A Central Coast Housing Summit was held in early September and the details have been released. It highlighted the HOUSING AFFORDABILITY OPTIONS for Central Coast workers and the crisis that some 30% of local residents now face was the focus of some 150 local community and business leaders as well as local politicians.
Sponsored by Business NSW, Regional Development Australia Central Coast, and Pacific Link Housing the Forum also heard from Minister for Housing Anthony Roberts MP who announced that an Urban Development Programme would be extended to the Central Coast. Mr. Roberts said, “this Program will take charge of the coordination and delivery of a steady supply of housing, jobs, and infrastructure on the Central Coast.” In her opening address to the Summit, Senior Director NSW regions and Visitor Economy for Business NSW, Paula Martin, highlighted the issues facing the housing crisis.
“Whilst NSW’s Population will grow 1% every year until 2040 the Central Coast is not far behind growing at 0.7% every year swelling to over 400,000 residents or an additional 56,000 residents by 2040. The importance of today’s discussion for business cannot be underestimated,” she said.
Leaders from across the building, property development, health, and social housing sectors discussed the issues confronting the region in a panel format Ms. Martin said that we will need over 70,000 jobs to meet the needs of the region’s local growth and over 43,000 homes to accommodate our population needs. That’s almost 2700 homes a year needed to keep the supply up.
“A recent business conditions survey conducted by Business NSW clearly showed that businesses on the Coast have the capacity to grow but are hampered by labour shortages. Our jobs advertisements have doubled since 2019 with over 2000 jobs advertised across the Coast last month in August.”
The coast’s Average weekly rent on the Central Coast is $620 and the Rental affordability index shows the region is unaffordable in every suburb, with the exception of only a few suburbs.
Just over 6% of our population or 22,500 receive rental assistance and we share the same rate of homelessness as Newcastle and Canterbury Bankstown with nearly 2000 of our locals homeless – the most severe areas being Gosford, Wyong, and the Entrance.
Commenting on the supply of residential housing Ms. Martin said that while residential housing is growing, currently our rate of DAs per month has doubled since May of 2020 reaching over 1200 per month. It was unclear if this amount would be enough to satisfy demand.
The increase of DAs has also increased wait times by 64% taking 141 average gross wait days. The value to our economy for this residential growth has increased from 418M to an estimated 1bn. An extra 6,000 jobs can be created as a result of this growth in the building sector alone.
The issues confronting the Central Coast are the demands on the social housing sector from very low, to low-income earners was extremely high with providers such as Pacific Link Housing struggling to keep up with demand. “We’ve had under one percent rental vacancy for some time,” she said. “Of 600 properties listed for rent, only 2 were affordable by very low-income renters and, of just 81 properties affordable to low-income renters, only two had three bedrooms. Many people are displaced.”
Central Coast Local Health District CEO, Scott McLachlan, commented that “the Central Coast health district looked to employ 600-700 more people each year to meet the growing demand on health services, with around 70 percent of those expected to come from outside the region. A third of those will struggle to find housing so it will be an extreme challenge in the next few years,” he said.
It sounds like a lot of doom and gloom when reading the report, but it also highlights the massive potential for opportunity.An opportunity in helping solve the housing crisis, homelessness, and jobs. If you have kids about to join the workforce, it looks like the Health and the building Industry may provide great opportunities for the future.For the real estate market, understanding that solid growth in population is expected and a housing and rental shortage will be exposed, could add to the confidence of investors for the future.
Source: Central Coast Business Review October edition.