Urban Icon #2 2021

In this edition we feature last year’s winners of the UDIA NSW  Leadership Awards for Excellence 2020, in the four categories: Women in Leadership, Young Leader, Diversity & Inclusion and the Distinguished Service Award.  In our interview with them, each winner reveals what led them to a career in our industry, what drives them and what inspires them.

We also feature articles on putting waste to work with green cycling, getting infrastructure right and smart cities.


We hope you enjoy this edition…

UDIA welcomes NSW Government infrastructure initiatives but complacency over Housing Supply is worrying

Tuesday 22 June 2021 (Sydney, Australia)

UDIA welcomes NSW Government infrastructure initiatives but complacency over Housing Supply is worrying

The UDIA supports several infrastructure measures in today’s NSW budget, in particular:

  • $139.3m for the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund (AIF2) to provide funding to councils in high growth areas to support construction activity and the release of new homes and employment areas in key greenfield sites.
  • The legislation to enable Infrastructure Contributions Reform

However, we are extremely concerned with the government’s analysis that housing supply is nothing to worry about, particularly that “building approvals are now running well ahead of the change in population due to the lack of inward migration.” The government believes this suggests a potential over supply in the near term, relative to underlying demand for housing. This completely ignores the fact that Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world for housing and the housing supply crisis has now spread to Regional NSW. The budget does not include funding for growth in enabling infrastructure in these areas.

The NSW Productivity Commissioner’s recent white paper reveals there is still unmet demand for 48,000 homes including demand from returning expats, people wanting permanent residency who have been renting in Australia and buyers who wish to purchase housing to better meet their needs. If housing supply is not substantially boosted to meet demand, UDIA believes there will be a shortfall of 75,000 new homes by 2024.

As highlighted in the NSW Intergenerational report, the number one reason for the lack of housing affordability in NSW is the lack of housing supply. As the UDIA Greenfield Land Supply Pipeline Report from last week clearly shows, we are not on track to delivering the homes that are needed. By downplaying the importance of supply, the people of NSW will be condemned to having some of the worst housing affordability in the world and it will get worse.

Whilst AIF2 funding is welcomed, the NSW Government needs to commit to this level of funding for enabling infrastructure year in – year out to secure greenfield housing supply and provide certainty for investment. UDIA’s Building Blocks report identifies $1.4b of critical enabling infrastructure needing to be delivered over the next 10 years to secure the greenfield housing pipeline.

Historically, two-thirds of housing supply in NSW needs to be in apartments. The apartments markets in NSW is in deep decline with approvals down 64% from the peak in 2016 and commencements down 47% this will impact jobs and the economy. It is disappointing to see the Government do next to nothing to support this critical part of the housing supply pipeline. Once the borders re-open as planned for next year, the demand for apartments will soar. It will take 2-3 years for the apartment sector to respond to this demand surge, meaning that housing affordability will continue to deteriorate significantly.

“UDIA NSW will continue to make the strong case for the Government to make housing supply a key priority to deliver the homes that the people of NSW need and improve housing affordability for the future,” Mr Mann added.


Media Enquiries:
Deanna Lane 0416 295 898 or media@udiansw.com.au.

Rezonings welcome but just the tip of the iceberg needed to meet predicted demand

Today’s announcement by Minister Stokes is welcome however represents just the tip of the iceberg required to meet the demand predicted in the recent NSW Intergenerational Report.

The release today of the UDIA NSW Greenfield Land Supply Pipeline Survey, identifies the anticipated schedule for future housing supply delivery and quantifies the barriers, which need to be resolved to bringing them to market.

“While we welcome the Minister’s announcement today to fast track developments in Sydney’s South West as a good first step, the land supply pipeline needs much greater depth to respond to demand where it occurs and coordination of enabling infrastructure to improve certainty for investment, with the goal of better housing affordability.” said Steve Mann, CEO UDIA NSW.

UDIA NSW’s report is an important part of our advocacy priorities which includes this significant piece of research. The results contain responses from greenfield land developers in the Greater Sydney Megaregion (Greater Sydney, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, Central Coast, and the Hunter) and builds on our Building Blocks Report 2021 released in May.

