Sydney hit with apartment construction slowdown

By Kay Rivera | 18 Jun 2019

Sydney recorded a substantial increase in the number of apartment projects being put on hold, with approvals declining over the year to April.

"Deferred and abandoned" apartment projects logged in New South Wales’ capital have climbed by 110% over the past year, said Steve Mann, the Urban Institute of Australia chief executive.

"That's 40,000 to 50,000 apartments," he told ABC News.

Some Sydney residential-focused builders have been cutting staff, as well as turning their attention to other areas of the industry or focussing on the commercial centre, according to a ABC News.

Developer Phillip George, the founder of Potter George Group, said that 50% of his projects were residential five years ago, but they amount to only a third now.

He had to change the focus of the business due to the banking royal commission, restrictions on foreign investment and Sydney's weakening residential market.

"Our rate of sales for residential is not where we want it to be, so we moved away to [focus on] commercial,” he told ABC News.  "It's all about making money at the end of the day. We've all got bills to pay, and right now commercial is a far more viable option."

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that 44,762 units were approved in NSW in the 12 months to April 2017. On the other hand, only 28,618 units were approved for construction across NSW— down by 36%— in the 12 months to end of April this year.

 Mann said that the market is challenging for new developments. "We've also seen nearly two years now of price declines, record price declines, and that's very challenging in terms of jobs and supply of new construction,” he told ABC News. 


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