A new mystery is bubbling away in NSW, after the State Government announced it will deliver up to 30,000 ‘well-located’ affordable homes, close to infrastructure, transport and work opportunities.

The homes will be located on 44 ‘surplus’ government sites which have been left unused for years despite being located close to essential infrastructure and jobs.

The guessing game begins

But . . the Government won’t clarify the exact locations of the development sites. 

A potential reason for withholding the locations is that it could distort the housing market and impact local areas, however the main reason will no doubt be cost containment as further land acquisitions may be required to make the target sites viable.

There have been hints some sites will be located in inner Sydney, which could mean a few fabulous Sydney views will be eliminated or – at the very least – altered, along with a host of disruptions to locals.

Need to do it

It will definitely be a mix of good news and bad news for locals, but with the critical shortage of homes in the greater Sydney area it’s good to see housing is right at the top of the government’s list. 

We’re keeping a watchful eye on further site ‘secret’ announcements, but for now there’s a significant amount of detail to be absorbed after the long awaited changes to NSW’s housing targets were announced in early June. 

Every State and Territory Australia-wide now has increased housing targets, however NSW has one of the highest targets with 377,000 dwellings to be delivered over the next five years.

Really?  During the skills crisis?

Setting aside the practicality of actually achieving the targets, at least by increasing the pressure on local councils, the State Government is taking the first step to be clear about housing expectations.

The NSW targets will combine with the recent reforms including the Transport Oriented Development and the Diverse and Well Located Homes programs to influence Councils to update their planning rules and hopefully deliver more housing for owners and renters.

The image below shows the areas covered by the Transport Oriented Development, while the Diverse and Well Located Homes program covers a broader expanse of NSW.

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Transport Oriented Development areas

The increased supply should mean good news for people struggling to enter the market, as well as those who own property in and around the target areas. Of course, not everyone sees the changes in a positive light as some property owners and Councils are already disputing the changes.

The cohort fighting against the changes includes environmental and heritage protection groups, and specifically Ku-ring-gai and Blue Mountains Councils. 

These Councils happily blame property owners for the lack of affordable housing, when it’s actually the Mayors themselves who stand in the way of housing supply (which really drives me crazy).

Heat map showing increase in housing targets
 Source : Sydney YIMBY, DPHI, CIS

NSW Planning has done what they can to ensure negative impacts are minimised, however the increased building heights and densities could be tricky for those who have property close to the boundaries and will now exist in the shadow of high rises.


If you own property in the areas of increased density, you can expect a jump in your property value as well as your property’s development potential.  Review your options carefully while deciding how you will access the potential – either by selling or developing your property yourself.

If you’re planning to buy property in NSW, ensure you’re aware of the positive and negative impacts of your target property.  The changes will have far-reaching impacts and will include older style units / apartments as older blocks can quadruple in size with the new building heights and densities.

Consider the short term impacts during the massive building phase as well as shadowing and transport / parking when construction is complete.  It’s times like these when quiet little side streets can become busy thoroughfares, so be mindful of future changes when considering a purchase. 

If you’re not sure how to check the future of your property or properties you’re thinking about buying, book a call to chat to us.  Opportunities are coming thick and fast, so make sure you’re making the most of this amazing time in the property market.

About the author

Debra Beck-Mewing is the Editor of the Property Portfolio Magazine and CEO of The Property Frontline.  She has more than 20 years’ experience in buying property Australia-wide and has extensive experience in helping buyers use a range of strategies including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is a skilled property strategist, and a master in identifying tailored opportunities, homes and sourcing properties that have multiple uses.  She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business. As a passionate advocate for increasing transparency in the property and wealth industries, Debra is a popular speaker on these topics.  She is also an author, podcast host, and participates on numerous committees including the Property Owners’ Association.

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Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice.  We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.