High rents fuel NSW granny flat boom

Granny flats are becoming increasingly popular in NSW with high cost rents forcing more and more adult children to remain at home.

Applications to NSW councils for new granny flats increased to 1521 in 2009/10 compared to 1365 in 2008/09.

The figures, released by NSW Planning’s Local Development Performance Monitoring Report, show a growing trend across the State.

Climbing rents, particularly in Sydney, are forcing adult children to stay longer in the family home, with granny flats providing a private living arrangement.

In addition, a growing number of older relatives are being forced to leave their homes and move in with family members.

Enterprising home owners are also driving up the number of applications with many of them keen to build private flats on their property which they can rent out and generate supplementary cash flow.

In an effort to boost affordable housing supply, the NSW Government introduced a new Statewide planning policy in 2009 making it easier and faster for homeowners to build granny flats, with many approvals granted in just 10 days.

A granny flat can be proposed for approval if:

  • It’s on land which is zoned for residential purposes such as your typical suburban street;
  • Once built, there will be just one granny flat on the lot, on the same land title as the main house;
  • The combined floor area of the main house and the granny flat meet the council’s controls;
  • The granny flats floor area is no greater than 60sqm or the maximum floor area allowed by the council; and
  • The granny flat meets structural standards.
  • There are no requirements to provide additional parking for the granny flat.

Source: NSW Planning

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