Sydney Apartment Approvals Down 20% from Peak

Chatswood CBD Aerial
Chatswood CBD Aerial - Source: Skyscrapercity

Highrise approvals within Sydney are down in 2018 & have continued a downtrend which began in 2015. This record run of high-density dwelling approvals & the construction which has followed suit is unprecedented in the history of Sydney where is set to change the face of Sydney if it hasn’t already done so.

Here is a graph below which was taken from the Macrobusiness blog showing the NSW housing approvals up to the early part of 2018, even though the graph represents all of NSW, it is only truly Sydney which is representing the high-rise category where the exceptions are Newcastle & Wollongong albeit on a smaller scale.

The graph separates high-density developments, townhouse developments, low-rise apartments (max. 3-4 story dwellings) & detached family dwellings.

Dwelling Approvals for NSW by Housing Type - Source: Macrobusiness

As you can see from the finding above, highrise apartment approvals dropped from 36,000 at their peak in 2016, to the current level of ~28,000 which signals a significant dropped of ~20% over the past 2 years.

What is amazing is that as compared with Sydney’s major boom period last cycle (1999-2003) a record at the time of 12,000 apartments was recorded over a one year period which was in 2002.

This shows the record growth of 2016 where there were triple the amount of highrise apartments approvals at the peak over the previous property cycle boom.

Also as you can see for the first in 2014 more high-density dwellings were approved in NSW than detached family dwelling which shows a clear demographic shift to more dense living, however, this has since come back & is now roughly on par with detached family dwellings.

What’s more astounding is when you take into account most regional areas outside of Newcastle & Wollongong only truly build suburban type detached family dwelling’s, it makes the numbers look all the more impressive.

It is obvious by the evidence that Sydney is embracing high-density dwellings, which can be due to both the cost of living pressures where high home prices limit buyers to apartments & also a demographic shift of the millennial generation preferring to live in dense, transport orientated developments near the amenities of cafe’s, bars, restaurants & gyms preferably within walking distance.