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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Why the housing supply forecast is prepared

The Sydney Housing Supply Forecast provides an estimate of future housing supply that will be built over the next five years. It is prepared by the Department to inform infrastructure planning and service delivery, as well as to inform decisions on future land use zoning.


The forecast is an estimate of the number of new dwellings that could be built if current zoning and planning controls remain the same. It reflects current trends in residential construction and approval activity. These trends could potentially change in the future as housing development is influenced by a wide variety of economic, social and other factors, many of which can't be foreseen.


The Department also publishes an estimate of the Implied Dwelling Requirements which is a measure of likely housing demand based on projected population growth and household formation.


Data inputs to the forecast

The forecast is based on currently zoned and publicly announced supply. It reflects current trends in residential construction and approval activity and counts expected dwelling completions.


Upcoming developments

Upcoming developments are measured through residential development pipeline data.


The residential development pipeline is measured by collecting data from several sources:

  • CoreLogic’s Cordell Connect AUS Projects database: monitors current and future construction projects from pre-approval to completion. The Department collects, geocodes and verifies the data annually.
  • Nearmap: is used to identify the construction status of a project. Nearmap gives near real-time aerial photography. 
  • Development application tracking through consent authority websites: these include local council development application trackers, Major Projects Assessments website and the Sydney and Local Planning Panels. 

Current residential developments identified in the development pipeline are classified within one of the following stages:



The residential pipeline contributes significantly to the five year forecast. The assumed forecast year is based on size/cost of proposed development, and development and approvals stage.


Dwelling potential

Dwelling potential in urban areas is measured through the Department’s Urban Feasibility Model. 


The Department uses the Urban Feasibility Model (UFM) to measure housing potential. The model is based on current zoning and planning controls, and cadastre and existing dwellings data within a residential area. The database is updated annually to ensure it is current for each forecasting year. Development feasibility is not used as a forecasting input.


Historic net dwelling completions

Historic new dwelling completions are measured through Sydney Water connections data.


Sydney Water provides private dwelling connections data regularly to the Department. It is geocoded to identify the location and size of each new residential connection. The data is used as a proxy for net additional dwelling completions.


Completions data gives a clear indication of past levels of development. The dataset dates to 1998.


Forecast methodology

The forecast methodology applied depends upon the prevailing development type and geography highlighting the nuanced approach built into the forecasting process.


Stakeholder input is crucial to forecasting involving lengthy consultation with local councils, State Government agencies and industry.


What the forecast does – and does not – cover

Private dwellings

The annual Sydney housing supply forecast applies generally to private dwellings in the form of detached houses, medium density development (townhouses, terraces, villas) and apartments.

Policy Changes and Rezoning

The annual Sydney housing supply forecast considers new State or council initiated rezonings; and precinct planning and major developments led by the State Government where commitments to rezoning and development are in place.

It does not consider the following:

  • outcomes that may result from future changes to government policy
  • possible future rezoning such as proponent-led planning proposals and gateway determinations
  • state or council strategies where planning and delivery timeframes have not been determined


Geographic areas covered

The forecasts cover all 33 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Greater Sydney, including those new councils proclaimed on 12 May 2016 and 9 September 2016.


Greater Sydney includes the following:

Bayside, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, 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, Sydney, The Hills, Waverley, Willoughby, Wollondilly, Woollahra.


Glossary of terms

  • Approved: this refers to development approval, where a project has been granted permission by a consent authority to commence development.
  • Commencement: a residential building is commenced when the first physical building activity has been performed on the site in the form of materials fixed in place and / or labour expended.
  • Completion: a residential building is completed when building activity has progressed to the stage where the building can be occupied.
  • Forecast: estimate of the number of new houses or dwellings that are likely to be built in the future.
  • Greater Sydney: The Sydney Statistical Division not including Central Coast LGA.
  • Greenfield growth areas: greenfield land is ‘raw’ land that is not used (or initially zoned) for urban purposes but identified for future urban development. They tend to be located on the periphery of Sydney’s urban area.
  • Housing demand: the need for housing based on the number of households in the population and their willingness / ability to buy or rent in the housing market
  • Housing supply: is the delivery of housing to completion, ready for occupation.
  • Infill urban areas: Residential development occurring in residential suburbs within the existing urban area.
  • Under construction: a residential building which has commenced construction but has not yet been completed to a stage that allows occupation.
  • Urban renewal: is the transformation of existing underutilised, brownfield or low density urban areas to accommodate higher density and often mixed used developments.
  • Zoning and planning controls: legislative framework for regulating land use and development, including the location, density, height, and type of new residential development.



While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that these forecasts are correct at the time of release, the State of New South Wales, its agents and employees, disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of anything or the consequence of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance upon the whole or any part of these projections.

Page last updated: 23/01/2020