NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Housing supply

Housing supply refers to the amount, location and timing of new housing delivery across NSW. This page lists several key resources that can be used as indicators for understanding where and how much new housing has been and is likely to be built.

The NSW Housing Strategy highlights supply as one of the 4 pillars of the housing system. The strategy sets a vision for housing supply delivered in the right location at the right time.

Housing datasets

NSW housing approvals and completions dataset

This dataset is the best available NSW government information on where, when and how many new homes are likely to be built in Greater Sydney across three scenarios in the next five years.

Applicable areas

Greater Sydney: Yes | Regional NSW: Partial

   
Data visualisation infographic Use the Metropolitan Housing Monitor tool.
Geography infographic

This dataset covers:

  • NSW total
  • LGA for Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Illawarra–Shoalhaven regions and Greater Newcastle area
  • Greater Sydney region districts
Time period infographic
  • Approvals from: 1991
  • Approvals to: Ongoing 
  • Approvals frequency: Monthly
  • Completions from:
    • 1984 (NSW total)
    • 1948 (Greater Sydney Region)
    • 2012 (Central Coast and Illawarra-Shoalhaven Region)
    • 2013 (Greater Newcastle Area)
  • Completions to: Ongoing 
  • Completions frequency:
    • Quarterly (Greater Sydney, Central Coast, and Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regions)
    • Financial Year (Greater Newcastle Area)
Key terms

Dwelling approvals: a residential development that has received the final approval to construct; this includes but is not limited to Construction and Complying Development certificates.

Gross dwelling completions: the difference between the number of completed dwellings compared to the existing stock, not adjusting for demolitions.

Greater Sydney: the Sydney Statistical Division (this excludes the Central Coast and Wollongong local government areas).

Greater Sydney Districts: five key planning areas of Greater Sydney, defined by the Greater Sydney Commission.

Greater Newcastle: Cessnock, Maitland, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens local government areas.

Illawarra-Shoalhaven Region: Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven and Wollongong local government areas.

Net dwelling completions: the difference between the number of completed dwellings compared to the existing stock, adjusted for demolitions

Usage notes
  • Dwelling approvals are not necessarily a reflection of future dwelling completions as the approved projects may not proceed to construction.
  • Dwelling approvals are based on ABS data on complying development certificates and construction certificates – which is the last major planning approval a project requires before it can be built.
  • These figures primarily capture private dwellings. Other forms of housing, including secondary dwellings, boarding houses and seniors housing, are inconsistently identified.
  • In Greater Sydney, completions for years 2017-18 to 2018-19 represent record highs. They are not necessarily a reflection of usual house building activity.
  • While dwelling completions are available for Sydney by financial year from 1948, spatial detail and a breakdown by dwelling type is only available from 1998. Quarterly data is only available from the September 2012 quarter.
  • Data completeness may be lower in fringe areas of Greater Sydney where some dwellings are not serviced and billed by Sydney Water.
  • NSW completions are a measured on a gross basis. Comparison with net completion figures is not recommended
Source

Dwelling Approvals: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Dwelling completions:

  • Building Activity Survey, ABS (NSW total)
  • Private dwelling connections from Sydney Water and Hunter Water Corporation (Greater Sydney Region, Illawarra and Greater Newcastle Area)
  • Modelled completions based on construction and complying development certificates from Central Coast Council (Central Coast Region)
  • Occupation certificates from Shoalhaven Council
Last updated This information was last updated in April 2021.
Sydney housing supply forecast dataset

This dataset is the best available NSW government information on where, when and how many new homes are likely to be built in Greater Sydney across three scenarios in the next five years.

Applicable areas

Greater Sydney: Yes | Regional NSW: No

   
Data downloads infographic Access the Sydney housing supply forecast data.
Data visualisation infographic Use the Sydney housing supply forecast data.
Geography infographic

This forecast data covers:

  • Greater Sydney
  • Greater Sydney Districts, Local Government Area and Suburb
Time period infographic
  • Forecast increment: Annually
  • Forecast period: 20 years
  • Forecast coverage: 2020 to 2040
Key terms

Forecast: an estimate of the number of new houses or dwellings that are likely to be built in the future.

Greater Sydney: the Sydney Statistical Division (this excludes the Central Coast and Wollongong local government areas).

Greater Sydney Districts: five key planning areas of Greater Sydney, defined by the Greater Sydney Commission.

Zoning and planning controls: legislative framework for regulating land use and development, including the location, density, height and type of new residential development.

