A RESIDENTIAL housing boom has contributed to Albury almost breaking the $1 billion mark in construction spending for the past five years.
More than $939 million has been invested in construction across the city in the five-year period with $700 million of this total related to residential development with the Thurgoona-Wirlinga growth corridor remaining the hot spot for those building new homes in Albury.
The revelations are contained in the 2017-18 Albury development monitor just released.
The construction spend figure falls short of those in Wagga for the same period with a major investment in that city’s hospital pushing its figure for the same period to $1.1 billion.
But the residential construction spend in Wagga is below Albury.
“Wagga has a well-rounded economy with strong residential growth, but significant investment in commercial,” Wagga Council’s city strategy manager Tristan Kell said.
“There has been significant investment in Bomen and Wagga health precinct that is supporting the region, which has attributed to strong commercial investment.
“Council is working closely with NSW Planning to improve planning processes to encourage more investment to support small business and large scale investment.”
In Wodonga, $753.9 million was spent in construction across all sectors from 2013-14 to 2016-17 with a further $170 million in 2017-18, also off the back of a strong housing market.
In 2017-18, 328 new homes were built in Albury which is 14 per cent down on the 380 constructed in 2016-2017.
Last financial year, slightly more homes – 363 – were developed in Wodonga.
Future projections estimate an additional 6116 new homes will need to be built in Albury between 2016 and 2036 to cater for a projected population increase of 15,262 new residents.
Wodonga is also projected to grow from its current population of about 41,000 people to 57,314 people by 2036.
The Thurgoona-Wirlinga growth corridor is booming, but creating issues for council in ensuring infrastructure keeps pace with the rapid development.
Almost 10,000 people already live in the Thurgoona area, which is almost double the size of Corowa, and is forecast to grow to 17,654 by 2036.
Mayor Kevin Mack said council was already responding to the challenges posed by population growth.
“Moves in the budget this year to include the ring road at Kerr Road and modifications to roundabouts at Thurgoona and Elizabeth Mitchell drives are evidence of that need to get ahead of the game,” he said.
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