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'Critical' SEQ land supply shortage prompts affordability warning

South-east Queensland house prices could rise and rentals become unaffordable if a "critical" shortage in land supply is not urgently addressed.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia's Queensland branch has warned that the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Redlands have fallen well behind standard land availability benchmarks.

The Gold Coast is facing a severe land shortage.

Under state government rules, all local government areas should have four years' worth of approved lot supply – land that is ready to go to the market – to ensure annual dwelling targets are met.

However the UDIA research found the Gold Coast only has 1.7 years' worth of land supply, the Sunshine Coast 2.4 years and Redland City 2.5 years.

Brisbane and Moreton Bay are also falling behind, with just 3.7 years' supply available. South-east Queensland needs an additional 31,979 dwellings annually to keep up with supply, the report says, but land supply is not keeping up with that demand.

UDIA chief executive Kirsty Chessher-Brown said the situation would worsen if such a severe land supply shortage was not addressed quickly in a cohesive way by the development sector, state government and local councils. "We think that this issue is something that needs urgent attention," she said. "We can't wait until the next regional plan which has typically been the guiding document on how we might accommodate population growth. "This will be a much bigger problem if we wait until then." Ms Chessher-Brown warned just as people flocked to Queensland from southern states post-lockdown, housing prices may increase and peoples' options to buy a suitable home could become limited. CITY COUNCIL Brisbane townhouse ban to be finalised at council meeting

She said the shortage of available land had developed out of a confluence of issues, citing a "lag" in the delivery of infrastructure to areas earmarked as growth areas as one key issue. A complexity of red tape and legislation between state and local governments made developments increasingly tricky and slow to get off the ground. Housing diversity was also under pressure as legislation zoned out density in some areas. Land fragmentation also meant developers were finding it harder to find lot sizes able to hold a masterplanned community, the UDIA report said. Ms Chessher-Brown said a master-planned community in south-east Queensland could take between 12 and 14 years to complete, from developer purchase to the first person moving in. She said a decade to get a community up and running was "just too long" and had flow-on effects to the broader housing market and housing prices. "It's a problem that we need to, for our generation and our future generations, get on to collectively," she said. Ms Chessher-Brown said people needed to be able choose an affordable home to suit their needs, in an area that they wanted to live in, and a land supply shortage could make that harder. "We know from our research foundation ... that the great Australian dream of owning your own home, whatever type of home that is, remains really strong," she said. "What we would like to do is at least provide pathways for people to get into home ownership, but whether you are owning your own home or renting your home, what's critically important is that is able to be delivered in a price that you can afford."


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