The Urban Taskforce Australia has attributed the record number of housing completions in metropolitan Sydney to the big swing towards apartment living.

Of the 37,608 housing completions, 72 per cent are apartments – a clear indicator that apartment living is critical for housing Sydney’s growth, says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson.

According to Mr Johnson, four of the top six performing council areas have very high apartment completions: Bayside and the City of Sydney have 99 per cent apartments, Parramatta has 97 per cent and Canterbury Bankstown has 76 per cent.

Interestingly, this record performance in housing completions also means that Sydney has, for the first time, passed the average number of new dwellings required each year. According to NSW Government estimates, an average of 36,250 new dwellings is needed each year for 20 years.

Mr Johnson says the government, councils and the industry must now focus on maintaining the high level of housing completions over the next two decades. There have been indications of a slowdown in the supply chain of new apartments with some of the restrictions against housing in the Greater Sydney Commission’s Draft District Plans making it more difficult for large apartment projects to get approvals.

He explains that the pipeline of future housing projects must be carefully managed particularly for urban renewal sites where apartments are popular with buyers. If the boom in population growth for Sydney continues, the requirement for housing may escalate to 41,500 new dwellings a year.

Mr Johnson adds that the Urban Taskforce is keen to work with the NSW Government to ensure that high levels of housing approvals will flow through the planning system, thereby leading to strong completion numbers.

The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australia’s most prominent property developers and equity financiers.