The latest Albury Development Monitor painted an encouraging picture for the residential housing sector, with 289 vacant residential lots consumed for home-building, which was 30 per cent more than the previous year and 20 per cent above the ten-year average.
The report also revealed:
- The median sale price of vacant lots was $150,000, a 3.4 per cent increase from the previous year
- 396 new dwellings were constructed, a 23 per cent rise
- 87 per cent of vacant lots produced were in the Thurgoona-Wirlinga growth area, and
- An average of 306 new dwellings will be needed every year for the next 50 years to meet our expected population growth
This data is enormously valuable to help us plan for the continued growth of Albury over the next 20 years and it’s encouraging to see we are well-placed to meet those demands, thanks to an extensive supply of suitably-zoned land backed by robust planning strategies that will guide the development of our key growth precincts.
Of course, it remains to be seen how COVID-19 will affect that growth pattern. Noting that restrictions came into force in March this year, close to the end of the financial year, the Development Monitor found the impact of the virus will be more evident in next year’s report.
However, there is room for optimism that our growth pattern may not be severely disrupted. Although international and local border closures could affect our population growth, it’s also possible that COVID will have a silver lining for growth, with the potential for the new culture of working from home to enable more Melbourne and Sydney residents to make a tree change to the border, actually accelerating our population growth.
We’ll closely monitor those trends and we’ll continue to plan for solid growth, closely liaising with our community and developers to help people fulfil their housing dreams as our population expands.
All of these new arrivals will need jobs and investment opportunities which is why it’s encouraging to note that the Development Monitor has also confirmed the city has a solid foundation of sites for commercial and industrial development. A snap shot of that sector shows:
- Nineteen industrial lots were produced, with five consumed
- Three commercial lots were consumed
- There are 112 vacant lots in our industrial areas, and
- There are 30 vacant lots in our commercial areas
This ready availability of suitable sites places us in a strong position to attract new development, with the Development Monitor finding that Albury has more than 20 years’ supply of industry land available to meet long-term growth needs, mainly at Nexus and Airside North.
And at a time when good economic news is rare and welcome, it’s pleasing to see that Albury had significant growth in retail floor space development, thanks largely to commercial developments in the CBD and East Albury.
This data tells us that the foundations of our resident and commercial/industrial sectors are strong and that our planning processes are well-placed to underpin our forecast growth.
Of course, nobody could have foreseen the outbreak of a global pandemic that would change the way we live and do business.
But throughout the trying events of 2020 our community has shown itself to be resilient and positive in the face of adversity and with strong market support for land development and take-up, we can be confident that the right structures are in place to help us rebound when the virus threat is finally eased.
One thing that has not changed is Albury’s attractiveness as a great place to live, raise a family and find fulfilling work.
The Development Monitor has shown we’re in good shape to meet the needs of a growing community – despite the challenges of COVID-19 – and we look forward to continuing our work so that an increasing number of people will call Albury home in the years ahead, bringing optimism that by working together we can continue to overcome any present and future setbacks for the benefit of us all.