Illawarra Shoalhaven Update

NSW February 6, 2020


Welcome to 2020 and Happy New Year! Hope you all had a safe, restful and joyful break. It is hard to believe we are already in February - the year has well and truly kicked off and we are looking forward to working with you all.  

In 2019, we held 10 events across the Illawarra Shoalhaven including our first event in Nowra, we collaborated extensively with other peak bodies to become a more powerful advocate for our region and are leading the way on city deal development.  We released research on Industrial Lands, worked closely with local councils on their strategic planning and economic development and for the first time an Illawarra School was involved in the Girls in Property Program. 

 So with all this in mind, 2020 is going to be an even bigger year on the advocacy front with the revision of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Plan, development of Local Strategic Planning Statements for local councils and inputting into their housing strategies, expanding our advocacy and reach in the Shoalhaven, as well as our continued work on the City Deal and a number of exciting events – it’s going to be a busy year!  

We will be kicking off 2020 with our Illawarra Outlook Event being held on Friday 28 February. This is an event not to be missed with a great line up of speakers planned for you to provide an economic outlook for the industry and the region, discuss trends amongst the property sectors, infrastructure planning and the opportunities for investment attraction and jobs across the region. I look forward to seeing you all there!  

Wollongong office market report

The latest Property Council Office Market Report has shown Wollongong’s office market is looking up, experiencing the lowest vacancy in seven years and is on the road to becoming a destination of choice for employment with over 17,00sqm of new office space coming online in 2020.  

Over the last year, the office vacancy rate has decreased from 10.0 per cent to 9.1 per cent to January 2020 mainly due to withdrawals, however showing signs of a healthy local economy and good prospects for local jobs across the city.  

Wollongong is currently experiencing record investment across the city, with four of the largest A-grade office commercial developments set to come online over the next year. This is a great advantage for the city to assist in attracting business and professional services to the CBD. 


Key market indicators, Wollongong (aggregate)  



Jan 20 (%) 


Jan 19 (%) 

Net absorption, 12 months to Jan 20 (sqm) 


















new research: industrial lands in the illawarra 

Late last year, Property Council released new research Industrial Land in the Illawarra, which showed that unlocking underutilised industrial lands has the potential to create over 3000 jobs across the region and improve the Illawarra’s global reach.  

Industria Illawarra

The research which was conducted by Urbis also outlines demand drivers and mega trends for industrial land use, as well as the opportunities for the region given land use pressures in Sydney, including the demand for eCommerce, technology, strong import growth and access to infrastructure and skilled workers.  

The evolving Illawarra economy, the Port at Port Kembla and potential sites for re-zoning were also key parts of the research with a number of key recommendations outlined in the report. Read more here in our advocacy alert and the story in the Illawarra Mercury here. 

shoalhaven 2020: have your say on the future of the shoalhaven

Shoalhaven Council is currently seeking feedback from the community and industry to assist in the development of their Local Strategic Planning Statement. The draft Shoalhaven 2040 which sets out a vision for the Shoalhaven has been released for early input and feedback to help prioritise planning and actions to deliver these priorities.   

A survey which can be completed will help council confirm and prioritise planning issues important to their local communities and identify any other issues that may have been missed. The responses will help to develop a draft document which will be publicly exhibited for comment later in the year.  

The survey will be available online via Council’s ‘Get Involved’ website from Monday 3 February 2020 until Friday 13 March 2020. This is a really important piece of work and we encourage you all to get involved and have your say on the future of the Shoalhaven.