Housing report

New housing report analysis calls for increased supply amid growing Hunter population

Jul 25, 2022Property Council of Australia

A recent report from the Property Council of Australia and Gyde consulting showed an increase in population growth in the Hunter region, sparking a call for more housing to meet demand.

The Property Council’s Hunter Regional Director, Anita Hugo, said population growth over the past five years in the Hunter had exceeded the numbers projected in the 2019 projections.

“Significant growth is likely to put pressure on housing demand and the current supply of housing,” Ms. Hugo said.

“As the Hunter looks set to meet its housing targets through 2041, we must be careful not to become complacent in light of the population growing more than expected.

“The Hunter is facing significant stress in the housing and rental market, an agile approach to housing that takes a strategic look at the diversity of housing in LGAs as well as serviced land will be key to mitigating this issue at the future.

“Deliberate planning that applies goals and encourages the scalable supply of new housing based on functionality will be essential. Improved data metrics will help determine the strategic alignment of growth currently occurring in the wider region.

The regional housing analysis for the Hunter concluded:

The Hunter has experienced population growth over the past five years beyond what was projected by the DPE in 2019. This increased level of population growth is likely to increase demand for housing in these LGAs, putting pressure on existing trends in terms of supply and delivery.

The DPE has identified that the Hunter requires 84,700 homes from 2016 to 2041 requiring the delivery of approximately 3,380 homes per year. Detached dwellings dominated delivery, however, in 2019-20 more multi-unit dwellings were completed than single-detached dwellings for the first time in the LGA.

Since 2012, approvals in the area have increased, single-detached home completions are still dominant, with multi-unit home completions appearing to be more subject to the ups and downs of the housing market.

The location of housing approvals from 2019 to 2021 indicates that a combination of new development and infill will be realized over the next few years.

This represents some diversity in location, as well as different housing types. Metrics for measuring housing diversity and location in the Hunter, however, need to be improved to ensure adequate supply and delivery of suitable housing for different stages of life.

The Hunter is on track to provide enough housing to meet projected demand through 2041. Extrapolation of current completions and trends suggest a continued and growing surplus through 2041. However, projected demand for 2041 is based on lower population growth than what is happening now. in some parts of the Hunter.

The strategic planning guiding the region will need to be more agile to adapt to the likely increase in demand generated by this population growth. The majority of LGAs in Greater Newcastle are on track to provide enough housing to meet the expected demand in their area.

However, some LGAs need to increase housing supply and delivery to ensure enough housing is provided to their population, particularly given the increased population growth occurring in much of Greater Newcastle.

Understanding the individual circumstances of each LGA will be key to ensuring a strong housing delivery, as will a strategic assessment of “market ready/developed” greenfield land.

Overall, the Hunter is doing well, however, with altered demand resulting from unexpected population growth, the region must respond and maintain a housing supply capable of meeting this demand.

An agile approach to housing will be essential to ensure that increased/decreased demand can be met across the region, particularly given the unforeseen population growth currently occurring which is likely to impact the market in several years.

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