Population growth figures released by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure indicate that Sydney will need another 100,000 more new houses than previously planned for, according to Urban Taskforce.
Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson said the March 2013 Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney had predicted a population growth of only 1.3 million people over the next 20 years. However, new data indicate the growth will be 1.5 million people.
“It seems that birth rates and overseas migration are running higher than previously expected which is good news for Sydney,” he said.
“Sydney only grew at 1.1 per cent a year over the last decade compared to Melbourne’s 1.7 per cent, but it seems that we are now catching up to Melbourne’s growth rate.
“The growth is predicted to be spread across inner city and fringe areas, with the City of Sydney expecting a 58 per cent increase, Auburn 55 per cent, the Hills [District] 55 per cent, Liverpool 56 per cent and Camden a massive 155 per cent,” Mr Johnson continued.
“The biggest demographic sector to require new housing is the over 65s, with the City of Sydney expecting a 136 per cent increase, Auburn 154 per cent, the Hills 134 per cent, Liverpool 182 per cent and Camden again a massive 328 per cent.”
Mr Johnson said the boom in housing for the over 65s over the next 20 years will mean many more houses for one or two people are required.
“This will push the number of houses needed up from the 85,000 extra based on current average household size to around 100,000 extra.”
Although the major undersupply of housing for Sydney in recent years has begun to turn around, an extra 5,000 new houses a year will still be required, based on the new data. “This means that we need to be producing at least 32,500 new dwellings every year,” Mr Johnson said.
“Our concern is that the recent increase in housing approvals for Sydney has been underpinned by around 12,000 approvals from the now abandoned Part 3A [of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979] system.
“It is more important than ever that the new planning system for NSW enables the supply of new affordable housing for future generations of Sydney residents.”