As Melbourne’s population expands, property developer Stockland says it wants to build up to 12,000 homes in the city’s outer north and south-east.

In its latest announcement, the company says it plans to break ground on construction of 11,000 homes as part of its $4.6 billion Cloverton development on 1,141 hectares at Kalkallo off the Hume Highway about 35 kilometres north of Melbourne, whilst it had also acquired 65 hectares of residential land on which it intended to spend around $128 million developing 800 new homes over six years at Clyde North just west of Cranbourne in Melbourne’s south-east.

The latest developments come as Melbourne struggles to cater for growing numbers of people, with Victoria’s population currently expanding faster than any other state except for Western Australia and expected to increase from around 5.752 million as at June 2014 to almost 6.8 million ten years from now and around 7.7 million by June 2034.

Notwithstanding strong levels of building activity over recent years – which research firm BIS Shrapnel reckons will tip the market into a state of modest oversupply by 2015/16 –  this has led to house price gains of almost seven percent over the year to September, and is leading developers to plough money not only into large inner-city apartment complexes but is also creating opportunities in outer suburban (and nearby regional) areas, where the city’s long term planning document known as Plan Melbourne 2050 says more than 60 percent of the city’s 600,000 odd new residents over the past decade have chosen to live and in which the state is trying to encourage more housing in growth corridors along major highway and transport lines in the north, south-east, north-west and west.

In a statement, Stockland General Manager Residential Development, Victoria, Mike Davis said development in the region was being driven not only by population growth but also by investment in critical urban infrastructure.

“In capital cities throughout Australia, we’re seeing new rail lines as the absolute game changer when it comes to opening up new tracts of land to create viable, sustainable and highly liveable new communities,” Mr Davis said.

“The new Regional Rail Link in the west and new stations that will be added to the northern line will ensure new residents in both communities are connected to the CBD and inner city areas for employment, higher education, culture, sporting and leisure pursuits.”

Stockland says the Cloverton development will eventually house up to 30,000 people and will feature a 60 hectare city centre and a regional shopping centre, future train station, four additional local town centres and a retirement village.

Whilst construction at Cloverton will begin shortly, that at Clyde North was approved last November and will start in 2017.