New data reveals Central Coast lagging on servicing housing demand, sparking call for housing targets

In a report released today from the Property Council of Australia and Gyde consulting the risk that the Central Coast is in danger of not meeting housing requirements has been identified.

Property Council’s Hunter Regional Director Anita Hugo said the drop in completions since 2019-20 highlighted a risk that the Central Coast was not set to deliver sufficient housing to meet the projected demand between 2016 and 2041.

“This drop in completions reflects longer term constraints around housing supply and delivery in the Central Coast,” Ms Hugo said.

“A greater emphasis is required on a coordinated strategic approach to housing in the region.

“Housing issues across the Central Coast are not dissimilar to those in other regions, however it has unique needs and requires a more nuanced approach to addressing under supply.”

Ms Hugo said the introduction of housing targets, the development of a Local Housing Strategy and strategic assessment of future locations that align with infrastructure investments for housing would be critical.

“Incorporating these features into a more agile strategic planning framework will assist in improving the responsiveness of the planning system to changes in demand,” she said.

“Increasing the diversity of supply of housing both in location and those delivering housing will also improve the housing outlook in the Central Coast.

“Without these changes, housing will continue to poorly reflect demand and preference in the region, reducing its ability to encourage people to live and work in the region.”

Regional NSW Housing Analysis for Central Coast concluded:

Home to nearly 350,000 people in 2020 the Central Coast has seen relatively continual population decline in the region since 2008. Regardless, additional housing is required to meet the projected demand to 2041 identified in 2019 by DPE.

The current Central Coast housing stock is largely made up of detached dwellings with 3 or 4 bedrooms. The projected demand for housing from 2016 to 2041 is for 53,500 dwellings, an increase of 12,000 dwellings from the 2016 Central Coast Regional Plan projections.

This increase demonstrates the importance of providing at least enough housing to meet demand from the population, and the value in developing an agile strategic planning system that enables the scaling up and down of housing supply to meet changes in demand

In recent years, housing delivery has been increasing however, in 2020 housing completions dropped and have continued to decline in 2021.

While the majority of houses delivered between 2016 and 2021 were detached dwellings, there was minimal difference between the numbers of detached and multi-unit dwellings, indicating an even split in the market.

While the even split in dwelling typology is positive, the delivery of dwellings has failed to meet the projected demand every year from 2016 to 2021.

This results in a deficit of approximately 3,800 dwellings If current completions rates continue, this deficit has the potential to create an undersupply of approximately 19,000 dwellings in the region.

Looking towards the future, approvals in the region have largely declined, although an increase in detached dwelling approvals was recorded.

In order to assess whether housing delivery in the region is aligning with the Regional Plan, better metrics are required which regularly measure housing supply, diversity and location (greenfield or infill). This includes the introduction of housing targets. The incorporation of the Central Coast into the Greater Cities Commission provides a clear opportunity to ensure targets are set and managed to support population growth and housing demand in the Central Coast in forward years.

This will improve understanding of housing supply and delivery in the region, as well as enhance assessment of the region’s performance against the goals and directions of the Regional Plan.

A multitude of factors impact the delivery of housing in the Central Coast. Changing housing demand, declining completions and historical delivery trends indicate the region will not deliver enough housing to meet the projected demand to 2036 or to 2041. Changes must be made to housing supply and delivery to ensure sufficient housing is delivered to meet projected demand.

Media contact: Aidan Green | E [email protected]