Posted: 09 May. 2019 10 min. read

Shaping Future Cities: Designing Western Sydney

A perspective for the real estate sector

Everyone in Western Sydney is a property developer…

It will come as no surprise to anyone who lives or works in Western Sydney that real estate development has simply exploded in recent times.

New apartments have sprung up across our urban centres, new communities are developing on green field sites, and purpose-built industrial parks are clustering around new transport infrastructure. As the population grows, there will be a corresponding need for additional homes and commercial buildings.

Shaping Future Cities: Designing Western Sydney identifies five drivers of change in the region: population, labour force skills, infrastructure, industry restructure, and urban renewal and real estate plays a vital role in all of these drivers, either as an enabler or as the primary role player.

Furthermore, five industries can drive economic and jobs growth in Western Sydney: tourism, international education, health, wealth management and agri-business. Again, either directly or indirectly, there is a key role for the real estate sector to play.

So what does the real estate sector need to do support this initiative?

  1. Integrated Planning: Advocating for clear and consistent planning rules across enlarged local government areas supported by the Fit for the Future initiative and potentially the Greater Sydney Commission, ensuring development is consistent and well co-ordinated across the region
  2. Deliver quality: We have the opportunity to create projects that contribute to the success and vitality of the region and generate a better environment for our residents – delivering the best solutions available anywhere, avoiding short term, cost conscious mediocrity – and providing affordability and efficiency
  3. Innovative solutions: The wave of development activity required to support the growth in the regional economy should take advantage of the latest ‘smart’ technologies and incorporate integrated data networks so that we create an interconnected smartgrid of developments that talk to each other
  4. Education and trainingThe real estate sector in Australia already employs over 1 million people, the second largest industry in the country. As the population continues to grow we must make sure there are sufficient training programs running through our local institutions and supported by an industry that enable new Western Sydney residents to build the skills required to participate across all aspects of the sector
  5. Invest: Many of our largest property developers already have mature assets and developments in Western Sydney and see the importance of the region, but significant further investment is required. We should encourage and support new entrants to the market from Australia, including local players like Celestino, as well as harness the pool of global capital from offshore real estate funds.
Western Sydney

Let’s seize the opportunity

The Shaping Future Cities: Designing Western Sydney initiative is by definition bold and ambitious. Creating 200,000 great new jobs is a challenging goal, but just as important are the questions of: Where will these people live? In what offices or industrial facilities will they work? And what facilities need to be built to support them?

The residents of Western Sydney need the best minds in Australia’s Real Estate sector to provide the answers. Bring it on!

[1] Property Council of Australia: Economic Significance of the Property Sector

More about the author

David Hagger

David Hagger

Leader, Western Sydney Real Estate

David is an experienced corporate finance partner who specialises in providing financial due diligence services. He has advised clients on numerous acquisitions, divestments and initial public offerings. David has been based in Parramatta since 2010 and leads our real estate industry group for the Western Sydney region. He has a deep knowledge of the real estate sector and the local market and regularly works with clients in this space. David is Chairman of the Property Industry Foundation’s Western Sydney Development committee.