In an apparent bid to boost the medium-density housing component in Sydney, the Gladys Berjiklian-headed state government has unveiled new regulations aimed at raising approvals from the prevailing 10%. The new rules incorporate a complying development regime that envisages faster pace of construction, as well as greater economy for the development of medium-density housing.

A cursory look at data compiled by Colliers International, indicates that townhouse development is steadily growing over the last one year, corresponding to a spurt in medium-density viewership in NSW.

Although anything between 25 and 80 residences can be accommodated per hectare, the medium-density housing range is usually capped at 30 or 40 residences per hectare.

According to director for residential at Colliers, David Chittenden, a rapidly growing population and the lack of economy housing, coupled with an attitudinal shift in the direction of medium-density housing are combining to deliver a huge opportunity to town planners, property developers, and the realty sector as a whole, with an extraordinary opportunity. The new rules facilitating the construction of low-rise, medium-density housing, are expected to improve housing availability in Sydney and the NSW as well.

The new rules allow terrace houses, dual-occupancies and manor houses – comprising three to four homes, to apply for approvals under complying development procedures. By providing access to a wider range of affordable residential options that can cater to varying lifestyles, the new code is expected to complement the requirements of a growing and diverse populace.

The planning department estimates that, by the year 2036, Sydney will require 725,000 more homes if it must accommodate its burgeoning population. Especially, since Sydney and Melbourne are expected to cross the 8.5 million population mark by the year 2061. In such a situation, it becomes imperative for Australia’s cityscapes to turn more robust, inclusive, viable, and amenable.

As per industry reports, the demand for medium-density housing is gravitating to suburban regions from areas like Liverpool, Paramatta, and Western Sydney. Inner-west, the eastern suburbs, and Sutherland have witnessed upward growth for medium-density housing. Significantly, the last 12 months have seen these areas continue to attract applications for approvals too.