Halting Sydney’s housing supply will push up house prices

The extraordinary decision by NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts to stop the supply of housing in Ryde and Canterbury-Bankstown less than two months after comprehensive plans were released demonstrating Sydney’s critical housing need will keep housing out of reach for the next generation of home owners.

“Sydney-siders are struggling to buy unaffordable homes and we know that increasing supply is the key to addressing that problem,” Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said.

“This announcement is about politics not policy and ultimately it will be future home buyers who pay.

“NSW Premier Berejiklian’s top priority was to make housing more affordable but this announcement is more aligned with the ‘Sydney’s full’ rhetoric of the early 2000s which all but stopped a reasonable level housing supply for a decade and directly contributed to the problems we now face.

“The key to putting the right number of dwellings in the right places is good planning; the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) delivered its Metropolitan and District Plans at the same time as aligned transport and infrastructure plans; these plans now need to be incorporated at the local level.

“Raising the white flag now is not the answer. We can’t put housing supply on hold while Councils incorporate the new plans. If we do, we will just get further behind and house prices will inevitably go up.

“The GSC says we need 725,000 more homes by 2036; these homes should be connected to local infrastructure, jobs and transport. The government’s focus should now be on delivering the infrastructure that is needed to support the new housing and doing all it can to attract the investment that will help make this a reality.

“To pretend the infrastructure deficit has arrived in the past two months since the GSC delivered its plans is a sham. A better approach would be to prioritise new infrastructure investment to where it’s needed and alleviate the pressure on these communities.

Ms Fitzgerald said abandoning the medium density “missing middle” housing code only weeks after it was released was a terrible outcome.

“Sensible reforms such as the medium density housing code will deliver more homes whilst still maintaining the existing local character of suburbs; it is an approach that will make homes more affordable while still providing Councils with the power to make planning decisions.”

Source: Property Council of Australia