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Report finds Illawarra Shoalhaven strong housing delivery needs to continue to meet future demand

Initial findings of research conducted by GYDE Consulting for the Property Council of Australia have shown mixed results on dwelling approvals in the Illawarra Shoalhaven as the region battles increased housing prices and tight buyer and rental markets.

Property Council’s Illawarra Regional Director Michelle Guido said housing approvals had significantly grown over the last 20 years, peaking in 2019 and declining in 2020 before a steady recovery in 2021.

“The Illawarra Shoalhaven is tracking well to meet housing targets at the moment, however we can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal, with increasing demand we need to continue supporting the delivery of diverse types of housing right across the region,” Ms Guido said.

“The Department of Planning’s 2019 projections indicated nearly 24,000 homes would be required in Wollongong between 2016 and 2036. From 2016-2021, approximately 5,000 dwellings were completed in Wollongong. This fell short of the 6,350 dwellings ‘required’ in this five-year period to align with the projections.

“Over the past 10 years, multi-unit approvals have dominated the Wollongong market - totalling 6,300 dwellings. Detached housing approvals were almost as strong, accounting for 5,483 dwellings in total.

“Across all LGAs in the Illawarra Shoalhaven, detached houses are the most popular housing type, apart from Wollongong, where apartments dominate the housing market. In the region, 30-40% of houses have 3-bedrooms and over 30% have 4-bedrooms. Wollongong is again the exception, with 50% of housing is 2-bedroom apartments.”

Ms Guido said the South Coast needed further support from the NSW Government to deliver critical housing, especially in the Shoalhaven where the availability of housing for key workers is in high demand.

“In the Shoalhaven, we are seeing steady completions however this is slightly below the delivery requirement for the five-year period from 2016-2021. With the Nowra/Bomaderry greenfield areas set to boom over the coming years, more needs to be done by the NSW Government in the short term to support the delivery of housing for key workers.

“Right across the region, there are housing supply shortages in both the buyers and renters’ markets and housing completions are not as high as we would like to see them so we need all the support we can get from the NSW Government to support local councils to deliver the critical housing and infrastructure we need.”

Overall, the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 which was released earlier this year identified demand for 58,000 new dwellings in the Region, a substantial increase on the demand identified in the 2015 Regional Plan.

This shift increases the required yearly delivery to approximately 2,300 dwellings per year, from 2016-2041. Over the last five years, the region has completed on average 2,300 new homes. If the current levels of housing supply are maintained, the Region is well-placed to for housing supply to meet the projected demand.

This data coincides with an event being held by the Property Council today in which the NSW Regional Housing Taskforce's Chair, Garry Fielding will discuss the findings of their report into regional housing and key recommendations.

Media contact: Aidan Green | M 0491 030 028 | E [email protected]

Key Findings – Illawarra Shoalhaven