Harry Triguboff criticises Sydney’s housing ‘crisis’

Sep 8, 2022

Taiwo Gbolagade, TDPel Media

The ‘main issue’ with Sydney is how tough it has become to build in the harbour city, according to one of Australia’s wealthiest men, who has joined a chorus of CEOs and real estate developers in making this claim.

Harry Triguboff, the founder of Meriton Group, discussed the challenges of development in Sydney at the Wednesday luncheon of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Triguboff said that Sydney was “closed for business” and that he had now focused only on Queensland.

Currently, New South Wales is an unbuildable state. I swear to you. Nobody can do it if I can’t, the multibillionaire real estate mogul said.

Mr. Triguboff attributed his problems on bureaucracy and the strict approval policies of the NSW municipalities.

‘If (councils) want buildings to continue at the right rate, they have to approve property,’ he said.

With prices growing or rising the way they now are. People will move much more rapidly, in my opinion.

It’s true that sometimes you have a good council and sometimes you have a good planning supervisor, which is why I constructed so many flats in Sydney for so many years.

According to Mr. Triguboff, many councils are caving in to the whims and desires of locals who do not want apartment buildings encroaching on their neighbourhoods.

The property developer, however, claimed that the only conceivable “solution” to the city’s housing shortage was to construct additional apartment buildings.

Just a few weeks before, he said that prompt action was required to boost the number of units permitted in Sydney.

Currently, Meriton Group constructs around 2000 residences each year in Sydney, but Mr. Triguboff predicted that number would fall precipitously as approvals slowed.

He advocated that the government need to lower housing rates and invite back international purchasers.

By 2024, according to the real estate billionaire, Sydney would only have 4500 authorised flats.

In contrast, he said that things were “doing quite well” in Queensland, where rental issues were a comparable issue.

According to Mr. Triguboff, the fact that Brisbane’s prices have stayed mostly consistent over the previous 10 years makes it simpler to get permissions for new construction.

At the meal, several real estate developers and business executives shared the billionaire’s opinions.

Adrian Pozzo, the chief executive officer of Cbus Property, highlighted protracted wait periods for planning and sanctioning new construction.

According to him, it often takes two to three years for municipalities to approve these initiatives.