What are Mesh Blocks?

As defined by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), mesh blocks are the smallest geographical area of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) and ABS’s classification of Australia into a hierarchy of statistical areas.

Mesh Blocks are essentially a set of geographic boundaries designed to segment Australia into very small areas. These boundaries are used to apply a systematic grid over the entire country, dividing it into tiny sections called Mesh Blocks. In 2021, the ABS reported 368,286 Mesh Blocks covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps.

Each Mesh Block is a polygon that outlines a specific piece of land, which can range from a single block in a city to a vast, sparsely populated area in the countryside. Most Mesh Blocks contain 30 to 60 dwellings.

How are Mesh Blocks used?

The ABS does not and cannot provide detailed segmentation data (Census data) that can be directly connected to individuals or businesses. Instead, they provide anonymised and aggregated data against geographic areas. Mesh Blocks are the smallest geographic area that the ABS provide statistics against, so offer population and dwelling counts at a hyper-local level – this is particularly useful for census analysis.

These geographic boundaries allow for the aggregation of data from individual Mesh Blocks into larger geographic units, such as suburbs, towns, cities, and regions. This hierarchical structuring makes it possible to analyse data at various levels, from very detailed local information to broader regional or national trends.

Most businesses, including Proptechs, looking to augment their analysis with population segmentation data will adopt Mesh Blocks as their default level geographic unit to gain the highest level of accuracy. The popularity of Mesh Blocks mean many businesses will use Mesh Blocks for geographic statistics regardless of whether or not the Census data is being leveraged.

What role do Mesh Blocks play in proptech?

Mesh Blocks play a vital role in Proptech, geospatial data, and the real estate industry in Australia. Some example uses include:

  • Granular geographical data

Since Mesh Blocks are the smallest geographical units, providing a granular level of detail in geographic data, its precision is valuable for analysing real estate trends at a hyper-local level.

  • Accurate small area statistics

Mesh Blocks are designed to fulfill the need for accurate small area statistics. In Proptech, having precise data at this level is instrumental for understanding localised property markets, demographics, and trends.

  • Spatial mapping and analysis

Geospatial data, including Mesh Blocks, facilitates spatial mapping and analysis. Proptech platforms can leverage this data to visualise and analyse property-related information, helping users make more informed decisions based on geographical insights.

  • Enhanced property valuation

Proptech applications can utilise Mesh Blocks to refine property valuation models. The data on dwellings and residents at this level allows for a more nuanced understanding of property values, considering localised factors.

  • Land use identification

Mesh Blocks broadly identify land use, such as residential, commercial, industrial, parkland, and so forth. Land use information is valuable for proptechs involved in property development, urban planning, and investment strategies.

  • Targeted marketing and outreach

Proptech businesses can use Mesh Blocks data to tailor marketing and outreach strategies to specific geographical areas. Understanding the demographics and dwelling counts at this level allows for targeted and effective location-based campaigns.

  • Census-driven insights

The inclusion of Census data within Mesh Blocks, such as the count of usual residents and dwelling types, provides proptech platforms with up-to-date demographic information. This can aid market analysis, customer profiling, and investment strategies.

  • Integration with digital boundary files

The availability of Mesh Block boundaries in digital boundary files enhances their usability in Proptech applications. These files can be readily integrated into geospatial systems, making it easier for developers and analysts to work with this geographical data.

The foundational building blocks in real estate

Mesh blocks are foundational building blocks for geospatial and proptech applications, providing the necessary granularity and accuracy for understanding local real estate markets, demographics, and land use.

To aid proptechs, The Proptech Cloud offers its Geography – Boundaries & Insights dataset which includes all mesh blocks and their spatial areas for analysis and location-based visualisation of statistics.

The integration of this important information can enhance the precision and relevance of analyses within the proptech and real estate sectors.

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