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Sydney home building reaches 16-year high

Sydney home building has reached a 16-year high, but obstacles could still prevent “the Sydney economy from reaching its full potential over the long term”, a senior economist has warned.

New figures from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment show that 30,191 new homes were completed in Sydney during 2015/16.

According to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), this figure is the the highest completion figure since 1999/2000.

“The output of the residential building industry has provided homes for almost 80,000 people in the Sydney area during 2015/16 alone,” said Shane Garrett, HIA senior economist.

“This represents a 10.4 per cent increase on the previous financial year, with multi-units now accounting for two out of every three new homes in the Sydney area.”

Mr Garrett noted, however, that obstacles with respect to the planning, land supply and affordable delivery of housing infrastructure all risked preventing the Sydney economy from “reaching its full potential over the long term”.

“The strength of new home building over the past few years owes much to the low interest rates in place, as well as the rebound in tourism and skilled services in the city,” he said.

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“It is important that Sydney’s dwelling stock expands in order to accommodate the strong, migration-driven growth in the local labour market.”

[Related: NSW planning system has ‘long way to go’]

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