Australia still red hot for property

SYDNEY - Strong demand for housing in major Australian cities is fueling the construction of high-rise residential properties, with Melbourne and Sydney leading the way.

Diversified property developer Mirvac Group is hoping to build a 78-story condo in Sydney. The project will likely receive building approval by the end of this year.

The property's proposed height of roughly 260 meter exceeds the 235-meter limit under the city's building code, but the city council is expected to relax the height restriction. A report by the council last month advocated easing height restrictions, saying redevelopment would make Australia's biggest city more attractive.

Mirvac, which also builds office buildings and other commercial facilities, saw its net profit surge 3.2 times from a year earlier to 447.3 million Australian dollars ($365 million) in the fiscal year ended June 2014.

The company is looking to step up development of high-rise residential buildings in major cities. It believes population growth, supply shortages and low interest rates will bolster demand for living space. These inner city properties are also coveted by overseas investors from China, Singapore and elsewhere.