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Should You Build SDA Housing in Rural Areas?

Securing suitable housing for people with disability can pose significant challenges, particularly in some rural and remote areas where housing options are often limited. Is it a good idea to build SDA in these areas? There’s no simple answer to the broad question of whether you should build NDIS investment properties in rural areas. We take you through different factors to consider when thinking about where to build an NDIS property. 


When searching for the right area to build an NDIS investment property, you’ll likely be looking into supply data across various areas. This involves checking the number of existing SDA homes, as well as their occupancy rates and the types of accommodations available — whether they are High Physical Support, Fully Accessible, Improved Livability or Robust. Understanding the saturation level of NDIS properties in the region helps in gauging the competition and identifying potential niches or unmet needs.

The below diagram shows the saturation of NDIS properties across Australia, with the darker purple indicating a higher number of SDA. 

NDIS SDA Demand Data
Source: NDIS SDA Demand Data. Data as of 28th November 2023.

Taking a closer look at Melbourne and the surrounding areas, we see Geelong has a high number of SDA compared to the other suburbs (indicated by the darker purple). Without considering the demand data, it’s impossible to tell whether Geelong would be the right place to invest. Geelong is not a rural area, however, for the purposes of the supply vs demand example, we’ve decided to use this area as both supply and demand are relatively high. 

NDIS SDA Demand Data: Total SDA
Source: NDIS SDA Demand Data: Total SDA. Data as of 28th November 2023.


The flip side to supply is demand — if there’s no demand for property in an area with low supply, then you might have a hard time finding a tenant. The NDIS provides demand data across Australia for investors to consider when determining the best area to invest in. If you’re thinking about building SDA in a rural area, it’s crucial to determine whether there is any demand for the property in that area. 

We determined already that Geelong has a large number of SDA compared to other areas of Victoria. When we check the demand data, we see that there is a high number of people in Geelong still looking for an appropriate SDA. In this case, it might make sense to build in Geelong due to the high demand data, regardless of the saturated supply. 

NDIS SDA Demand Data
Source: NDIS SDA Demand Data: Participants Seeking SDA. Data as of 28th November 2023.

Other factors to consider

Deciding purely by supply and demand data, many investors will look for an area with high demand and low supply. However, there are other important factors to consider when choosing an area to invest in. 

Infrastructure and accessibility

The accessibility and quality of infrastructure play a crucial role in the success of NDIS investment properties. Rural areas may have specific challenges, such as limited transportation options and healthcare facilities. Evaluating the existing infrastructure and researching future improvements and developments can help you determine the attractiveness of a rural location for NDIS investments.

Service providers 

SDA tenants — NDIS participants — are likely going to have a need for various support services offered by NDIS providers. For this reason, the availability of support services is a critical factor. These services may include medical facilities, therapy centers, and community support organisations, behavioural support, nursing, and much more. Evaluating the supply of such services in the rural area ensures that the NDIS participant living in your investment home will have access to the services they need. The NDIS Provider Finder shows registered providers within Australia. 

Economic viability

Evaluating the economic viability of NDIS investment properties in rural areas is essential. Factors such as cost of land, construction expenses, and ongoing operational costs need to be factored into your decision. Typically, the price of land becomes cheaper, the farther you move away from the CBD. This factor alone could significantly impact the projected return on investment for a rural project compared to a property in a major city. 

We can help

If you’d like to discover where the most appropriate area to build an NDIS investment property is, please get in touch with us. We’ll happily take a look at your circumstances and goals, to help you determine the best area for your property investment.

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