[ http://blog.id.com.au/2012/australian-census-2011/the-where-... ]
And there is certainly urban decay all over the city I live in (Perth).
Also, building codes are local government, aren't they? So it depends on what council you are in. And I've certainly heard some bad stories.
Huge real estate boom fizzled at the end of '09 / early 2010.
DANGER WILL ROBINSON! A property boom has wrecked several countries. Australia could be hit by that.
2. New buildings are unoccupied, sometimes for months.
A more useful measure is rental vacancy rates. The Australian average is 2.3%, which is pretty close to "none" in practical terms.
According to the following Melbourne has a 5.9% vacancy rate. They use water usage data from the water companies for their analysis. (<50L/day = vacant property)
REIV vacancy rate is (unleased property on the books) / (property on the books).
It's always going to be an under-estimate of true vacancy due to properties that are empty full time and those that are privately managed and temporarily vacant.
> While dwellings are vacant for a number of reasons they are primarily associated with holiday areas
[ http://australianpropertyforum.com/blog/main/3204321 ]
As someone who does live in the inner-city of Sydney and pay $3100USD/month for a shoebox. I would be incredulous if there were a large amount of vacancies beyond normal turnover.
There are usually bidding wars for property sales (most inner-city properties are sold by auction) and dozens of applications for rentals.