City Shaping Infrastructure Is Great, But Where Will People Live?

Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW has welcomed the Government’s announcement today of $3.3bn committed to NSW’s infrastructure pipeline.

Two types of infrastructure are critical to the future of Australia. The first of these is the city shaping infrastructure and the second is the enabling infrastructure that is essential for housing supply.

“We have been making the case for city shaping infrastructure such as faster rail for many years and so we are pleased to see the government’s commitment to the Sydney to Newcastle faster rail upgrade and Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport Line, as it demonstrates a recognition of the need for this type of infrastructure,” said Steve Mann, CEO of UDIA NSW.

However, UDIA NSW cautions that city shaping infrastructure only meets its objectives if it is aligned with urban planning, and none of today’s infrastructure commitments was for enabling infrastructure.

To put this in perspective, the delivery of city shaping infrastructure has failed to be supported with appropriate urban planning and this has dramatically hindered the delivery of housing supply, which is contributing to the housing and affordability crisis across NSW.

Last year, UDIA NSW identified key enabling infrastructure that is the roads, sewers and water required across the Six Cities Megaregion to deliver 140,000 homes.

The recent Falinski report on the Housing Supply & Affordability Inquiry recommended the Federal Government stop acting as a giant money tree and needs to start tying its infrastructure funding with urban planning reform so that it delivers the homes we need.

“Across NSW, we are desperately short of development ready land with enabling infrastructure and biodiversity issues resolved. If we do not invest in enabling infrastructure, then we simply cannot deliver the homes people need and the housing and affordability crisis will get worse,” Steve Mann commented.

For more information please contact Deanna Lane, Media & Communications Manager on 0416295 898 or dlane@udiansw.com.au

Urban Icon #1 2022

In celebrating a new era of leadership, we interviewed the new and former Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes, Anthony Roberts MP about his plans to improve housing affordability and supply across NSW and particularly for the regions as a priority. We also celebrate the leaders in our industry who received their UDIA NSW Leadership Awards late last year… and get an insight into the innovative work of some new UDIA Members.

 

We hope you enjoy this edition…

State of the Land Report points to NSW housing affordability crisis continuing

The UDIA State of the Land 2022 report released today on UDIA National TV, shows increased demand for housing has exposed historically thin supply pipelines and together with the pandemic driven materials shortages, has resulted in a further deterioration of supply and affordability.

Greenfield market had a significant uplift in demand and sales were up 36% in Sydney to 9,200 lots, driving up prices up a further 14% in 2021 to nearly $550,000. However, supply constraints drove the inability to maintain lot supply at elevated levels, with the number of active greenfield subdivision projects falling to just 47 by the end of the year, the lowest number of trading estates recorded in Western Sydney for a decade.

Total new dwelling completions for greenfield release and multi-unit sectors fell 18% to 23,500 in 2021 and a huge 43% below peak supply achieved in 2018. The forecast is that supply will remain below the long run average for the next three years, highlighting the need for government to change its’ policy settings.

The large contraction in new housing supply, has been driven by the collapse in multi-unit completions, down by a third in 2021 and by half the 2018 peak.

“In a bright spot for apartments, units under construction are up 7% and hopefully this is the resurgence we need to see for apartment completions to recover over the next few years” said Steve Mann CEO of UDIA NSW.

“As we enter the last year until the NSW election in 2023, it is essential that all the major political parties sign up to providing a significant boost to housing supply if we are to make any significant headway on affordability,” added Mr. Mann.

With such a major under supply and international borders beginning to re-open, and with apartments typically needing a lead time of 2-3 years, we are likely to see significant upward pressure on apartment prices and rents until new supply reaches the market. It may be too late to avoid reduced supply leading to lower affordability, however by taking action now to bring new apartment supply to market the worst effects would be mitigated.

The issues facing the industry include an insufficient supply of development ready land, barriers to apartment finance, a lack of viable apartment precincts, and significant costs and red tape imposed by the NSW government on development, slowing housing supply and discouraging investment.

“Providing development ready land requires a marked uplift in the funding and timely provision of enabling infrastructure by both the NSW Government and Councils, fixing the biodiversity offsets market and a step-change in government co-ordination of land use and infrastructure,” said Steve Mann, CEO, UDIA NSW.

“The crisis in housing affordability can be resolved if we build a lot more homes for people. The NSW Government has recognised the problem. Now it needs to act,” Mr. Mann said.

The Sydney Data from the UDIA State of the Land 2022 report can be provided upon request.

ENDS

For more information please contact Deanna Lane, Media & Communications Manager UDIA NSW
on 0416 295 898 or dlane@udiansw.com.au

Flying Squad formation couldn’t have arrived at a better time

At a time when developers, tradespeople and homeowners on the Central Coast have been frustrated by the delays in Development Approvals and Construction Certificates, the announcement by Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts of a Regional Housing Flying Squad to help regional councils clear development approvals faster, couldn’t have come at a better time according to Caine King, Chapter Chair of UDIA Central Coast.

Throughout the Central Coast, demand for housing and employment land has increased to unprecedented levels in recent years. The long wait lists for any new housing have been compounded by strong enquiry and overflowing workloads in the industry and at Council.

In response to high demand over the past two years, developers have sought to increase production where possible, bringing forward planned stages to deliver more dwellings or employment land to the market sooner. Unfortunately, Council has faced a ‘triple whammy’ of a financial collapse resulting in resource issues, IT challenges and then COVID impacts at a time when the demand for housing and employment land on the Coast is extremely strong.  This has resulted in a back log of DA’s and approval times slowing.

As a result, the Central Coast is falling behind on meeting its supply needs as judged by market indicators of demand. Residential vacancy rates are at less than 1% compared to Greater Sydney at 1.7%.  House value growth and rental price growth have risen higher than Greater Sydney as well.

The commitment by the NSW Government to help Council staff with their heavy workload is very much welcomed.

UDIA is also encouraged that the recommendations put forward in our submission to the Regional Housing Taskforce have been taken on board resulting in the formation of the Regional Housing Flying Squad.

“We hope that Central Coast Council can benefit from this support which should alleviate some of the backlog and get the construction industry back on the tools to get houses built

This is such a positive announcement at a time when Central Coast has once again been buffeted by yet another crisis in the shape of storms and floods,“ said Mr King.

ENDS

For more information please contact Deanna Lane, Media & Communications Manager UDIA NSW
on 0416 295 898 or dlane@udiansw.com.au