Highlights from the report:

  • NSW Government’s Intergenerational Report identified that NSW needs to build approximately 42,000 new homes per annum, with over 90% needing to come from the Sydney Megaregion markets.  this translates into around 14,000 greenfield homes per annum, to meet the minimum demand identified.
  • To give an idea of the scale of this challenge, even at the peak of housing construction in 2016, NSW only delivered around 13,180 new greenfield homes and was generated by significant enabling infrastructure investment and coordinated land release.
  • Four out of five lots, a total of 64,000 lots, that developers are hoping to deliver between FY22 and FY29 require enabling infrastructure. Historically, much of this infrastructure has not been delivered in a timely way. If this experience is repeated, then the shortfall in housing supply will be even larger.
  • The majority of lots expected to be delivered in the next 8 years are constrained, with 76% of expected lots needing sewer infrastructure and 70% needing water services.
  • Even if all expected lots developers are expecting to be delivered up until FY29, including those currently requiring re-zoning or facing infrastructure constraints, supply will still fall short of demand by 3,200 lots per annum and 4,400 lots in FY22.
  • Without action, there will be an undersupply of 25,600 greenfield housing lots in the Greater Sydney Megaregion relative to demand by FY30.

“In summary, we have a housing supply crisis, that needs an immediate step change in planning and infrastructure delivery.  Record demand for new homes post COVID has exhausted the greenfield supply and our research shows that a ‘business as usual’ approach is not going to deliver what is required to refill the pipeline. What is needed is a step change in planning decisions and enabling infrastructure to unlock supply.

UDIA stands ready with the evidence to advocate across government to see housing supply and affordability back as a key priority for the NSW government, with decisions made to unlock the supply pipeline.” Added Mr Mann added.
The full Greenfield Land Supply Pipeline report can be found here.


Media Enquiries:
Deanna Lane 0416 295 898 or media@udiansw.com.au.

UDIA welcomes the progress on Property Tax and calls on Federal Government to back productivity gains

Stamp Duty is one of the biggest financial barriers to home ownership and is widely regarded as a regressive tax. By undertaking a major structural reform to replace stamp duty with a Property tax, the NSW Government would take a positive step towards boosting confidence in the economic management of the state, encouraging investment, creating jobs and homes for the people of NSW.

UDIA NSW Is pleased with the progress that has been made by the NSW Government on the Property Tax reform, as this type of structural reform that increases productivity, is desperately needed in Australia, if we are to see rising wages and prosperity in NSW.

However, the transitional costs of the reform are challenging for a state budget. Given this, UDIA believes that the Federal Government should support major structural reforms by providing financial incentives for states to undertake them. The structural reform will have the positive effect of encouraging investment into NSW, resulting in increased productivity, creating jobs and higher wages, and supporting the development and ongoing improvements to living standards, both in the cities and in the regions.

“NSW is facing a housing supply and affordability crisis and reducing transaction costs will make home ownership a reality for more people in NSW.“ said Steve Mann, CEO, UDIA NSW.

In our recent Submission, UDIA NSW outlined how the Property Tax Reform can help support the sector with the delivery of new homes and cement the economic recovery from the COVID Pandemic, including:

  • The removal of an upfront transaction cost will benefit residential markets, improve mobility and unlock greater productivity and market capacity. A more productive NSW economy will raise incomes and all other things being equal, enable more people to afford ‘the great Australian dream’ to buy a home;
  • Encouraging the more efficient and productive use of land, helping to support place making that enables Transit-Oriented Development, 30-minute cities and smart densification. The apartment market in NSW has dramatically declined and with less land the lower taxes for apartments will provide some much-needed support;
  • Enabling people to right-size their home to meet their needs, upsizing when their family is growing and downsizing as they get older and their children have fled the nest, supports demand for housing diversity; and
  • Increasing property transactions, will support the housing market to deliver new homes.

“We look forward to continuing our participation in the reform process as a key partner in leading the industry working group with NSW Treasury to enable the reform that will deliver long-term benefits to NSW and its people.” added Mr Mann.