Melbourne Airport

Runway Development Program

Property Values Study

As part of planning for Melbourne Airport’s proposed Runway Development Program (RDP), a study has been carried out into the impact of aircraft noise on residential property values.

What does it cover?

The study looked at the impact of aircraft noise on property values in suburbs around Melbourne Airport and across the metropolitan area. It covered 320,000 residential property sales for 62 suburbs in 19 local government areas over a 25-year period from 1990 to 2015.Many of the suburbs included in the study have been developed since Melbourne Airport opened in 1970. Some of the suburbs under flight paths have only been developed since 1998.

What did it find?

Overall, the study found that houses in areas subject to aircraft noise have shown similar – and in a number of cases, higher average annual capital returns compared to non-affected properties with similar socio-economic status.

It also concluded that price and performance of property value is more closely linked to socio-economic status than aircraft noise impact. Another conclusion was that a decision to purchase a residential property is based on a range of factors, including proximity to work, schools and services. The impact of aircraft noise is often offset by these considerations.

In some cases, aircraft noise affected locations have achieved similar or higher prices and capital growth than non-affected locations.

Study outcome

The location of a residential property under a Melbourne flight path has no significant long term impact on annual movement in median and average house prices compared to non-affected residential suburbs.

Study outcome

A number of suburbs that are currently outside the existing east-west and north-south runway noise contours but are within the predicted noise contours for the new east-west runway (Gladstone Park and Westmeadows) currently have average returns in line with similar socio-economic suburbs that are within Melbourne Airport noise contours.

Study outcome

Within Greenvale, Keilor East and Keilor, the median and average house price was consistently higher for streets within the N60-70 noise contours compared to the streets outside the contours.

Who did the study?

The study was undertaken by Property Economics Professor Chris Eves, formerly of the Queensland University of Technology but now at RMIT’s School of Property, Construction and Project Management. Professor Eves has expertise in this field of research, having previously undertaken a property values study for both Brisbane and Gold Coast airports. 

The study is a rigorous analysis of objective and publicly-sourced data relating to 320,000 property sales in 62 suburbs from 1990 to 2015. The study also includes a review of other research from Australia and overseas.

What happens now?

The study was commissioned as part of Melbourne Airport’s planning for the RDP. It is designed to help inform stakeholder and community consultation on the economic and social impacts of the RDP.

The study is one of a number of studies being prepared as part of the planning for the RDP. The results from this study will be published in the Economic Impact Assessment chapter of the MDP. 

Additional studies will be published publicly in coming months and there will be a formal opportunity for public comment on the RDP proposal before it is submitted to the Commonwealth Government for approval.

Melbourne Airport and aircraft noise

Melbourne Airport works closely with industry and government to minimise the impact of aircraft noise on surrounding communities. This includes noise abatement procedures which are designed to direct aircraft away from residential areas depending on weather, safety and air traffic conditions.

1 - Property Values table











Frequently Asked Questions


What are the key findings from the Property Values study?
  • The most significant finding from the study is that location of a residential property under a Melbourne flight path has no significant long term impact on annual movement in median and average house prices for those locations compared to non-affected residential suburbs.

  • Overall, the study found that houses in areas subject to aircraft noise have shown similar - and in a number of cases - higher average annual capital returns compared to non-affected properties with similar socio-economic status irrespective of location within Melbourne.

  • The price and performance of property value is linked more closely to socio-economic status than aircraft noise impact.

  • The study found the decision to purchase a residential property is based on a range of factors: exposure to aircraft noise is often offset by other factors associated with suburbs under flight paths.

  • In some cases, aircraft noise affected locations have achieved similar or higher prices and capital growth despite aircraft noise exposure.

  • Over an extended period, a number of affected suburbs and streets have achieved higher average annual capital returns compared to similar socio-economic locations.

Why we have we done this study?
  • The study was commissioned as part of Melbourne Airport’s planning for the RDP. It is designed to help inform stakeholder and community consultation on the economic and social impacts of the RDP.

  • The study is one of a number of studies being prepared as part of the planning for the RDP.

  • The findings from this study will be published in the Economic Impact Assessment chapter of the Master Development Plan (MDP).

