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Dwelling forecasts

Boroondara is forecast to grow by around 9,400 dwellings between 2021 and 2036, to approximately 82,000 dwellings in total. For more information on forecast dwelling growth, see the Boroondara population forecast page on the Forecast i.d. website.

Dwelling density

At the 2021 Census there were 72,812 private dwellings in Boroondara. Dwellings can be categorised as separate or stand-alone houses, medium density or high density:

  • Separate/stand-alone houses are free-standing dwellings which are structurally separate from others.
  • Medium density dwellings are semi-detached, row, terrace, townhouses and villa units, or flats and apartments in blocks of 1 or 2 storeys, and flats attached to houses.
  • High density dwellings are flats and apartments in 3-storey and larger blocks.

The main dwelling type in Boroondara is separate/stand-alone houses (52.7%). However, the profile of housing varies across the municipality, as shown in Map 1. 

Map of Boroondara showing high density dwellings as the dominant dwelling type and medium density dwellings also appearing predominantly. Both of these types appear mostly in the western part of the map.

Map 1: Stand-alone houses are the dominant dwelling type in Boroondara, with medium and high density dwellings common in some Boroondara neighbourhoods. Data source: Atlas i.d.

Between the 2016 and 2021 Censuses, the proportion of Boroondara’s dwellings that were stand-alone houses decreased slightly (see Figure 1 below). A similar decline was evident across Greater Melbourne, where stand-alone houses dropped from 66.1% of dwellings in 2016 to 65.1% in 2021. 

A line chart showing that the proportion of standalone houses in Boroondara dropped from 55% in 2011 to 53% in 2021. The proportion of medium density houses dropped from 31% in 2011 to 29% in 2021. The proportion of high density houses increased from 14% in 2011 to 18% in 2021.

Figure 1: The proportion of Boroondara dwellings that are stand-alone houses decreased between 2016 and 2021. Data source: Id Profile

Household type and dwelling density

Different household types have different dwelling preferences. Most of Boroondara’s almost 22,000 couple families with children live in separate/stand-alone houses.

In contrast, most of Boroondara’s lone person households live in medium density or high density dwellings (see Figure 2).

Non-private dwellings

Non-private dwellings provide a communal form of accommodation. In 2021, there were 106 non-private dwellings housing 3,548 people counted in Boroondara. Accommodation for older or retired people was the most numerous type of non-private dwelling as well as the type that housed more residents.

The table below shows non-private dwellings in Boroondara by dwelling type and number of residents.

Type of non-private dwelling Number of residents Number of these dwellings in Boroondara
Accommodation for retired or aged people (not self-contained) 1, 113 25
Hotel, motel or bed and breakfast 182 12
Boarding house or private hotel 147 12
Residential college or hall or residence 486 12
Nursing home 789 11
Convent, monastery etc 97 9
Boarding school 230 6
Public hospital (not psychiatric) 174 6
Private hospital (not psychiatric) 168 6
Psychiatric hospital or institution 132 5
Hostel for disabled people 21 Not provided
Other/non-classified 9 Not provided

Data source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Tablebuilder Pro, 2021 Census

Note: To protect privacy, the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not provide data for cells with very low counts.

Rooming houses and supported residential services

A rooming house is a building or apartment with one or more rooms for rent, where at least four people can live. Rooming houses are different from other share houses as the rooming house operator decides who lives there and usually has individual agreements with each resident. In May 2023, there were 13 registered rooming houses in Boroondara (Consumer Affairs Victoria 2023). 

Supported Residential Services are privately operated businesses that provide accommodation and support for Victorians who need help with everyday activities. In April 2023 there were six registered Supported Residential Services in Boroondara (Department of Families, Fairness & Housing 2023).  

Social housing 

Social housing is made up of public housing and community housing. Public housing is managed by Homes Victoria within the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. Community housing is managed by not-for-profit housing associations such as Servants Community Housing. 

The City of Boroondara has a small amount of social housing. At the 2021 Census, Boroondara was ranked 27 out of 31 Greater Melbourne local government areas for the proportion of households in social housing (with rank 1 having the highest proportion of households in social housing). In June 2021 there were 796 social housing dwellings in Boroondara (see this Word document on Housing assistance from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing) which represents approximately 1.1% of all Boroondara dwellings. 

Due to the limited stock, there are extensive waiting lists for social housing. In Victoria during 2021–22, 50% of newly allocated greatest need households in public housing were allocated a dwelling within 17 months; another 25% waited between 17 and 38 months (Productivity Commission 2023). The Productivity Commission notes that Victoria saw a marked increase in demand for social housing driven in part by COVID-19 emergency response measures aimed at providing accommodation for people sleeping rough. Find out more on the Productivity Commission's most recent report on the performance of governments in providing social housing.

