Sydney's record home completions is good news: Chris Johnson

Sydney's record home completions is good news: Chris Johnson
Sydney's record home completions is good news: Chris Johnson


The record number of completions of 40,009 new homes in the year to February 2018 is good news for housing supply with strong population growth.

The 40,009 housing completions are above the required 20 year average of 36,250 per year which is good news.

The approvals for these homes came a few years ago at the peak of the housing boom and it is good to see that the combination of government policies and the hard work of the development industry is paying off.

The big change from earlier years on housing production has been the rise in the proportion of new homes that are apartments which are close to 70% of the total.

A decade ago detached houses and apartments were approved at similar numbers but now apartments and multi-unit dwellings are in the majority.

Changes to the planning system have also helped with the establishment of planning panels for large projects and the increase in complying development approval streams.

Most apartment projects are larger scale projects so the role of planning panels in assessing these will continue to be important.

While the housing completions have reached record levels the approvals are dropping.

In February 2017 there were 58,774 approvals compared to the 51,994 housing approvals in February 2018. This is an 11.5% drop and it appears that this will go down further.

Clearly the housing development industry will go through peaks and troughs but it is important that government policies continue to support both strong approvals and strong completions and do not add additional cost to development or add red tape.

The Urban Taskforce is keen to work with the NSW Government to ensure a consistent flow of new homes for Sydney.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the Urban Taskforce CEO.

Chris Johnson Housing Completions

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