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More support required for Sydney apartment development

On Feb 27 2014
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Support for dwelling diversity needs to be supported in order to help house the people heading into ...

Support for dwelling diversity needs to be supported in order to help house the people heading into Sydney, with the latest release from the Urban Taskforce highlighting that while three quarters of high level housing approvals are for apartments, delays for planning Urban Activation Precincts could be detrimental to supply. 

Providing enough accommodation for the impending population growth expected in  New South Wales capital over the next few years means being able to streamline these approval processes and ensure people can secure their own property easily. 

Urban Taskforce Chief Executive Officer Chris Johnson said the approval figures for December indicated that 76 per cent were for multi-unit apartments, with this trend continuing into the new year and expected to last into the future. 

Furthermore, for the final three months of 2013, apartments were responsible for 73.2 per cent of all housing approvals and 71.1 per cent of all housing completions. These figures highlight the overall preference towards smaller, higher density properties for major metropolitan areas like Sydney's central business district.

"Clearly Sydney is swinging towards more urban apartments generally in inner city areas. We are concerned however that a number of the government's Urban Activation Precincts (UAPs) are on hold as is the proposed new planning act and these delays will reduce the supply of appropriate land for apartments," said Mr Johnson in a February 24 statement. 

"With interest rates at a low level and an increasing number of investors and owner occupiers interested, they​ are becoming very attractive projects. There is also a clear swing towards more urban living with its greater variety of amenities by a number of demographic groups." 

Mr Johnson went on to say it was important for the planning system in the city to reflect the desires of people's living preferences, with zoning plans and permits helping to support this growth. The local government areas (LGA) with the most apartment approvals during December were Parramatta (463), Waverly (367) and Canterbury (316). Furthermore, the highest number of apartment completions were in Botany Bay (368) and Willoughby (295). 

"While the majority of approvals are for urban apartments, the Urban Taskforce fully supports a diversity of dwelling types including detached houses in Sydney's growth areas. We need many types of housing to suit our diverse and cosmopolitan community," said Mr Johnson. 

These results highlight the need for a more streamlined and diverse planning system across the New South Wales capital, in order to facilitate the accommodation needs and desires of those living in the area. 

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