The 2021 SEQ Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report paints a pretty picture of South-East Queensland’s overall growth as it exceeds the ShapingSEQ target rates for most SEQ local government areas. The report records: 165,000 dwelling approvals from 2016 to 2021; overall planned land supply well and truly exceeding the 15-years minimum for residential housing choices; planned industrial employment supply also exceeding the 15-years minimum across most local government areas (LGAs); and an improved mix of housing types being approved.
However, when translating planned land supply into approved (yet uncompleted) lot supply, it is a different story. Five out of 12 of South-East Queensland’s LGAs don’t meet the minimum approved supply target of four years, the biggest shortfall being in Noosa, with just over seven months’ supply left in the market. Four of SEQ’s biggest Councils, Brisbane (3.0), Gold Coast (2.1), Moreton Bay (3.7) and Sunshine Coast (3.2) are also underperforming and unable to meet the required four-year benchmark.
Further obscuring matters, the report continues to use an ‘average annual benchmark’ of demand as opposed to actual demand. The ‘average annual benchmark’ is created through an equation that considers projected dwellings (as per 2018 release) and the average future annual requirement of new dwellings needed, as set out in 2041 ShapingSEQ targets. Practically, this methodology can present a somewhat inaccurate perspective. For example, the Moreton Bay Region's supply of uncompleted lot approvals is stated as marginally below the four-year minimum, however, when recalculated using actual lot sales, realistic availability sits at around 2.7 years.
Let’s have a closer look at where LGAs are struggling to meet the benchmarks set by ShapingSEQ:
Despite continued strong interstate migration, Brisbane’s capacity and availability of planned dwelling supply (in its consolidation and expansion areas) does still provide 15 years’ worth of supply sought by ShapingSEQ.
Notwithstanding the polarizing changes of the Townhouse Amendment, which we are yet to see the true effect of, Brisbane is well in advance of the target minimum four years’ supply of uncompleted multiple dwelling approvals.
However, with regard to uncompleted ROL approvals, Brisbane is well below its target, meeting a supply capacity for only 3.0 years. Recalculating the years' supply using actual demand (lot sales), Brisbane supply sits at a desperately low 1.9 years.
Additionally, this undersupply will only be exacerbated as a result of a gradual, yet notable resistance to smaller lot sizes in newly developing areas such as Bridgeman Downs. This resistance will prove to price out new house and land buyers, who will have to look beyond the Brisbane market for first homes.
The Gold Coast has the capacity and realistic availability of planned dwelling supply, in consolidation and expansion areas, to meet the established 2041 dwelling supply benchmarks.
While Gold Coast dwelling approvals in the expansion areas were slightly above the average annual during 2020/21, the approvals in the consolidation area fell short of the annual benchmark by more than 1,200 dwellings.
Moreton Bay has the capacity and realistic availability of planned dwelling supply, in both the consolidation and expansion areas, not only to meet but to outperform the 2041 benchmarks. Planned industrial employment supply is also substantially above the desired baseline.
The Moreton Bay Region's supply of uncompleted lot approvals is reported as marginally below the four-year minimum. However, when recalculated using actual lot sales, realistic availability sits at around 2.7 years.
Overall, Moreton Bay remains on track long-term to accommodate the 2041 dwelling supply benchmarks thanks to large areas of yet-to-be developed Emerging Community zoned land. However, the imminent future is presenting a greater challenge related to the difficulties in unlocking these areas because of high fragmentation and cost of essential infrastructure.
Thanks to the Caloundra South and Palmview, the Sunshine Coast’s planned dwelling supply for the expansion area looks positive, providing the 15-year supply minimum capacity. In the consolidation area however, 12,300 fewer dwellings than the 2041 benchmark were recorded.
While uncompleted lot approvals and planned dwelling supply show negative trends and insufficient supply, overall, dwelling approvals have been continuing an upward trend. An emphasis needs to be placed on providing for dwelling supply in the consolidation area, as this is further consumed when applying actual lot sales to a bleak 2.4 years.
Planned industrial employment supply is above the identified 2041 baseline for both realistic availability and capacity.
This summary of the 2021 update to the Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report was prepared by Jessica Lincoln, WCG Associate Planner. We would like to thank Michael Campbell from Lucid Economics for his assistance with providing valuable insight into the data behind this summary.
Further reading: Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report