New South Wales housing approvals falling: Chris Johnson

New South Wales housing approvals falling: Chris Johnson
New South Wales housing approvals falling: Chris Johnson

EXPERT OBSERVATION

The ABS data for June 2019 shows a continuing drop in housing approval numbers across New South Wales.

Apartment approvals in the year to June 2019 were 2,435 compared to a year ago when they were 3,082 in June 2018. This represents a drop of 21 percent. The high point two years ago in June 2017 had apartment approvals at 3,604 over the year. Clearly the apartment approvals are slowing down in response to a more difficult market with tighter credit restrictions.

The ABS data indicates that house approvals, trend, in NSW are falling at a similar rate to apartments. The June 2019 figures have 4,393 house approvals year to date compared to 5,589 only a year ago in June 2018. This represents a drop of 22 percent over the year.

Overall dwelling approvals in New South Wales, trend, dropped by 21.4 percent over the last year. Our worry is that there does not appear to be any signals that the falling approvals will stop in the near future.

The Urban Taskforce is concerned that the significant fall in dwelling approvals in NSW will go down further without some strong signals from the NSW Government that housing growth is needed.

The recent decision by the Independent Planning Commission to reject Lane Cove Council’s proposal for urban infill development next to St Leonards Station by preferring to retain the existing character of detached houses has sent a negative message to the development industry.

It is important that the government send out signals that they support housing growth in urban areas so that housing supply and the jobs that comes with this continues.

Our concern is that the supply chain is slowing down too quickly and the result of this will be a low housing construction period in the years ahead.

The NSW Government must take action now to reverse the declining approvals or they will be facing low housing production, a loss of jobs and escalating house prices in the months before the next state election.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the Urban Taskforce CEO

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NSW Urban Taskforce

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