STCA – What does STCA mean?

STCA. They are four letters you have seen many times as you browse through Australian real estate websites searching for your property.

But what exactly does STCA mean?

STCA stands for “Subject to Council Approval” and is typically used to describe the subdivision / development potential of a property.

For example:

  • “Multi-unit site (STCA)”
  • “Dual occupancy site STCA”
  • “Development site (STCA)”

Unfortunately (in Victoria anyway), all that the term STCA can legally refer to is exactly that: potential.

It is simply sales copy used by Real Estate agents to add perceived value to a property.

The Real Estate Agent only needs to have an opinion that the property is suitable for development (after all, final say rests with Council).

Remember that the Real Estate Agent’s job is to sell the property – on behalf of the vendor (& not to offer you qualified development advice).

That said, the property may very well be suitable for development – there is just no level of recourse with the Real Estate Agent if its not.


Ultimately, the potential of a property to be developed does not rest with the words of a real estate agent but rests with solid research and State & Local planning policy compliancy.

The letters STCA may mean “Subject to Council Approval” but our preferred interpretation is “Caveat Emptor: let the buyer beware“.

Are you thinking of buying a property STCA?

Ask us how our Preliminary Development Assessments can help you understand the true development potential of a property before you purchase.