Residential development activity remains strong through COVID-19

27 Sep 2020

Residential development activity in the Newcastle Local Government Area held strong in the 2019/20 financial year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic occurring throughout the final four months.

Of the 1,168 development applications (DAs) approved by the City of Newcastle in 2019/20, 947 of them were for residential development, valued at more than $271 million, excluding mixed commercial developments. This remained steady from the previous financial year, which saw 1,008 residential DAs approved from 1,281.

The value of residential DAs for new dwellings lodged rose from 33 per cent to 46 per cent as a percentage of the total value of all DAs submitted. 

Manager Regulatory, Planning and Assessment, Michelle Bisson, said development activity had remained strong. 

“While no industry has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic unscathed, the popularity of new residential dwellings and secondary dwellings continues to grow in the Newcastle LGA,” Ms Bisson said. 

“The construction of secondary dwellings provides the community with a choice of more affordable housing, which is a major focus of City of Newcastle’s draft Local Housing Strategy 2020, which was on public exhibition until 21 September.” 

Ms Bisson said solid development activity was still also evident within the inner-city. 

“The $166 million in developments approved in the CBD alone in the last financial year, plus state government approvals including the University of Newcastle City Campus and ongoing building works, are sustaining many local jobs on the ground and continuing the transformation of our City.” 

The diversity of development in the City is reflected in the top-three most valuable DAs approved in the 2019/20 financial year, including a 20-storey mixed use development in Newcastle West ($27.6 million), the adaptive reuse of a building as a boutique hotel ($24.3 million) and an eight-storey commercial development ($18.9 million), both in Newcastle. 

While the suburb of Newcastle continues to attract the development dollar ($110 million), other popular suburbs were Fletcher ($49.8 million), Broadmeadow ($47.8 million) and Mayfield West ($40 million).