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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The annual Sydney housing supply forecast does not explicitly forecast or include the following dwelling types:

  • secondary dwellings
  • boarding houses
  • student accommodation
  • group homes
  • seniors living developments, including retirement villages, hostels and aged-care facilities
  • housing for people with a disability
  • manufactured housing estates.


The department provides key data on some of these other forms of housing in recognition of their role in helping meet the needs of Sydney’s diverse and growing population.


Secondary dwellings

Secondary dwellings and dual occupancies refer to lots that have added a second dwelling. This sort of development is relevant to the overall housing supply in Sydney and is a type of housing that can increase density in established areas. Figure 17 shows the key differences between dual occupancies and secondary dwellings.


Figure 17. The difference between dual occupancies and secondary dwellings.

This is an infographic showing the differences between dual occupancies and secondary dwellings. It has an image showing two dual occupancies as two single-story attached houses, and an image of a two-story detached house next to a smaller single-story secondary dwelling. The text outlines the key differences as follows. For a dual occupancy the dwellings can be equal in size while a secondary dwelling must be smaller than the main dwelling A dual occupancy can be subdivided, or strata titled while a secondary dwelling cannot be subdivided from the land on which the primary dwelling stands.

View a larger version of the dual occupancies and secondary dwellings comparison


The main differences between the two are:

  • for a dual occupancy, the dwellings can be equal in size; for secondary dwellings, the secondary dwelling must be smaller (secondary) to the main dwelling
  • a dual occupancy can be subdivided or strata-titled and can therefore have individual owners; a secondary dwelling cannot be subdivided from the land on which the primary dwelling stands.


Although the department's forecasting methodology does not cover secondary dwellings, it may cover dual occupancies both in the development pipeline (as development consents) and in completed new homes (as separate water connections with Sydney Water, our proxy for dwelling completions).


Total approvals secondary dwellings 2006–07 to 2017–18

The best source of information on secondary dwellings is the Local Performance Development Monitor.


The department has collected approvals data by local government area (LGA) for 2006–07 to 2018–19 from the Local Performance Development Monitor for dual occupancies and secondary dwellings. Approvals include development applications and complying development certificates (Note: we have not included LGAs with fewer than 100 approvals over the period). To improve the accuracy of this information and align with existing published data, we have refined our data processing and reporting method from our 2019 release. Due to this refinement, some LGAs have experienced changes to their overall count of approvals.


The chart in Figure 18 shows the total number of approvals by new LGA boundaries from 2006–07 to 2018–19.


Figure 18. Number of secondary dwellings approvals by new LGA boundaries for 2006-07 to 2018–19.

Key points

  • The pipeline of other forms of housing includes seniors housing, group homes, housing for people with a disability and boarding houses (which include student accommodation).
  • Although all these projects may not be built, this pipeline provides a sense of the development that will service housing needs outside traditional housing markets (for example, private rental and ownership of units and houses).
  • The information is aggregated for Greater Sydney and looks at additional beds, bedrooms and units as reported by a project’s planning documents.
  • These other housing types may be a notable form of potential supply for some LGAs.


We compiled a pipeline of other forms of housing, excluding secondary dwellings and manufactured home estates, using CoreLogic's Cordell Connect Australia Project database. The pipeline refers to:

  • development applications lodged for assessment with a consent authority
  • development applications approved but not yet commenced
  • developments under construction.


The purpose was to identify and track the scope and breadth of ‘other dwelling’ developments that will contribute to the diversity of Sydney’s future housing supply. As at February 2020, based on planning information (projects in the system) there was potential across Sydney for:


industrial development icon5,490 units within 136 developments

industrial highlights icon13,780 bedrooms within 451 developments

zoned employment land icon5,010 beds within 37 developments


Note that we have rounded totals to the nearest 10.


Note: you cannot directly compare the two products because the Sydney housing supply forecast counts dwellings and the other forms of housing pipeline counts bedrooms/units/beds.


2020 other dwellings pipeline by type

The chart in Figure 19 shows the ‘other dwellings’ pipeline broken down to sub-categories of units, bedrooms and beds. We have also broken down each LGA to show how many of each accommodation type are in the pipeline for the LGA.


Figure 19. 'Other dwellings' pipeline by type

  Bedrooms Beds Units
Sydney 1,489 861 227
Canterbury-Bankstown 1,145 283 337
Randwick 1,151 398 124
Inner West 1,235 42 160
Northern Beaches 756 366 315
Bayside 1,140 172 23
Blacktown 505 525 301
Hornsby 89 375 709
Parramatta 514 346 236
Penrith 541 108 349
Cumberland 906 0 90
Ryde 494 396 36
Ku-Ring-Gai 239 220 358
The Hills 233 0 520
Burwood 626 115 0
Fairfield 207 279 170
Camden 92 0 553
Georges River 375 219 47
Sutherland 310 48 265
Strathfield 520 0 0
Campbelltown 261 144 34
Liverpool 239 0 149
Waverley 178 0 123
Canada Bay 210 0 79
Lane Cove 113 70 90
Hawkesbury 40 0 143
Woollahra 52 0 45
Willoughby 45 40 0
North Sydney 52 0 0
Blue Mountains 14 0 0
Wollondilly 5 0 0
Mosman 0 0 5

Factors that drive demand for other forms of housing in an LGA include:

  • proximity to universities and other higher education institutions
  • proximity to large employers, such as hospitals
  • an older population and existing facilities for seniors
  • comparatively high costs and lower availability of the traditional private rental market.


Generally, independent seniors housing is reported as the number of units, boarding houses (including student accommodation) as the number of bedrooms and beds and aged-care facilities as the number of beds.

Page last updated: 08/02/2021