Luke Metcalfe, Founder
Luke Metcalfe is a veteran startup entrepreneur with 15 years experience in reference website publishing. He built NationMaster as an international statistics site, reaching up to 20 million views per month in the 2000s. In July 2014, he sold his last business, NetComber, to US-based Profound Networks.
Microburbs is a free, detailed and authoritative resource for Australian property seekers.
After many months of painstaking researching the property market for his own family, founder Luke Metcalfe decided there should be a website that in a single report provides all the information necessary for deciding whether to buy a particular property.
Property seekers can spend hours researching council PDFs, government spreadsheets, crime stats, planning data, school performance info and much more. Microburbs gathers all this information in one place and presents it in an easy to use format.
But armed with all that info, it's such a complex decision for buyers that Microburbs takes extra steps to ease the process.
It allows users to search by specific stats-based criteria rather than by suburb like other sites.
It also scores properties by various characteristics like convenience, tranquillity, lifestyle, hipness and family.
Most of the data is down to the level of a couple of blocks, so the site is really about getting to know the neighbours. We do this because suburbs are typically very diverse and offer a range of lifestyles.
We include the following data:
- land values
- property boundaries
- previous sale prices and dates
This is calculated based on to access to places and transport options that most people need several times per week
- public transport commuters
- walk commuters
- work centres including peak hour travel times and routes
- supermarkets including drive times and routes
This evaluates the local options for popular public social activities, the number, quality and proximity. Includes
- Public Pools
- Nearby water
This is for those who like the quiet life. Gives an indication on how many disturbances there are in the area and how natureful it is. Includes
- The population aged between 15 and 24 (who are typically noisier than other age groups)
- Population density
- Tenant rate - the proportion of tenants
- Leafiness - the density of trees in the area
- Nearby bush reserves
- Maximum building height
- Dwelling types - indicating the level of density. In order of predilection for disturbance: Houses vs terraces/townhouses vs units.
- Tenure types (in order of predilection for disturbance) - owner occupiers, mortgagees, tenants and public housing.
Calculated based on the proximity and performance of nearby schools in NAPLAN, and how many other families are in the area.
- NAPLAN ranks, routes and travel times to public, catholic and private schools
- Catchments for public schools
- Accreditation ranks for day cares, preschools, family day cares etc.
- Proportion of families
- Age distribution
- Fertility rate - how many children there are per woman
Local government building restrictions placed on the property including:
- Floor space ratio - the internal floor space allowed relative to the size of the land.
- Heritage areas - what areas nearby have heritage status
- Minimum subdivision size - the smallest blocks that can be split into multiple titles
Looks at how strong the social ties are between people in the area and what non-profit amenities there are to strengthen those ties.
- Volunteerism - the proportion of residents who volunteer for non-profit organisations
- Long term residents - how many locals have lived in the area at least 5 years
- Libraries including travel times
- Town halls
- Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues
Looks at the cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds of the residents.
- Languages spoken at home
Looks at the level of wealth, status, employment, income, education and general material living standards of the local population. Includes:
- Proportion of public housing
- High school graduates
- Low income people - proportion earning under $1000 per week
- High income people - proportion earning over $2000 per week
- Average income (mean income per week)
- Cars per household - predicts income or available parking spaces
- Owned outright - the proportion of households that are fully owned by the occupier, ie not mortgaged. Is high for affluent, older and more settled populations
- Mortgage repayments - the amount spent on mortgages
- Bedrooms per capita
- Pie chart: Highest level of education achieved
- Pie chart: Employment status
- Pie chart: Voting preferences. Green voters tend to be more affluent and hip. Liberal voters are affluent and/or social conservative. Labor voters tend to be working class.
Most data is derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Google Places.