Usage notes
  • The forecast is an estimate of the number of new dwellings that could be built under current zoning and planning controls, current programs and initiatives and particular market conditions. It reflects current trends in residential construction and approval activity.
  • The central base case scenario represents the most likely outcome based on market conditions and demand factors at the time of preparing the forecast in October 2020. The high growth and low growth scenarios explore the impacts of varying market conditions. See the detailed description of the methodology for the scenarios.
  • The forecast is not an indicator of housing demand.
  • The 2020 forecast differs from previous forecasts because it was released as three scenarios and down to a suburb level.
  • A key assumption for the 2020 forecast is that although population growth may slow in the short term, underlying demand for and market take-up of housing in Greater Sydney will continue.
  • The Sydney housing supply forecast applies generally to private dwellings that are detached houses, medium-density development (townhouses, terraces and villas) and apartments. It does not explicitly forecast, or include in the forecast, the following dwelling types: secondary dwellings, boarding houses, student accommodation, group homes, seniors living developments (including retirement villages, hostels and aged care facilities), and manufactured housing estates.
Source NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Last updated This information was last updated in April 2021.
Sydney greenfield monitor dataset

The dataset tracks dwelling potential, the number of lots sold and available, and the number of completed dwellings in released and rezoned State-led greenfield development precincts across Sydney.

Applicable areas

Greater Sydney: Yes | Regional NSW: No

   
Data visualisation infographic Use the Sydney Greenfield Monitor interactive report.
Geography infographic

This dataset covers:

  • Greater Sydney – State-led released and rezoned greenfield development precincts (North West and South West Growth Areas)
Time period infographic
  • From: 2016
  • To: Ongoing
Key terms

Dwelling potential: the announced number of new homes that could be built within all the released and rezoned precincts. This figure is a gross estimate and may vary over time as precinct planning is undertaken. Historical dwelling completions are excluded from this figure.

Greenfield: ‘raw’ land that is not used (or initially zoned) for urban purposes but identified for future urban development.

Greenfield development: the delivery of new housing in greenfield land.

State-led released and rezoned greenfield development areas: precincts of greenfield land in the North West Growth Area and South West Growth Area.

Usage notes
  • Sales volumes are based on Gross Sales minus Cancellations in a period. This can be negative if Cancellations are greater than Gross Sales.
  • Lots sales data may not cover the entirety of a greenfield precinct. The data comes from specific development estates owned by separate development organisations. These estates do not always align with the boundaries of each greenfield precinct. Some housing development inside the precincts will not be captured, while some additional development outside of the precincts will be.
Source

Dwellings completions: Sydney Water Corporation.

Lots sold and available: Research4 and Charter Keck Cramer.

Dwelling potential: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Last updated This information was last updated in April 2021.
Urban Development Program Dashboard

The NSW Government monitors housing and employment land supply and assists with infrastructure coordination through its Urban Development Program (UDP).

The Urban Development Program aims to provide a direct link to the best available information on housing, jobs and infrastructure, specific to each region.

Currently there are Urban Development Programs for the Greater Sydney, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Greater Newcastle regions.

Each Urban Development Program has been developed in consultation with local Councils, State Government, industry, and infrastructure service providers. They make government datasets available to industry and councils, assisting in longer-term strategic planning and investment decision making.

A central component of the Greater Sydney and Illawarra-Shoalhaven Urban Development Programs is an online dashboard that centralises housing, infrastructure and other data.

Applicable areas

Greater Sydney: Yes | Regional NSW: Partial, covering Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Greater Newcastle regions.

   
Data downloads infographic Access the Urban Development Program dashboard.
Data visualisation infographic

Visit available dashboards:

Geography infographic

This dashboard covers:

  • Greater Metropolitan Sydney Local Government Areas
  • Illawarra-Shoalhaven Region Local Government Areas
  • Greater Newcastle Region Local Government Areas

See usage notes for a complete list of LGAs comprising each area.

Time period infographic

Illawarra Shoalhaven

  • Approvals from: 1998-99
  • Approvals to: Ongoing 
  • Approvals frequency: Financial Year
  • Completions from:
    • 1998-99 (Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong LGAs)
    • 2014-15 (Shoalhaven LGA)
  • Completions to: Ongoing
  • Completions frequency: Financial Year

Newcastle

  • Approvals from: 2007-08
  • Approvals to: 2018-19
  • Approvals frequency: Financial Year
  • Completions from: 2014-14
  • Completions to: 2018-19
  • Completions frequency: Financial Year

Greater Metropolitan Sydney

  • Approvals from:1991-92
  • Approvals to:Ongoing
  • Approvals frequency: Financial Year
  • Completions from:1998-99
  • Completions to: Ongoing
  • Completions frequency: Financial Year
Key terms

Greenfield forecast: an estimate of the number of new houses or dwellings that are likely to be built in the future. It is produced by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and is based on data provided by developers of greenfield sites.

