Sydney to be 190,000 homes short by 2024

by Maya Breen25 Feb 2015
A housing lobby head has called for faster processing of new approvals to address a shortfall in Sydney.

New research from the Property Council of Australia shows that by 2024, the number of homes needed to keep pace with population growth will have fallen short by more than 190,000.

Sydney councils have collectively come up more than 51,000 homes short (23%) in the first decade since housing targets were set for councils, according to the report.

"Sydney councils need to turbocharge housing supply because right now homebuyers and our economy are paying the price," said NSW Executive Director Glenn Byres.

He said home building is a vital contributor to the State’s economy and tens of thousands of tradespeople and other workers rely on it. 

“If we fail to keep pace with demand, we drive up prices and make housing less affordable for the next generation of homebuyers,” Mr Byres said.

“Councils need to get on with the job of issuing approvals, delivering the housing required to keep pace with population growth and a better planning system is essential.”

The report showed only five councils in Sydney are currently issuing enough approvals to keep pace with projected population growth.

Annual approvals over the past 10 years have averaged 17,002 against a target of 22,178. 

Byres said the findings called for an overhaul of the housing approvals process to deliver additional supply. 

“Even in an era of record low interest rates, a strong NSW economy and pent up demand, we’re producing about 8000 homes a year less than we’re going to need,” Byres said. 

“So far, we’ve lacked the volume and type of sites needed for new housing – and that is in both existing areas where urban renewal can occur, as well as greenfield housing. 

He said securing more areas for urban renewal should be a priority, especially along transport corridors, old industrial lands and town centres. 

“We also need to make rezonings quicker, so where there are opportunities to generate new housing, they are not stuck in the system for years on end,” he said.

“NSW also needs a new planning system that replaces the current system where red tape and crazy rules act to slow or block projects.”