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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. They are 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. They reflect current trends in residential construction and approval activity. These 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. 

Upcoming developments are measured through residential development pipeline data

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

  • Cordell Projects: 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 councils, Major Projects and the Planning Panels. 

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

 

Assessment Stage
Approved
Under Construction
A development application has been submitted to the relevant consent authority
The development application has been approved by relevant consent authority, but construction is yet to commence
Construction of the development has commenced

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 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 are measured through Sydney Water connections data

Sydney Water provides private dwelling connections data monthly 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

Secondary and other Dwellings

The annual Sydney housing supply forecast does not explicitly forecast the following dwelling types: 

  • Secondary dwellings
  • Boarding houses
  • Student accommodation
  • Group homes
  • Seniors living developments including retirement villages, hostels, aged care facilities
  • Manufactured housing estates 

However, the Department is reviewing options to collate data on these forms of dwellings for general information.

 

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.
 

Page last updated: 17/05/2019