Skyscrapers to overshadow Sydney and Melbourne skylines

When it comes to skyscrapers, both Sydney and Melbourne are in two minds. With space becoming increasingly more limited in Sydney, the only way to build is up, whilst in Melbourne there are fears that there are too many skyscrapers taking to the skies which could make Melbourne less appealing to live in.

However, with the population constantly on the rise in both cities, and new property required to meet this growing demand both now and in the future, it is likely that we will have to get used to a changing skyline, which will see more skyscrapers in it.


The City of Sydney Council has launched a new 20-year plan which allows commercial buildings to be built to new heights of 310 metres, an increase of 75m. This would mean that these new commercial buildings would tower over Sydney’s tallest skyscraper, Sydney Tower which stands at 305 metres.

However, residential skyscrapers will not be able to reach new heights and all towers over 55m will need to have a commercial purpose.

This new city plan has been designed to encourage more hotel and other commercial developments to deal with city growth. This could mean that the city could soon be home to a cluster of 100-storey commercial buildings which will change the city skyline forever.

The City of Sydney plans to unlock up to 2.9 million square metres of additional floor space to be used for retail, hotel, cultural and office developments. According to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, these towering commercial developments would encourage economic and employment growth over the next two decades.

“Past planning strategies have successfully increased the number of residential buildings in the city centre, but now we need to protect and increase the amount of productive floor space to maintain Sydney’s economic vitality and resilience,” she said.

“Central Sydney has limited capacity to grow north, west and east because of its natural geography and harbour surrounds, heritage and the growth of residential development, which limit potential future renewal and change of use to meet the needs of a changing society.

“Planning for growth requires clear policies and careful management to protect the opportunities to increase the new economy’s floor space needs from high-priced residential on larger scale sites.”

Sydney is already limited in space due to being confined by the Harbour and the mountains. However, if all these new high-rise towers come into existence, there are fears that sunlight will be blocked, but the city says these towers won’t block the sun from hitting public spaces.

Currently, the top five tallest skyscrapers in Sydney are:

  1. Chifley Tower (244m)
  2. Citigroup Centre (243m)
  3. Deutsche Bank Place (240m)
  4. World Tower (230m)
  5. MLC Centre (228m)

The top five future tallest skyscrapers are:

  1. Crown Sydney Hotel and Resort (271m)
  2. 182 George Street (263m)
  3. 505 George Street (262m)
  4. One Sydney Harbour (Tower 1) (247m)
  5. Chifley Tower (244m)


Melbourne has a very different story to Sydney. It has been suggested that Melbourne in the future could have more skyscrapers than Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo, which could make Melbourne a less desirable place to live and strip the city of its number one ranking as the most liveable city in the world (The Economist Intelligence Unit Survey).

However, with the population of Victoria expected to reach 10 million by 2051 according to latest predictions by the government, the state will require an additional 2.2 million homes to be built to house all of Victoria’s residents.

Currently, the Melbourne CBD has a number of new residential skyscrapers undergoing construction, and a 2015 report by Melbourne City Council planner Leanne Hodyl states that high-rise developments were being built at a rate four times that of some of the world’s highest density cities.

To help slow down the growth of high-rise skyscrapers, particularly within the Melbourne CBD, the Victorian government is looking to halt the creation of some new developments, whilst put in new rules that will stop some developments coming into fruition if they are placed on blocks of land that are too small or are too tall. However, many believe this is too little too late, and the damage has already been done.

Again, there are worries that with the addition of all these new high-rise skyscrapers, the quality of public spaces will be affected by a lack of sunlight, obstruction in views and an increase in wind drafts. It is particularly important that these public spaces remain of high quality, as more and more residents of apartments will want to head outside and enjoy the outdoors.

Currently, the top five tallest skyscrapers in Melbourne are:

  1. Eureka Tower (297m)
  2. 120 Collins Streets (265m)
  3. 101 Collins Street (260m)
  4. Prime Pearl Apartments (254m)
  5. Rialto Towers (251m)

The future tallest skyscrapers in Melbourne are:

  1. Australia 108 (317m)
  2. Crown Queensbridge Tower (313m)
  3. Eureka Tower (297m)
  4. 21-35 Power Avenue, Southbank (280m)
  5. 640 Bourke Street (274m)
If you are considering purchasing new apartments in Melbourne, then it is best to avoid the CBD and try to look slightly further afield within the middle ring suburbs where there is more opportunity for strong investment. Many of our residential developments at iBuyNew focus on boutique developments and mid-rise developments away from the CBD.

To learn more about purchasing new apartments in Sydney or Melbourne as an investment or as a home to live, our Property Consultants are ready to help and assist you with any enquiries you might have. Give us a call today on 1300 123 463 or contact us using the online form provided. We would love to hear your thoughts on the number of skyscrapers in Australia.
Published on 18th of July 2016 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich


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