Coffs Harbour City CouncilPopulation forecast
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Coffs Harbour City

Drivers of population change

Development history

The Coffs Harbour City Council area is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. The area comprises the major urban centre of Coffs Harbour, townships of Sawtell, Toormina and Woolgoolga, with many small villages and localities along the coast and inland. The original inhabitants of the Coffs Harbour area were the Gumbaynggir Aboriginal people. European settlement dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for agriculture and cedar logging. Settlement was initially along the rivers which functioned as ports. Population was minimal until growth took place in the 1870s and 1880s, aided by gold mining and improved access. Significant development did not occur until the post-war years, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s. The increase in availability of private motor transport has resulted in significant demand for residential development in coastal areas away from traditional rail-based inland townships. This has been consistent with coastal areas around Australia over this period. The primary housing market role that the Coffs Harbour City Council area has played during the post-war period was to attract families and retirees from areas further south, in particular metropolitan Sydney and the Central Coast.

Migration patterns

The importance of the Coffs Harbour City Council area as a destination for retirees and more significantly families, from areas further south is expected to continue over the forecast period. As a result of this there is significant pressure for residential expansion within the Coffs Harbour City Council area from both existing residents and from people moving to the area.

It is assumed that this pattern will continue into the future, driving development on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour, around Lake Bonville, Sapphire Beach, Moonee Beach and the North Boambee Valley. The appeal of the area is a reflection of the natural attractiveness of the area, the climate and the significant amount of residential housing opportunities close to the coast. Local demand is relatively strong as Coffs Harbour has reached a size where it is creating significant numbers of new households (children leaving home) seeking new dwellings.

Historical migration flows, Coffs Harbour City, 2006-2011
Historical migration flows, Coffs Harbour City, 2006-2011
'Overseas' refers to arrivals only.

Population and household forecasts, 2011 to 2036, prepared by .id the population experts, April 2016.

Note: The migration flows depicted above are historical and do not represent future or forecast migration flows or subsequent council boundary changes. The arrows represent migration flows to the area as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the area. Overseas flow shows overseas arrivals only, based on answers to the census question “where did the person usually live 5-years ago.

Housing role and function

With the variety of residential and rural locations, different areas within the Coffs Harbour City Council area have developed different roles within the housing market. Areas on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour such North Boambee Valley, Coffs Harbour (West) and Korora - Sapphire Beach are attractive to both young and mature families as well as retirees. Coffs Harbour (North East), Coffs Harbour (South East) and have a significant component of medium and high-density housing, which attracts a large share of retirees, as well as younger adults. Coffs Harbour (Central North) and Sandy Beach - Emerald Beach attract lower numbers of retirees, while the rural areas also attract fewer retirees while losing significant numbers of young adults as they seek employment and educational opportunities in larger centres. The variety of function and role of the small areas in the Coffs Harbour City Council area means that population outcomes differ significantly across the LGA.

Housing supply

There are also significant differences in the supply of residential property within the LGA which will also have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures within the Coffs Harbour City Council area over the next five to ten years. Significant new 'greenfield' opportunities have been identified in Bonville - Bundagen - Boambee, Coffs Harbour (South East), Coffs Harbour (West), Korora - Sapphire Beach, Moonee Beach, North Boambee Valley, Northern Beaches, Sandy Beach - Emerald Beach and Woolgoolga. Other areas such as Coffs Harbour (Central), Coffs Harbour (Central West), Coffs Harbour (North East), Boambee East, Sawtell and Toormina are expected to have some growth in dwellings, but based predominantly on infill of vacant lots and more intense use of land.

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