Protest group claims laughable: Demand for new housing in Ku-ring-gai strong

02 November 2009

The Urban Taskforce has rejected as laughable claims that there is no demand for new apartments in Ku-ring-gai.

The claims, by anti-development protest group Friends of Ku-ring-gai, appeared in todays Sydney Morning Herald (Empty nests too high for the empty nesters, 2 November 2009, page 8).


The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said the protest group was clearly blind to the needs of homebuyers and renters.


New housing is crucial if Sydney is to be affordable for ordinary people Mr Gadiel said.


Thanks to the strength of apartment development in Ku-ring-gai, two bedroom units there are now cheaper than Leichhardt, North Sydney, the City of Sydney, Woollahra, Canada Bay, Manly and Willoughby.


Whats more, a renter switching from a Ku-ring-gai house into a local apartment is likely to save around $140 a week.


The sales figures in this mornings report suggest that 70 apartments in a single 222-home development have yet to be sold.


This simply reflects the normal marketing process and ignores the fact that the small amount of unsold apartments is only a tiny proportion of the 1,200 new homes that have been built in the area in the last five years.


There is very strong demand for higher density housing in the inner and middle ring suburbs of Sydney, including Ku-ring-gai.


There is not nearly enough new housing available to meet our community needs – largely thanks to the opposition of local councils and protest groups.


Mr Gadiel said that new apartments give ordinary people the opportunity to live in suburbs previously closed to them.


Apartments are also benefiting long-term residents of Ku-ring-gai who want to stay in the area, but cant afford a house, he said.


Even Ku-ring-gai councils own survey reveal that 10 per cent of rate payers may want to move house and that 25 per cent of ratepayers were not prepared to nominate single-storey houses or villas as their preferred dwelling.


This reflects the needs of young singles, who want their independence; middle-aged people, whove had to leave the family home due to divorce; and seniors, who want to fund their retirement by selling their oversized house.


Even if you accept the claim that these people are a minority in Ku-ring-gai their housing needs simply cannot be ignored.


Population growth is not the only reason we need more homes – if there was zero population growth over the next 25 years, Sydney will still need 190,000 new homes to deal with the fact that, on average, fewer people are living in each household.


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


For every $1 million in construction expenditure, 27 jobs are created throughout the broader economy. The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $78 billion to the national economy each year and creates 849,000 direct jobs.



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