The build-to-rent construction sector is vital for a changing community such as Wollongong, the Property Council says.
Kim Rawson – Illawarra Regional Director, Property Council of Australia said the way we live and the type of housing we choose is changing.
Ms Rawson said the 2016 Census data painted an interesting picture of this phenomenon in Wollongong.
“The data tells us that more people in Wollongong are renting, competing for fewer properties and the amount we are paying for rentals is higher than the NSW average,” she said.
“Australia-wide, the 2016 Census revealed that almost a third of the population rents (31 per cent). In Wollongong it’s 30.3 per cent.
“We can expect this number to grow; with a growing university and new business and investment in Port Kembla, the demand for local rental properties will increase.”
Ms Rawson also referenced that the number of unoccupied dwellings is also low in Wollongong at only 7.9 per cent of total dwellings, compared to 9.9 per cent throughout NSW. Wollongong also has higher median weekly rent than wider NSW.
“The numbers are not surprising; Wollongong is a growing city with a high demand for housing.
“Better connections to a quickly developing south-west Sydney and an increasing overflow of people from Sydney will only increase this demand,” she said.
“We need to look at creating more options for renters in Wollongong; properties that provide great amenity, secure, long-term tenure, and innovative design.
“Build-to-rent is a sector where new developments are built for people to rent rather than buy and is well-established in the US and UK. Managed by a single company, build-to-rent developments can provide people who rent with a more secure, quality rental option.
“It is an exciting new sector that can meet the changing needs of our community, but we must plan and invest in our future so that everyone has access to affordable, quality housing.”
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