable table. In the map view, we can click each polygon and check out other detail attributes.

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Criteria Selector For Display

This panel provides original attribute values of these 20 criteria .  If you click “Select All” and then hit the “Show in Table” button, you can check out and directly download the data in CSV format.

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