The ‘missing middle’ is the government solution to bridge the gap for medium density housing and proposed as a solution for the city’s housing crisis.

Anna Porter, valuer, property commentator and Suburbanite CEO suggests thinking ‘terrace houses’ in greater Sydney locations.

“With an ageing population and a population growing quickly, more diverse housing is needed to suit different lifestyles so put simply, Sydney needs more affordable housing options,” says Porter.

The policy changes the game for new homes being built in NSW and gives rise to the low medium density style of housing around the state.

“The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code fast tracks complying development approval for one and two storey dual occupancies (side by side), manor houses, dual occupancies (one above the other) and terraces,” explains Porter

“This means the DA’s for this style of housing are being pushed through the councils at a fast rate but some councils have opted for an extension to avoid fast-tracking.”

“Deferral of the code, which fast-tracks approval to 20 days if it is compliant, has been granted to councils like Lane Cove, Northern Beaches, Liverpool and Bankstown until July 2019.”

“Given this deferral, some real estate speculators are already snapping up blocks in these areas to prepare for the changes afoot in the hope that property owners aren’t yet across the policy, thinking this will increase values once the policy lands. But this is not necessarily the case,”

“An automatic value increase because of a new planning policy isn’t a certainty and when there is a jump in supply of suitable sites this can have the opposite effect. We see some early adopters of the policy may be the winners, but those that wait will become one of many sites that will literally walk through the council planning process with ease and that reduces any expected uplift in values from the changing site use,” says Porter

There is also great flexibility with these types of properties as dual occupancies can be Torrens titled, strata titled or subdivided.

“Downsizers will benefit from the increasing supply of medium density housing. This means the ageing population will have more housing stock to choose from when looking to downsize and their large style family homes will go to market,” says Porter.

The policy however has potential to devalue properties that meet the criteria of the missing middle.

“The policy will likely devalue development sites that match this criteria as many home owners will jump on this opportunity and push their property through as complying development and given that so many properties will now have more development opportunity that won’t be a unique feature,

“When there is an over-supply of ‘easy to get DA’s’ this lowers the value of them in the market place and will result in devaluing of development sites across greater Sydney over the next few years as a result.”