Australia's most expensive housing market should become a little more affordable under what's been dubbed the biggest mass rezoning of Sydney in decades.
While not changing any one area's zone, the proposed NSW-wide baseline would green-light more density with the aim of building 112,000 homes in six years.
Among the changes, all low-density residential zones in the state would by default allow duplexes, while those in metro areas would also permit terraces, townhouses and two-storey apartment blocks.
The policy resembles a 2016 housing experiment that halted rental growth and slowed the growth in house prices in Auckland.
"We need to be bold just like they were in Auckland," Property Council NSW executive director Katie Stevenson told reporters on Tuesday.
"For too long, councils have been able to use an excuse of planning for existing residents, rather than planning for those new communities, those new young families looking to move in."
Currently, two of 32 Sydney council-run development plans allow terraces and two-storey apartment blocks in low-density zones while most medium-density zones in Sydney prohibit residential flat buildings of any scale.
The NSW government proposal would also permit three- to six-storey apartment blocks within 800 metres of transit hubs and town centres in medium-density zones.
The Housing Industry Association said the proposal would streamline the approval process and reduce costs for families able to replace the old family home with two dwellings.
Pro-development groups heralded the change as a rare policy that met the scale of the housing crisis head-on.
Housing Now director David Borger said the biggest mass rezoning the state had undertaken in decades would give people more choice on where to live.
"When Auckland did it - when they allowed up to three houses on a single block - they didn't have the (price) increases seen in all other New Zealand cities," he said.
"(In Sydney) 20 years ago, 17 per cent of all new housing builds were 'missing middle' - up to six storeys.
"Now it's one per cent.
"We've killed this level off - people need a choice."
The revamp is forecast to deliver 112,000 new homes - accounting for 30 per cent of the NSW government's 2029 Housing Accord target.
But details on where the modelling expected those homes would be built won't be clear until the plans go on public exhibition next week.
Under the plan, neighbours and councils would be able to object to housing proposals on the grounds of blocked sightlines or factors not regulated by the statewide standards.
Planning Minister Paul Scully said the reforms were about "delivering on our goal to see density done well" in areas where it was intended when zones were first drawn.
"It's not rezoning, it's about ... reinstating permissibility," he said.
The policy bears similarities to a pro-housing motion that passed the Liberal state conference over the weekend, which includes a call for all areas within a 10-minute walk of train stations to be medium-density R3 zones.
While backed by whip Chris Rath, Liberals MPs aren't bound by the motion.
Opposition Leader Mark Speakman supported more density but criticised an "arrogant one-size-fits-all" approach that pushed aside local councils.
"We accept there has to ambition, increased density, particularly so around major public transport and town centres," he told reporters.
"But in the first instance, you should try to bring local communities along."
Australian Associated Press