BIS now forecasts no Melbourne apartment oversupply

BIS now forecasts no Melbourne apartment oversupply
BIS now forecasts no Melbourne apartment oversupply

BIS Oxford Economics has reversed its forecast that Melbourne will suffer a surplus of apartments.

Faster-than-expected population growth now meant the city would be in balance or potentially face an undersupply as recent census figures showed the state had 109,000 more people than previously expected.

"If you translate that into households, it's close to 35,000 extra households in Melbourne," BIS managing director Robert Mellor told The Australian Financial Review.  

"We thought it would get to a 20,000 excess [of apartments] in Victoria by 2018. We're now saying in 2018 the market has still got an undersupply of about 2000 dwellings. We're talking a 20,000 turnaround."

The findings reflect other census figures showing the proportion of students rose to 27 per cent of demand for inner city apartments in 2016, up from 20 per cent five years earlier, Mr Mellor said.

BIS forecasts apartment commencements in Victoria have shrunk from its 2015 peak of nearly 19,800 to a likely 2021 trough of 7200. 

"It'll start picking up more significantly from 2021-22 and beyond," Mr Mellor said.

"At this stage, we're not predicting the next boom will be as big as the current boom."

BIS says Sydney and Brisbane will also suffer a decline in new housing starts, but that Sydney's reduction would be less severe in relative terms and Brisbane was already in a position of oversupply that would take some years to absorb. 

New high-rise housing starts in NSW were likely to near-halve from its estimated 2017 peak of nearly 32,000 to just over 16,000 in 2020.

Queensland would see commencements drop by more than two-thirds from more than 15,000 in 2016 to just over 4,000 by 2020, BIS forecasts.

The lack of new supply down the track would push rents higher and provide more of an incentive for institutional investors to back the built-to-rent sector, Mr Mellor said.

BIS Oxford Economics had warned of a 15,000-apartment glut in the Victorian capital two and a half years ago.

It repeated the warning last year.

Melbourne Property Apartment Supply

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