Property News, Insights & Education

    SEQ set to boom, with almost a million new homes needed by 2046

    The Queensland government released the draft SEQ regional plan earlier this month, outlining the development needed to support the region’s rapidly growing population.


    The plan highlights the need for 900,000 new homes, as a whopping 2.2 million people are forecast to move to SEQ by 2046.


    forecast to move to SEQ by 2046.


    The plan outlines that more affordable housing is needed to meet the potential rise in demand.


    It proposes a new target of 20% for the region, coupled with construction of an additional 100,000 homes close to jobs and transport.


    Areas included in the plan are Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.


    In a first for Queensland councils, they will be required to adjust planning schemes to fall into line with the plan. This will include offering a greater mix of homes to afford a broader range of housing choices for residents.


    Deputy premier, Steven Miles, says that interstate migration has been a driving factor in the region’s population growth.


    “South East Queensland is booming, with almost six million people expected to call this region home by 2046,” Mr Miles said.


    “A lot has changed since the last plan was released, including record interstate migration.

    “Our population isn’t just getting bigger; it’s changing, with household sizes, demographics and lifestyle trends shifting.


    “We cannot only rely on traditional models and new greenfield development as the answer for housing choice and affordability given what we know about people’s preferences.


    “This plan helps put in place a framework that councils can use to deliver more homes over the coming decade.”


    Migration adding stress to housing


    The year to June 2022 saw unprecedented numbers of interstate migration to the sunshine state, breaking records. And 80 percent of those internal migrants chose to settle in SEQ.


    It’s resulted in a stressed housing supply, with a low 0.9 percent vacancy rate for rentals.


    But the future 2.2 million expected to relocate to SEQ are predominantly forecasted to be international migrants, with 38.7 percent coming from overseas. 


    This, paired with an ageing population and a trend towards smaller households has added unprecedented demand to SEQ’s housing market.


    Population growth alone means that 34,500 need to be built annually across SEQ over the next 25 years, just to house the incoming population.


    Population growth and SEQ


    Is the Australian dream as we know it dead?


    The plan pointed out that the Australian dream (which is quickly becoming a rarity) is no longer as we once knew it.


    Gone are the days of owning a quarter acre block in the suburbs. Now you’d be lucky to get half of that.


    The plan drew attention to the change in average site area from 2012 to 2021. In 2012, Brisbane’s average site area for in-fill and greenfield development was 571 square metres. Now it’s 459 square metres.


    The regional plan aims to better utilise development in SEQ to achieve a greater diversity of property types, stating that houses (detached dwellings) account for most homes in the region, making up 73.4 percent.


    It leaves little in terms of choice for downsizers and first home buyers.


    But the plan to build more apartments and townhouses needs to be carefully implemented, so as not to repeat the mistakes that have landed Australia in its current housing crisis. It needs to be financially efficient too.


    To consolidate or expand?


    The regional expansion plan lays it out in plain terms.


    To build new infrastructure in new, greenfield areas, it can cost up to four times as much money compared to upgrading and adapting pre-existing infrastructure in already established communities.


    For this reason, the plan proposes to move towards a new consolidation/expansion ratio of 70/30 percent, while maintaining a minimum of 60/40 percent in the meantime.


    Additionally, the previous consolidation/expansion ratio implemented in 2017 was based on sufficient land being available in areas like Ormeau, Flagstone, Yarrabilba, Caloundra and Coomera, but as development has started, these areas are no longer available for use.



    seq current and projected


    As demand increases and available evergreen land dries up, consolidation will increasingly become the favourable option. 


    “This plan doesn’t mean growth everywhere – it plans for growth in the suburbs that can cater for growth,” said Mr Miles.


    “Infrastructure is a key piece of the puzzle to support housing growth, so we’ve aligned this plan with an infrastructure supplement to ensure we get it right.


    With this kind of plan in place, the future of SEQ looks bright. But housing in the region looks set to become an increasingly hot commodity.