Why Developers Are Choosing Lake Macquarie For Major Residential Projects

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Lara Grierson



29 August, 2020

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Lake Macquarie is a hotspot of residential development right now, for both Hunter-based and out-of-area developers. So why the increased spotlight on the region as a place to create homes and bring in residents?

Let’s take a look at the top reasons why developers are choosing Lake Macquarie for major residential projects.


1. Focus on residential construction

The City of Lake Macquarie has committed to population growth as one of its key goals throughout coming years. There are strong growth targets in place, with the primary aim being a 37% increase in population over the next 20 years – this means an additional 106,000 people will ideally soon be calling Lake Mac home.

To achieve this goal, the city will need more dwellings. There’s currently a strong focus on residential construction, with a target of 2,459 new dwellings p.a. (+3.3%) in place. The city is working with developers to fast-track development approvals and reduce costs for residential projects.


2. Available land close to economic key centres

Lake Macquarie has significant tracts of undeveloped and ex-mining land ideal for brownfield and greenfield development.

With more than 6,000 hectares of land available, there are several strategically allocated allotments in prime position for residential development along the coast and lakeshores. Large existing residential blocks and nine independent town centres can accommodate densification and infill housing supply options in town centres.


3. Increasing demand to live in Lake Macquarie (particularly from Sydneysiders)

Lake Mac is the place to be right now. Interest in living in the area has increased steadily in recent years – particularly from Sydneysiders. In Sydney, factors like population growth and the resulting urban sprawl, unsustainable commute distances, and rising house prices are creating inbound migration demand to Lake Macquarie and the Greater Hunter Metropolitan Area.

In particular, Lake Macquarie’s proximity to Sydney, as well as its superior commuter experience to many suburbs of Sydney’s north and north-west, means that it’s an ever more inviting and convenient option for Sydney-based employees.


4. Enviable lifestyle and location

People aren’t just interested in Lake Macquarie because of its proximity to Sydney. There’s also a plethora of lifestyle and location factors drawing buyers to the area and increasing the demand for residential development.

With the lake, mountains and beaches all within easy reach, Lake Mac is perfectly situated for all kinds of recreation. No matter where you settle, you’re never more than a short distance (~30 minutes or so) from all the different parts of the city. Pair all that with the strong, diverse employment opportunities on offer, and you’ve got yourself an idyllic place to live.


5. Relative affordability

With house prices on a constant climb in capital cities like Sydney, buyers are casting their nets wider to encompass more affordable locales – like Lake Macquarie.

All it takes is a quick glance at median house prices to show the relative affordability of somewhere like Lake Mac. In Sydney, you’re talking seven-figure territory – a median of $1.1 million, to be precise. But in Lake Macquarie, the median is a much more comfortable $650,000. The costs of land and labour are also comparatively lower, making the area attractive for both developers and individuals.


6. Commercial-facing arm

Residential developers often find that working with local and state governments can prove challenging. No matter how experienced the team or how well-planned the project, roadblocks can appear in the form of unclear processes and local jurisdiction anomalies, leading to blown-out costs, timeframes and outcomes.

But in Lake Macquarie, that’s where Dantia comes in. The team at Dantia is focused on supporting major projects that bring economic benefits to the region, and will work with developers to guide them through the process towards success. Dantia will be there through every stage, from idea and concept through to planning/commercial approval and delivery, to ensure the project’s vision is fulfilled.


7. Attraction packages

Dantia offers the Lake Macquarie Investment Attraction Package to help create solutions for developers’ needs, reduce costs and ensure the successful and timely delivery of projects. The package includes a suite of initiatives designed to stimulate investment and development, increase investment certainty and accelerate the delivery of jobs.

Some specific initiatives in Dantia’s attraction packages include:

  • Facilitating concept planning approaches in priority centres
  • Identifying systems, processes and local planning controls limiting delivery of dwelling and employment targets, and the development of alternative approaches
  • Increasing the number of complying developments and achieving higher land utilisation for dwellings
  • Identifying flexibility within planning controls and, where appropriate, bringing forward applications, approvals and delivery of dwellings in and around town centres
  • Flexible zoning to facilitate emerging land uses, co-locations and synergies not readily reflected in the traditional planning system
  • Setting Section 94 fees as a fixed percentage of construction cost fees, or reducing based on early start/finish
  • Taking an alternate approach to biodiversity offsets – articulating a city-wide tree canopy and habitat corridor strategy
  • Smart share parking schemes to reduce car park construction costs
  • Reduced lot sizes to increase land utilisation
  • Contribution rewards for new technology utilisation that reduces demand on existing utilities networks
  • Contributions to a future-thinking transport strategy



Want to learn more about how Dantia can help bring residential developments to life in Lake Macquarie? Take a look at the services on offer or get in touch today to discuss your project.