Housing crisis in the regions needs whole of government response

It is no surprise that there is a housing supply and affordability crisis in the regions and UDIA NSW welcomes the Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes, Anthony Roberts’ comment in Parliament yesterday, acknowledging that “regional housing is a priority for this Government”.

However, it is the extent of the supply shortage that is severe, with the price of houses in regional NSW having jumped by over a third in the last year, and with some markets experiencing price growth of over 50%. The pace of development is not keeping up with demand, leading to a critical shortage of housing extending throughout the regions.

This demand will only be exacerbated by the rate of in-migration as people look for regional housing solutions out of Sydney, as shown in the UDIA/URBIS Home Purchaser Sentiment Survey 2021, where 33% of Sydney respondents indicated an interest in moving outward whether to outer suburbs or to the regions.  Our findings are supported by the release today of the Regional Movers Index from the Commonwealth Bank and the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) which showed that quarterly migration from capital cities to regional areas over the past two years is averaging 15 per cent higher than what it was in the two years pre-COVID 19.

A regional housing supply and affordability crisis can be averted through the funding of critical enabling infrastructure which supports a sustained housing pipeline. UDIA produced significant research on the Illawarra Shoalhaven, the Hunter and the Central Coast in our Building Blocks reports 2021, which showed the gaps in water, sewer, power and roads needed to unlock housing..  In its pre-budget submission, UDIA  NSW has asked the NSW Government to fund $450m worth of State infrastructure over the next 3 years and provide $100m as part of a Regional Accelerated Infrastructure Fund for Councils to bring forward enabling infrastructure and to set up a self-replenishing enabling infrastructure fund so that we can deliver the housing that Regional NSW needs, as it grows.

“UDIA has been advocating for State government intervention focused on building a sustainable supply pipeline of ‘Development Ready’ land that is zoned, fully serviced and with biodiversity arrangements in place. Each of the key recommendations of the Regional Housing Taskforce are aligned with UDIA’s research and now we need the actions from government.” said Steve Mann, CEO, UDIA NSW.“UDIA’s experience on the ground in our regional Chapters recognises the growing housing stress in the regions, where demand has been outstripping supply for many years and COVID has significantly contributed to this chronic problem. It is clear that much more work is needed to unlock housing supply and address the crisis gripping these areas.” Mr Mann added

UDIA NSW calls for a whole of government integrated response to the Regional Housing Taskforce report and urges the NSW Government to follow the recommendations in the UDIA pre-budget submission and to sustain regional housing supply, achieve housing affordability, and support the ongoing economic recovery in regional NSW.

ENDS

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