Sydney housing boom starting to slow - and jobs will take a hit: Chris Johnson

Sydney housing boom starting to slow - and jobs will take a hit: Chris Johnson
Sydney housing boom starting to slow - and jobs will take a hit: Chris Johnson

The recent boom in housing supply in Sydney is slowing rapidly due to excessive levies and planning changes.

The development industry is a major provider of jobs in New South Wales, providing 400,000 direct jobs as well as generating huge employment in supporting industries and services.

But a recent survey of Urban Taskforce members indicates that the number of pre-sales for apartments has slowed down and this could have major impacts on employment, particularly in Sydney.

While the property industry is a huge driver of jobs in NSW it is the residential sector that represents 70% of these jobs.

It is therefore critical to keep the supply of residential projects flowing at the levels the NSW Government has proposed.

With 325,000 new homes required over 20 years according to the Greater Sydney Commission that translates to over 37,000 new homes a year.

The peak in recent times has reached this figure but there is a worrying drop in approvals over recent months and there seems to be an even bigger drop in pre-sales of apartments.

There are a number of contributing factors to the slowing housing market.

These include confusion over possible affordable housing levies, the raising of the cap on Section 94 infrastructure levies, the increase in the stamp duty from 4 to 8% in NSW for foreign investors which has turned them away and the restrictive policies of banks in lending to purchasers and to developers.

The Urban Taskforce has produced a publication on the importance of jobs from the development industry to the NSW economy which demonstrates the extensive number of specialist jobs that are part of residential construction, including apprenticeships which provide valuable training and opportunities for young people.

We need to keep the economy performing strongly so that the jobs and the funds keep flowing to federal and state governments from GST and Stamp Duty taxes.

Chris Johnson heads the Urban Taskforce, a property development industry group, representing Australia’s most prominent property developers and equity financiers.

Employment Sydney Market

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