Think HBR

Hunter’s housing deficit to rise by 30,000

The Lower Hunter needs to accelerate housing supply or risk a widening deficit of over 30,000 homes within a decade, according to new figures released by the Property Council of Australia.
Missing The Mark – An Audit of Housing Targets is the most comprehensive research published on the Lower Hunter’s housing supply since 2005 and shows that by 2024, the number of homes needed will have fallen short by almost 30,000.
"We need to turbocharge housing supply because right now homebuyers and our economy are paying the price," Hunter Regional Director Andrew Fletcher said.
"Home building is critical to the region’s economy – and supports tens of thousands of tradespeople and other workers.
"If we fail to meet demand, prices rise and housing becomes less affordable for the next generation of homebuyers."
"So far, we’ve lacked the volume and type of housing needed to keep pace with population growth – that shows we need to overhaul the approvals process to provide additional supply."
"And NSW needs a planning system which is simpler, easier and more efficient"
• In the first decade since housing targets were set for the Lower Hunter, we have come up over 23,000 homes short – or 51%
• Annual approvals over the past decade averaged 2,270 – against a target of 4,600
• Population projections show the Lower Hunter will need to produce 2,944 homes each year – but based on current rate of approvals, the annual shortfall is 673, or 6730 over the decade
• The combination of under-performance in the first decade and projected shortfall in the coming decade means the Lower Hunter will be 29,430 homes by 2024.
"A big priority needs to be giving certainty to infrastructure provision and how developer contributions are charged."
"Without that certainty, potential investors will continue to be reluctant to undertake greenfield residential development."
"That certainty and investor confidence can be delivered by fasttracking the Hunter Growth & Infrastructure Plan."
Mr Fletcher said the certainty provided by the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy (NURS) and the attached infrastructure funding was a prime example of how to unleash investment in new housing.
"Since the NURS was released in December 2012, development projects worth $1.05 billion have commenced or received approval and the Newcastle city centre is on-track to accommodate 6,000 new residents within 20 years."
"The same model of strategic policy settings and fully funded infrastructure projects should now be applied to the wider region to get greenfield residential developments moving."