South West Sydney
Sydney’s housing shortfall likely to double in three years say developers
NSW’s plummeting rate of building approvals points to a doubling in Sydney’s housing shortfall over the next three years, according to the Urban Taskforce.
The Taskforce’s chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, estimated the current Sydney housing supply undersupply is 46,000 homes, up from 36,000 homes in 2009.
“We estimate, at the current low levels of new housing supply, that Sydney’s housing shortfall will close to double, to 80,000 homes by 2014,” Mr Gadiel said.
Mr Gadiel said that NSW already produces less new housing than any other state or territory per head of population.
“But the recent Australian Bureau of Statistics building approvals figures suggest that NSW’s performance, relative to other states, may get even worse,” he said.
“NSW’s private sector home approval rate is plummeting at more than three times the national rate and the value of approved new business premises is in freefall.
“We’ve now seen three straight months of data, where the NSW private sector home approvals have trended down by more than 4 per cent a month.
“Since March, that’s added up to a 12.6 per cent decline in new private sector home approvals.
“That’s more than double the rate of decline suffered by Victoria in the same three months – 5.6 per cent.
“It’s more than three times the rate of decline seen in Western Australia - 3.2 per cent.
“And it contrasts with Queensland’s improvement, in trend terms, over the same period – by 0.7 per cent.”
“Between March and June, Victoria managed to approve 19,000 new homes, while NSW approved 10,000.”
Mr Gadiel said that NSW’s problems aren’t just confined to new housing.
“The value of non-residential building approvals in NSW has fallen by 57 per cent since March,” he said.
“In the same period, Victoria’s has increased by 5 per cent.”
Of all the states, in trend terms, NSW is suffering the sharpest decline in the approval value of new business premises.
“That’s a serious sign that NSW isn’t going to see the construction of new shops, workplaces and other business premises that the state desperately requires,” Mr Gadiel said.
Mr Gadiel said that urgent, action by the NSW Government is required if we are to avoid serious social and consequences from a sustained fall in development activity.
“This means urgent interim planning reforms to encourage more investment in the state delivered now, rather than in 18 months time,” he said.
Mr Gadiel said the industry was seeking:
• appeal rights for rezoning applicants;
• the abolition or dramatic reform in development levies;
• timely decision-making enforced by a mandatory timetable;
• more flexibility for individual development proposals to be assessed on their own merits, rather than through rigid pre-determined local council controls;
• a better decision-making process - at arm's-length from parochial politics - when a key reason for a development is to service the needs of people who aren't currently locals; and
• special legislation to restore business confidence in past planning approvals.
The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australia’s most prominent property developers and equity financiers.
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