Sydney property projects languish incomplete

Adam Smith 14 December 2016

unfinished buildingJust over half of Sydney’s housing approvals are actually moving through to completion, new figures show.

The Urban Taskforce’s latest Housing Monitor report shows housing completions have dropped to just 53% of approvals.

“There will be a time lag between the approval stage and the completion stage for housing but when the five-year average is taken into account there does seem to be a Sydney problem. The five-year average for completions as a percentage of approvals is 58%, so clearly nearly half of the approvals do not proceed,” Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson said.

Johnson argued that many approvals weren’t reaching completion because of “excessive conditions, referrals and levies”.

“The State Government tends to focus on approvals for housing performance ,but the real focus must be on the number of new homes completed. Clearly ,the Department of Planning and the Greater Sydney Commission must now focus on how to make more planning approvals lead to real projects. The Urban Taskforce has presented examples of how conditions of approval are slowing down housing completions to both the State and Federal Governments and we are keen to work with all levels of government to improve the planning system,” Johnson said.

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