Sydney set for new population density record

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Sydney could soon be home to one of the most densely populated suburbs in the world thanks, to the city’s seemingly ever increasing number of new apartments.

Already home to a number of new apartment projects, Waterloo in Sydney’s inner south is set to see a number of 20 and 30–storey unit apartment projects constructed in the coming years as the state government builds a residential precinct to complement a new light rail station in the suburb.

Reported in an article in Fairfax media outlets, the City of Sydney council has claimed those developments could result in Waterloo’s population density reaching 77,000 people per square kilometre.

That would mean Waterloo would easily overtake Pyrmont as Sydney and Australia’s most densely populated suburb and would put its population density in line with that seen in areas of Hong Kong and New York.
"Development at this density over this 19-hectare area is unprecedented in Australia and rare internationally," City of Sydney council chief executive officer Monica Barone, said in the Fairfax report.

"London has no areas of the size of Waterloo at this density," Barone said.

"New York and Paris have only a few. Neighbourhoods of this density are found in parts of Hong Kong but not in Singapore. Given available public information we expect to see as many as 10 or more buildings over 30 storeys on the Waterloo Estate with others up to 20 storeys,” she said.

While population density of that level could result in infrastructure and services in the area being stretched, construction on that level could also further the level of settlement risk in Sydney.

Figures from CoreLogic RP Data have revealed Sydney is already due to see 81,696 new apartments come online in the next two years, which far outstrips historical levels of demand.

Over the past five years, Sydney has averaged 43,442 apartment sales annually, a figure that included both new and existing apartments.

“Looking at the expected new unit supply, Sydney and Melbourne predictably have the greatest increases in stock over the next two years. If you compare the volume of stock expected to settle over the next 12 and 24 months to the average number of unit sales annually over the past five years, you can see a big disconnect, particularly in the four largest capital cities,” CoreLogic RP Data research analyst Cameron Kusher said.

“The historic sales figures include sales of both existing and new units keeping in mind that new stock, usually accounts for a smaller slice of total sales than resales of existing stock. The large volume of new stock, coupled with an ever-growing supply of existing stock which resells means that historic high levels of unit settlements are due to occur over the next two years in most cities,” Kusher said

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