Understanding the local area impacts of COVID-19

The housing story


Pre-Covid, how many residents could afford a home in your area?


Is the supply of housing in your area suitable to the types of households that live there?

your local area

Quantify the state of housing in your area with our housing monitor and the housing report starter guide.

The supply of affordable and appropriate housing was a significant challenge in many parts of Australia prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Now, as we anticipate the end of federal government stimulus packages to keep people in jobs and homes, housing will be a key issue for those who plan and advocate for the housing needs of their local community.

Future uses for student accomodation

Since the late 1990s, Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) has been a feature of development in and around the centres of education in our cities, housing the burgeoning student population that has significantly contributed to Australia’s population growth in recent years. But now, the students aren't arriving

Now, as overseas migration, including most international students, has slowed to a trickle, how will we use these towers of one-bedroom units?

A solution for social housing?

With little or no planning controls in place for this scenario, adaptation of PBSAs for other uses presents both opportunities and challenges.

Kieran McConnell shares some insights from his capstone research project into PBSAs – future ghost towers, or ghettos in the sky?

From the local housing blog series

Is local housing in your area affordable? Who lives in your area, and what type of dwelling do they live in? How can I tell if housing affordability is becoming an issue in my area?

The following is a selection of pieces from our local housing blog series, written to help you understand the supply of affordable and appropriate housing in your local area.

What is happening in Australia’s housing market?

Georgia looks at the lead indicators of how COVID-19 is impacting the housing market, and the measures being introduced to support vulnerable members of our community.

Where are the most at-risk mortgage holders?

Will low-income households be able to make their financial commitments without continued Government support, especially if they aren’t able to return to usual employment or find a new job?

Housing the young workforce

Career established, coupled up and starting a family - but the young workforce are becoming less predictable with where they want to live.

Is your local housing market supplying for vulnerable households?

There are a number of drivers of housing stress, one of which is the price points of sales and rental listings being supplied by your local housing market.

Severe overcrowding

How the technical definition of an overcrowded dwelling reflects the reality in Australia today.

Affordable housing for low-income workers

Which occupations are typically 'low income' and are 'key workers' in your area able to afford a home near their place of work?

make informed decisions

We help local government monitor the supply of affordable and appropriate housing in their community.

Housing stress in Metropolitan New South Wales

In NSW, the highest rates of housing stress are, unsurprisingly, found in Greater Sydney. The LGAs in which it is felt the most include Fairfield (23.8%), Cumberland (23.5%) and Canterbury-Bankstown (23.1%).

These areas have high proportions of low-income earners and have seen a significant increase in the number of rental households since 2011. The LGA with the lowest rate of housing stress, Ku-ring-gai (8.9%), has also seen an increase in renting, but this is countered by a high proportion of high-income earners and households that fully own their home.

Regional New South Wales

In regional NSW, the highest rates of housing stress are found on the North Coast, in Byron (16.6%), Lismore (16.1%) and Coffs Harbour (15.8%). Housing stress in these areas is likely to be driven by high proportions of low-income households, but also increasing housing costs in turn driven by higher income residents moving into the area. An interesting trend that can be seen on the map is that many of the regional, coastal areas of NSW have reasonably high rates of housing stress, but these rates decrease as you move inland. Other areas with higher rates include inland regional centres, such as Armidale, Albury and Bathurst.

Read the full piece for analysis of local areas in Victoria - our other fastest growing state.


Public-access resources from our housing team to help you tell the story in your local area.

DIY analysis

The housing report starter guide

A step-by-step guide to help you research, write and present the story of housing in your area.

Our housing team share their framework for analysing demographic change, population forecasts and current housing stock to identify the future housing needs of a community.

  • A step-by-step guide
  • Links to publicly-accessible data sources
  • Downloadable report template