suburbia costs more

ATTRIBUTE #2 - The suburbs require a high cost of services (sewer/electricity/gas infrastructure etc) per person and per household.

This is just common sense. Shorter distances between dwellings and more people gives better economy for the same infrastructure.  Whether by a public of privat
e provider, this is a cost we all bear. 

You may hold the view that new land release areas offer fast, cheap housing.  And on the surface it appears a quick solution to housing supply issues.  But understanding the costs to service these new houses needs to factored-in.

A report from the Centre for International Economics (CIE), found that placing new homes in greenfield areas would an additional cost $26,000 per dwelling in transport, social and utility infrastructure and environmental costs compared with building in existing areas.

These savings would total some $11 billion by 2036, when Sydney would be home to an additional 1.7 million people

These types of cost differences are not just experienced in one place.  A report by Department of Planning (Victoria) states "for every 1000 dwellings, the cost for infill development (in existing suburbs) is $309 million and the cost of fringe developments is $653 million"

Beyond such additional costs for sparsely populated places, on the positive side of the ledger, there are some value benefits in getting the density right. We already know that getting the density right leads to more walkable places.

Initial American findings indicate that people will pay more for houses in more walkable suburbs. Houses with the above average levels of walkability command a premium of about $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with just average levels of walkability in the typical metropolitan areas studied. What type of place would you value for your family?

To go back to Attributes of Suburbia click here

To go to the next attribute, Affordability of Suburbia, click here