Homes Victoria reports that in December 2022, a total of 6,351 social housing applicants had nominated the Box Hill catchment (Boroondara, Whitehorse and Manningham) as one of their location preferences. Of these, 3,755 were priority access applicants (households most in need of housing) and 2,596 were other applicants (households who do not have an urgent housing need but are seeking to live in social housing). There were 2,157 social housing dwellings within the Box Hill catchment at the time (Figure 3). Find out more on the Homes Victoria page for Applications on the Victorian Housing Register.

It is important to note that each social housing applicant selects 2 or 3 location preferences on average, and can select up to 5. This means that some applicants counted in Figure 3 could be allocated social housing in an alternative area of their preference.

Column chart showing the number of priority access and other applicants combined is higher than the total number of dwellings that exist in the catchment for all bedroom categories in Box Hill. Demand outstrips supply by the greatest margin for 1-bedroom properties, for which there were 852 properties and 2753 priority applicants plus 1569 other applicants.

Figure 3: The number of priority access applications on the wait list for one-bedroom social housing dwellings in the Box Hill catchment is more than triple the number of 1-bedroom social housing dwellings in the catchment. Note: 13 social housing dwellings in the Box Hill catchment had an unknown number of bedrooms and aren't included in this figure. Data source: Homes Victoria – Applications on the Victorian Housing Register

Housing affordability 


Rental cost differences between metropolitan Melbourne and Boroondara widen as dwellings increase in size. In March 2023, renting a 4-bedroom house in Boroondara cost almost double the metropolitan Melbourne median ($998 per week compared to $510). Rental cost trends for selected dwelling types are shown in Figure 4. 

The decrease in median weekly rent evident around 2020 may be attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rent for one-bedroom flats in Boroondara has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels but may do so as the international student sector continues to recover. 

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing reported that in the March quarter of 2023, six (0.3%) of dwellings available for rent in Boroondara were affordable for households receiving a Centrelink payment. Six was the fewest affordable lettings since the June 2013 quarter. None of the affordable lettings were one-bedroom dwellings, meaning no dwellings let for rent in Boroondara between January and March 2023 were affordable for a single person on Jobseeker. See details on the page for Department of Families, Fairness and Housing Rental Report statistics for March quarter 2023.

House and unit prices

Between 2006 and 2021 the median price of a house in Boroondara increased by 215%. The median income of Boroondara households increased by 57% over the same period (Figure 5).

The price of units has also grown but remained more consistent with prices across metropolitan Melbourne (Figure 6). 


The number of people in Boroondara who were homeless on Census night increased between 2006 and 2016 and dropped again in 2021 (Figure 7). 

The 2021 Census was held when states and territories in Australia were under varied COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions. Results may have been affected by governments’ emergency responses (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute 2023). For example, the Victorian Government provided accommodation to more than 2,000 Victorians who were sleeping rough, as detailed on the Premier's 'Homes for homeless Victorians during pandemic and beyond' page.

Since 2021, many of these emergency housing strategies have stopped and greater numbers of people may now be experiencing homelessness (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute 2023).

While the 2021 Census homelessness data is important, it may be less indicative of long-term homelessness trends in Australia due to the effects of COVID-19 (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute 2023). 

For more details, visit the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute page on 'What the 2021 Census data told us about homelessness'.

The homelessness number of 320 people is equivalent to 1.9 people experiencing homelessness per 1,000 Boroondara residents. This rate is lower than the Greater Melbourne rate of 4.9 people per 1,000.

The table below shows counts for the different types of homelessness in Boroondara. These homelessness counts are likely to underestimate homelessness because having no access to accommodation can present a range of barriers to completing a Census form.

Type of homelessness in Boroondara in 2021 Number of people
Living in boarding house 147
Living in supported accommodation 76
Staying temporarily with other households 38
Living in severely crowded dwellings 38
Living in improvised dwelling, tent or sleeping out 12
Staying in other temporary lodgings 12
All homeless persons 320

Data source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2021 Census: Estimating homelessness

Note that the rows don't add up to the total estimate because the ABS randomly adjusts smaller numbers to protect privacy.

Of the 320 people who were homeless in Boroondara at the 2021 Census, 65.2% were male and 34.8% were female. Almost half were aged 20 to 39 years (Figure 8).

Figure 8 is a column chart which shows the 2021 Census count for people who are homeless in Boroondara by 10-year age group. The largest age group was 20 to 29 years, accounting for 28% of people who are homeless. Around 2% were aged 70 or over. All other age groups accounted for between 7% (aged 0 to 9 years) and 17% (30 to 39 years) of people who are homeless.

Figure 8: People counted as homeless in Boroondara in the 2021 Census by age group. Data source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Tablebuilder Pro, 2021 Census

Homelessness is also measured by the number of people seeking support from specialist homelessness services. This included 753 Boroondara residents in 2021–22, down from more than 1,000 for each of the 3 years before that. A decrease in 2021–22 was also evident for Victoria; like the drop in the Census homelessness count, this is likely due to the effects of COVID-19 and associated Government responses. For details on this, visit the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's specialist homelessness services collection data sets page.

Contact us

For more information on housing statistics in Boroondara, email our Research and Social Planning team or call us on (03) 9278 4444.

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