A new modulus of elasticity is defined to be the ratio of an equibiaxial stress to the relative area change in the planes in which the stress acts. This area modulus of elasticity is intermediate in properties between Young's modulus and the bulk modulus. Expressions for the area modulus are computed in isotropic elasticity. A simple, convenient expression for the compliance tensor of transverse isotropy is found in terms of, amongst others, the longitudinal (axial) area modulus and this leads to a new, concise condition for positive definiteness of the compliance tensor. The limits of incompressibility, inextensibility and constant area are briefly considered.