Hunter Region Left Behind in 16,000 Home Rezoning


Developers in regional New South Wales are calling for more to be done amid a land supply shortage and booming demand for greenfield sites.

New South Wales Minister for Planning Rob Stokes announced rezoning of Glenfield, Leppington and Lowes Creek Maryland south of Sydney to fast-track the creation of more than 16,000 homes.

But it does little to address the supply shortage for regional developers, according to the AVID Property Group in the Hunter Valley, which has had a 255 per cent increase in enquiries for Maitland in the past year.

AVID chief executive Cameron Holt said more needed to be done to meet the predicted levels of demand during the next few years.

“The last year has thrown the property market into a frenzy of house and land buying that has driven the economic activity intended by government,” Holt said.

“We’ve all been fast-tracking land releases in record time during the past 12 months.

“There are a lot of legitimate reasons for the shortages and delays, including the labour and material supply shortfalls that builders are also facing.

“The pressure will be mounting on governments and councils to take action to unblock the land supply pipeline, including in regional New South Wales which is experiencing strong levels of growth.”

Holt said he hoped government at all levels would implement appropriate rezoning to unlock large parcels of land for greenfield developments.

This was supported by UDIA New South Wales data, which showed Hunter and Central Coast supply would fall short of demand by about 240 lots each year, with 2000 homes worth of unmet demand for greenfield housing.

▲ Net migration from capital cities to the regions was the highest on record according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, putting pressure on land supply. Image: AVID Property Group

Stokes said the NSW government was progressing rezonings in key growth areas to increase the potential for housing supply by thousands more homes.

“We’ve responded to the increased demand for greenfield housing as a result of the pandemic by accelerating these rezonings,” Stokes said.

UDIA NSW chief executive Steve Mann said he welcomed the focus on rezoning land, but warned more needed to be done to ensure the infrastructure was delivered alongside this.

The UDIA NSW Greenfield Land Supply Pipeline Survey showed four of five lots that developers hoped to deliver between 2022 and 2029 required enabling infrastructure to be able to bring it to market.

“While the rezonings announced in the south-west are an encouraging step, the question remains—when will land supply in other regions start to be released,” Mann said.

“This is a good start, but the NSW government needs to do a lot more to build the greenfield housing pipeline and tackle the housing and affordability crisis.”

Mann said the industry needed land to be released and a reliable pipeline of future zoned and serviced land to be established.


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