Dwelling approvals: refers to a residential development that has received the final approval to construct. For NSW, this means a dwelling has obtained a Construction Certificate (CC) or Complying Development Certificate (CDC).

Dwelling completions: measured on a net basis, it is the difference between the number of completed dwellings compared to the existing stock, adjusted for demolitions.

Dwellings: defined by the ABS as a “self-contained suite of rooms, including cooking and bathing facilities, intended for long-term residential use”. This excludes rooms within buildings offering institution care (e.g. hospitals) or temporary accommodation (e.g. motels, hostels and holiday apartments).

Density: this report aggregates dwellings by density, defined as:

  • Low density: houses (includes separate, kit and transportable houses).
  • Medium density: semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses, as well as flats, units, or apartments in four or more storey blocks.
  • High density: flats units or apartment in four or more storey blocks.
  • Other: alterations and additions, conversions and other dwellings not elsewhere classified (e.g. shop top housing).
  • Note: when comparing Approvals with Completions data, houses are classified as detached and all other dwellings as multi-unit.

Greenfield: ‘raw’ land that is not used (or initially zoned) for urban purposes but identified for future urban development.

Greenfield development: the delivery of new housing in greenfield land.

Release areas: greenfield development sites released for residential development

Infill: Land previously used for urban purposes including residential, industrial, open space or business uses.

Infill development: refers to the development, intensification or re‑use of land for residential purposes.

Rental vacancy rate: the number of vacant rental properties divided by the total number of rental properties expressed as a percentage.

Usage notes
  • The forecast is an estimate of the number of new dwellings and is based on data provided by developers of greenfield sites.
  • Dwelling approvals are not necessarily a reflection of future dwelling completions as the approved projects may not proceed to construction.
  • Dwelling approvals are based on ABS data on complying development certificates and construction certificates – which is the last major planning approval a project requires before it can be built.
  • These figures primarily capture private dwellings. Other forms of housing, including secondary dwellings, boarding houses and seniors housing, are inconsistently identified
  • The Greater Metropolitan Sydney area is comprised of the following 33 LGAs: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury‑Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, The Hills Shire, Waverley, Willoughby, Woollahra, Blue Mountains and Wollondilly.
  • The Greater Newcastle region is comprised of the following 5 LGAs: Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens.
  • The Illawarra-Shoalhaven region is comprised of the following 4 LGAs: Kiama, Shoalhaven, Shellharbour and Wollongong.
Source

Dwelling approvals: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Dwelling completions: 

  • Private dwelling connections from Sydney Water (Greater Metropolitan Sydney’s 33 LGAs plus the 3 Illawarra-Shoalhaven region LGAs of Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong of the)
  • Occupation certificates from Shoalhaven Council
  • Private dwelling connections from Hunter Water (for the 5 LGAs of the Greater Newcastle region)

Greenfield forecast: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and is based on data provided by developers of greenfield sites.

Population: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Population projections: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Market Trends: includes rental vacancy rate, median sales price (and change), median asking rent (and change). This information is sourced and then aggregated to a district level. Please contact CoreLogic and SQM for raw data.

Last updated
  • Greater Sydney, September 2021
  • Illawarra-Shoalhaven, April 2021
  • Newcastle, February 2020
 

Related resources

Housing pillars

The department acknowledges that the supply of housing is fundamentally linked to the other key pillars of housing; diversity, affordability and resilience. It should be considered alongside these areas of information.

Population dynamics

When planning for the supply of new housing, it is important to understand the demand for housing. Population dynamics are an important factor that shapes demand for housing. Even when there is no population growth, changes in household composition may influence housing needs. Current and future measures of population and living arrangements are good starting indicators for future housing demand.

Population projections: See the department's population, household and implied dwelling demand projections for NSW. They paint a picture of NSW's future population and associated demand for housing and how it is expected to change through to 2041. The data is available at local government area level.

Current population numbers: The Australian Bureau of Statistics annually publishes an estimated resident population. It provides the best estimate of an area's current population.

Page last updated: 16/11/2022