Property Council cautious of the decline in housing approval rates

The Property Council of Australia has expressed their concern over recent data showcasing a decline in housing approval rates in New South Wales which is impacting the costly housing market.

NSW Property Council Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said the recent figures released by the ABS were a worrying sign of the New South Wales property market.

“Since the unwinding of stimulus measures and the return of lockdowns across parts of New South Wales and Victoria, approvals for private houses have fallen 24.4 per cent from the record high in April,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“In the year to March 2021, New South Wales delivered 29,500 new homes, well short of the 42,000 outlined by the Greater Sydney Commission as the delivery needs of the population.

“In New South Wales, the number of dwelling approvals plummeted by 9.9 percent in New South Wales, in contrast, dwelling approvals rose in Queensland (9.0 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms.

“A reduction of nearly 10 percent in dwelling approvals in New South Wales is a concern when we are already not meeting housing targets across the state, and have a 50,000 dwelling shortfall to make up from previous years.

“Undersupply of housing affects all of us, but in particular those looking to enter the increasing costly housing market. The people of New South Wales deserve the option to live in a house of their choosing – the right location, the right size, and importantly one that is affordable.

“Across Australia, value of total residential building fell 6.6 per cent, comprising a 7.6 per cent fall in new residential building and a 0.1 per cent rise in residential alterations and additions.

“The delay in obtaining approvals is adding significantly to the cost of housing – holding costs for property are high and greatly increase risk and deter investment.”

Mr Achterstraat said Queensland was assessing and approving dwellings faster than New South Wales and the statistics highlight the need for improved and faster planning pathways for New South Wales to attract investment.

“The New South Wales planning system needs ensure the cumulative impact of planning reforms result in the approvals becoming faster, more efficient and less complicated,” he said.

“New South Wales has the least performing planning system in the country and processes development applications are slower than the rest of the country.

“The failure to meet demand for new housing is driving up prices and the everyday Australians are suffering the consequences. Without addressing supply, we have a multi generational issue that will price aspiring home owners out of the market, and potentially lose talent to other states with more affordable housing markets.

“One way we can counteract this is for the New South Wales Government to incentivise councils to approve more housing in a faster manner. We support Councils across the State who see the potential and value in producing more housing – who want to make sure there are housing options for people who want to see their children and grandchildren live close by.”

Media contact: Aidan Green | M 0491 030 028 | E [email protected]