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Residential Building in Australia, 1993–2003

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The building of new houses is a significant urban activity. The built form, shape and liveability of Australian cities are directly influenced by the actions and characteristics of firms who build new dwellings (apartments and houses). Despite this importance, little is known about the types of firms that build new houses and apartments in Australia. This article provides a detailed analysis of the residential building sector in Australia between 1993 and 2003. Focusing on elements of the sector that have been identified as important for both theoretical and policy reasons, the article presents a fine-grained analysis of industry structure, levels of concentration and the characteristics of the sector's large firms. It finds that differentiations between residential builders across space and by type of dwelling constructed are increasingly important and that large residential builders increasingly share characteristics with firms involved in other property sectors. It suggests that diversified property conglomerates pose new challenges to urban governance and to international theories of residential building.
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Keywords: Residential building industry; apartments; housing; urban policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Macquarie University, Department of Human Geography, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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