The Daily Telegraph seek comments from Catherine Cashmore on the validity of NSW property data...
IT’S the biggest issue in NSW — yet property data being relied on by the government to make crucial planning decisions isn’t even accurate, with the Planning Minister making the startling admission its figures on new stock can’t be trusted.
Current data from Sydney Water being used to calculate new stock is missing some of the biggest growing housing types, including granny flats, seniors living and student housing.
Newly appointed Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts has been forced to step in to fix the issue.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal the Planning Department is asking the private sector to help with a data collection project.
“The Department of Planning has been relying on information about new and upgraded water connections from Sydney Water to understand where new homes are being built,” Mr Roberts said.
“However, this does not capture the growing importance of alternative housing types, such as granny flats, seniors living and student housing.
“These housing types are under-represented in the Department’s current housing data collections as they typically do not have their own water connection or are classified as commercial.
“The Department started a tender process for a housing data collection project after identifying the need for new, more sophisticated information to paint a complete picture of the state’s housing needs.”
NSW Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts. Picture: Bob Barker
Mr Roberts said the information relied on by the Department — which also includes Australian Bureau of Statistics data and council surveys — wasn’t “detailed or modern enough”.
He said they had also requested data from other cities such as Istanbul, Vienna, Athens, New York, Washington, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Data from Sydney Water has been abandoned by other researchers because of flaws in the system.
Prosper Australia president Catherine Cashmore recently tried to use water data to calculate how many vacant homes there were.
Ms Cashmore said the group, which lobbies for housing affordability, had not yet been able to complete the project because most apartment buildings had just one water connection.
Prosper Australia president Catherine Cashmore.
“Apartments are arguably the most important housing type in Sydney so the information wasn’t accurate,” she said.
Ms Cashmore said she was surprised the Department had been relying on data from Sydney Water.
The Department of Planning is also seeking information on vacancy rates across NSW.