Drivers of population change
The Strathfield Council area is located in the inner-western suburbs of Sydney, about 14 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, encompassing older industrial areas, major road and rail infrastructure, parks, reserves and foreshores. Significant development occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. The population of the Council area was relatively stable during the early 1990s; however, the population increased rapidly from the mid-1990s, rising from nearly 26,000 in 1996 to 42,415 in 2016. Recent growth has been largely due to the redevelopment of former industrial sites into residential developments, particularly high-density housing, and intensification around main stations. Population growth is expected to continue, especially in Homebush and along the Parramatta Road corridor with the redevelopment of underutilised commercial and industrial space.
The primary housing market role for Strathfield Council area has been to provide housing for families. This role continues, although increasingly Strathfield’s suburbs attract young singles and couples due to the higher density housing stock. The conversion of industrial and commercial land to new residential housing (especially higher density forms) is a pattern that is set to continue, with future opportunities for "brownfield" development. In the mid to longer term, it is expected that there will be greater intensification of housing around the rail stations in Homebush and Strathfield. The increased development that has occurred over recent years has attracted overseas migrants, as well people from inner western councils. In net terms, the area attracts young adults in their late teens and twenties and loses younger families.
Historical migration flows, Strathfield Council, 2011-2016
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 based on answers to the census question "where did the person usually live 5-years ago" and .id estimates of international out-migration.
Housing role and function
Within the area, the different suburbs have developed and will continue to evolve distinct roles within the housing market. Variations occur due to when areas were settled, the range of land uses in the area, developer interest and the varying planning policies in play. Strathfield, Homebush, Homebush West and Strathfield South tend to attract people in their late teens and twenties due to the higher share of rental stock (apartments) and (in some cases) proximity to rail links and other services. Belfield-Greenacre, in contrast, continues to attract established and mature families. With a greater share of development likely to be higher density apartments, a greater share of young adults living in smaller households is expected over the forecast period.
This process is heightened by the significant differences in the supply of residential development opportunities within the Council area which will have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the next five to fifteen years. Future "brownfield" redevelopment opportunities are likely along Parramatta Road corridor (in Homebush and Strathfield), old industrial areas within Homebush and West Homebush, and along the Liverpool Road corridor in Strathfield South. Areas with rail stations, such as Strathfield and Homebush are anticipated to undergo further intensification of residential stock. Finally, Belfield-Greenacre is expected to grow more moderately with most development coming from infill type developments and intensification around the commercial centres.