Are Sydney's empty bedrooms worth looking into?

There are 600,000 unused bedrooms across the city according to a new report by EY.

The figure was released in January when most of Sydney and the media were still on holiday, so you can be forgiven for missing the news. The report is a good piece of analysis which deserves more coverage and discussion.

The report did not count homes with just one spare bedroom, it only considered properties with two or more vacant bedrooms.

EY hypothesised that if you could wave a magic wand and turn the 600,000 “underutilised” bedrooms into new dwellings, it would translate into 190,000 more homes, which would go a long way to increasing supply in the midst of a housing affordability crisis.

I am a big believer in the idea of finding ways to help ‘rightsize’ the Sydney property market, but no one should be blaming empty nesters for Sydney's housing shortage.

One of the biggest hurdles for potential downsizers is a lack of help and support in the downsizing process, particularly for older people whose adult children either can’t help or have moved out of Sydney.

Clients are telling me they understand the benefits of downsizing but, as well as the disincentives created by stamp duty, they also find it really hard to take the first step on such a complex and laborious journey.

This is part of the reason I started Simply Downsize. Apart from helping people tackle this tough job, hopefully I am playing my small part in helping rightsize Sydney’s real estate market.

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