A NSW Government website

Other forms of housing

Our housing supply forecast for Sydney does not explicitly forecast or include the following housing 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.

These other housing types may contribute a considerable proportion of potential housing supply in some local government areas.

How we track other types of dwellings

We compiled a pipeline of other forms of housing, excluding secondary dwellings and manufactured home estates.

The pipeline refers to:

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

The information is aggregated for Greater Sydney and looks at additional beds, bedrooms and units as reported by a project’s planning documents.

While some projects may not be built, the pipeline gives a sense of the development that will service the full scope of housing needs. 

The purpose was to identify and track the scope and breadth of ‘other dwelling’ developments.

As of June 2022 and based on planning information (projects in the system), there was potential across Sydney for:

  • 5,800 units within 160 developments
  • 22,300 bedrooms within 574 developments
  • 4,800 beds within 50 developments.

Totals are rounded to the nearest 10.

The ‘other forms of housing’ pipeline and the annual Sydney housing supply forecast cannot be compared directly because the Sydney housing supply forecast counts dwellings, whereas the ‘other forms of housing’ pipeline counts units, bedrooms and beds. 

Factors that drive demand for other forms of housing in a local government area 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.

How many other dwellings we have tracked

This chart and data show the ‘other dwellings’ pipeline broken down to subcategories of units, bedrooms and beds.

Each local government area is broken down to show how many of each accommodation type are within the pipeline.

Other dwellings pipeline data table
Northern Beaches904273437
Inner West1,0119573
The Hills Shire13036504
Georges River541-92
Lane Cove24070167
Canada Bay237--
North Sydney138--
Blue Mountains7-9
Hunters Hill- -

Some dwellings are not in our forecast

Some lots have a new second occupancy taking the form of a secondary dwelling or dual occupancy. These new second occupancies may be attached or separate to the first dwelling.

Both forms of development help Sydney’s supply of general and rental housing supply and can increase density in established areas.

With dual occupancy, the dwellings can be equal in size, the site can be subdivided or strata-titled, and each dwelling can have individual owners.

A secondary dwelling must be smaller than the main dwelling, the site cannot be subdivided nor the dwellings strata-titled, and the dwellings can only have one owner.

Both forms of development can be rented out or used by the homeowner to accommodate extended family (hence the term ‘granny flat’). 

Our forecasting methodology does not cover secondary dwellings. However, it may capture dual occupancies in the development pipeline as development consents and/or as a completed new home when there is a separate water connection. 

Where the data comes from

The Local Performance Development Monitor provides approvals data by local government area for 2006-07 to 2020-21 for dual occupancies and secondary dwellings. Approvals include development applications and complying development certificates.