What does the study cover?
  • The study looked at the impact of aircraft noise on property values in suburbs around Melbourne Airport and across the metropolitan area over the period from 1990 to 2015.

  • It covered residential house sales for 62 suburbs in 19 local government areas – this includes 320,000 sales analysed during the 25-year study period.

  • It is one of the most comprehensive studies of its type ever undertaken in Australia.

  • Many of the suburbs included in the study have been developed since Melbourne Airport started operations in 1970, and some of the suburbs under current flight paths have only been developed since 1998.

  • As it covers an extended time period, the results of the study provide an extremely accurate investment performance analysis of residential property buyers behaviour in relation to houses impacted by flight path locations

  • The study period also covers a range of significant economic events that have impacted house prices, including the residential property boom from 2001 to 2007, and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Who did the study?
  • The study was undertaken by Property Economics Professor Chris Eves, formerly of the Queensland University of Technology but now at RMIT’s School of Property, Construction and Project Management. Professor Eves has expertise in this field of research, having previously undertaken a property values study for both Brisbane and Gold Coast airports.

  • The study is a rigorous analysis of objective and publicly-sourced data relating to 320,000 property sales in 62 suburbs from 1990 to 2015.

  • The study also includes a review of other research from Australia and overseas.

Can we trust the study findings if it was commissioned by Melbourne Airport?
  • We understand that some residents living near Melbourne Airport are concerned about the impact of a proposed new runway on their property value.

  • We commissioned QUT, which has undertaken studies of this type for other Australian airports to produce an independent report.

  • The studies include a review of other research and academic inquiries into the impact of aircraft noise on property values.

  • It is is a rigorous analysis of objective and publicly-sourced data related to residential property values and has been conducted by independent academic experts.

  • This study is one of the most comprehensive studies of its type ever undertaken in Australia.

  • The findings from the study are being made public as part of Melbourne Airport’s commitment to release study findings before the official public exhibition period.

Can I access the data that was used for the study?
  • The study covered residential house sales for 62 suburbs in 19 local government areas – this includes 320,000 sales analysed during the 25-year study period from 1990-2015.

  • Sales transaction data is readily available as far back as 1990. QUT accessed this from Pricefinder and RP Data, two commercially available real estate transaction databases used by property professionals.

  • The databases are based on the sale transfer data provided to the Victorian Government on settlement of all residential property sales.

  • This includes the date of sale, sale price and property type.

  • The various suburbs and street locations were selected based on public data and mapping providing by Airservices Australia and Melbourne Airport, including current and future flight path and aircraft noise information website and interactive maps.

How can you predict what will happen to property values under future flight paths that are not yet operational?
  • Melbourne Airport has been growing over the past two decades. In the 25 year period that was used to assess the property values, aircraft movements have more than doubled from 102,000 to 250,000 per annum. This has helped us predict likely trends.

  • The study compared suburbs and streets within current flight paths and those which are unaffected by aircraft noise over the 25 year period

  • The study period includes events which have influenced housing prices including the residential property boom from 2001-2007 and the GFC.

  • It clearly shows that property values have continued to rise over time, even in areas affected by aircraft noise.

  • It highlights that property values are influenced by a range of factors and that aircraft noise alone will not determine a property value.

  • Indeed, some suburbs exposed to aircraft noise have experienced higher growth in value compared to non-affected suburbs.

Can Melbourne Airport guarantee that my property won’t be devalued by the new runway?
  • There are never any guarantees. However, what the study shows is that over a 25 year period, exposure to aircraft noise has not caused properties to devalue, and that property values are influenced by a range of considerations.

What other studies are being done to support the RDP planning process?
  • The property values study is one of a number of studies and assessments that are being prepared on different aspects of the potential impacts of the proposed RDP.

What other information will be published as part of the RDP MDP?
  • As the studies are finalised for each of the MDP chapters, we will release the findings to our stakeholders and the community. This is part of our ‘no surprises’ approach as the draft MDP is prepared to go on public exhibition.

  • Before the MDP is finalised for the Commonwealth to assess, a 60 day public exhibition period will allow stakeholders and the community to review the document and provide comment if required.