Herald Sun

That’s certainly the case for Docklands couple Baden Lucas, 29, and Meredy Sun, 30.

Mr Lucas, a real estate agent, said the last thing that he and his fiance wanted to do after work was to go home and look after a garden.

“Living in a small apartment with great views is the ideal solution — we have great access to places like Southbank and the CBD,” he said.

Prof Buxton said it was crucial that new inner urban renewal areas like Fishermans Bend provided a range of housing options so that families could live comfortably and not be forced on to the fringe where transport and services were often lacking.

Urban Development Institute of Australia state CEO Danni Addison said development in inner and middle suburbs should be encouraged to meet growing housing needs.

MORE young couples and families are opting to live in smaller housing in established suburbs rather than seeking cheaper and bigger homes on the isolated urban fringe.

In 2008, almost half of all new dwelling approvals were in outer growth areas.

But that’s dropped to less than a third now amid the explosion in inner city apartment building and more development in middle-ring established suburbs.

RMIT planning expert Professor Michael Buxton said the proportion of new homes being built on the fringe was at a historic low as young house buyers were voting with their feet.

“The new emerging households from the middle-ring suburbs, people brought up in places like Blackburn and Preston and Camberwell, don’t want to go out to the new housing areas on the fringe,” he said.

“A lot of young people are saying they’re prepared to live in a smaller place, in the short term at least, and not have to drive far.”

“To ensure that the population demands within those suburbs are met with an affordable supply of housing, barriers such as the implementation of residential planning zones need to be reviewed,” she said.

“Unlocking the development potential of inner and middle suburbs well-serviced by infrastructure and transport connections is important not only to housing affordability, but also affordable living.”

The Andrews Government is reviewing residential zones amid claims that some affluent councils have locked up “leafy suburbs” from development.

Published in the Herald Sun