UDIA in Action

UDIA is dedicated to ensuring our members are well represented on the critical issues impacting their business now and into the future.  Therefore, this week has seen a significant focus on the medium density development space, as we continue to work with members and government stakeholders on our collective response to the draft Medium Density Design Code currently out for comment.

While UDIA is supportive of Design WA and the need for a new code to guide quality medium density outcomes, we do have some concerns around the implementation of the new code.  To explore the draft Code in detail and inform our joint submission with other peak bodies, UDIA held a meeting with a cross section of members yesterday to unpack the detail of the code and garner feedback.

On Wednesday night, UDIA WA Vice President Jeremy Cordina also participated in a panel discussion at a Medium Density Design symposium hosted by the Association of Consulting Architects and Open House Perth.  Jeremy provided some useful context for how the new code will impact volume builders and developers, particularly in greenfield areas.

On other issues, UDIA hosted a meeting with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to discuss a potential new framework for the identification of environmental offsets and the development of new guidelines.

The UDIA Land Use Planning Committee met today with DPLH providing a guest presentation on community titles and the Urban Water Committee met on Friday, focusing on intergovernmental collaboration, water planning integration and a range of other technical issues.

To round out the week, UDIA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and Treasurer Darren Walsh met with new EPA Chairman Professor Matthew Tonts to outline key industry issues in relation to his new role.

We wish all our members and friends a happy and safe Easter!

UDIA luncheon highlights current political landscape

UDIA WA was pleased to host our first industry luncheon for 2021 on Friday 26 March featuring keynote presenter Peter Van Onselen (PVO) and a stellar panel line up including 6PR radio host Gareth Parker, the Australian Financial Reviews Julie-ann Sprague and well know property analyst Gavin Hegney.

PVO set the scene with his presentation, providing insight into the back-room workings of the Federal Parliament and pinpointing the key power brokers in the Federal Liberal Party that he is labelling the ‘magnificent seven’ in his upcoming book.

Despite the challenges that the Federal Government is currently facing, not least of which a global pandemic and the significant issues in relation to gender and their response to sexual assault claims, PVO is confident that Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party will win the next election. This prediction is primarily based on the lack of formidable opposition in the form of Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party.

The upcoming election, according to PVO, will likely be put off to early next year to allow the government some recovery time and to reframe the political discussion around the post pandemic economic recovery rather than gender politics.

In terms of the upcoming Federal Budget, PVO expects it will be marketed as a ‘pre-election’ budget that will hold little new initiatives and likely focus on the economic reset.

A significant issue that will likely rise in prominence this year is immigration, which needs to start bouncing back post vaccine roll out.  PVO advised that while the government will want to increase immigration quickly, it will take some time to turn around.  Importantly, the federal budget is reliant on immigration returning to normal so this issue is only going to grow in significance.

At a state level, PVO suggested that we are unlikely to see much in the way of bold reform from a McGowan government given the Premier’s conservative nature.  He also noted that the state is relatively hamstrung financially given that the Commonwealth controls the purse strings, unless we see major federation reform, which is unlikely.

PVO’s insightful presentation was followed by the panel session that drilled down into state political issues and the local property market.

Thanks to our generous event sponsors Strategen JBS&G, Parcel Property and JDSi Consulting Engineers for supporting the event.

See the photos from the event here.

UDIA WA partners with Home in WA

UDIA WA is pleased to announce a new media partnership with the long running Home in WA television series.  The new partnership provides an important opportunity for UDIA to showcase the fantastic work that the urban development industry does in creating new and regenerating existing communities to a wide audience on Channel 7.  We will also be able to highlight the importance of the industry to the broader economy and jobs growth and foster greater engagement with residents and new home buyers.

As part of the media partnership Ron (DINGO) Reddingius is pleased to offer all UDIA WA members a very special discount rate for video content on the 2021 TV series. Filming is set to start in mid-May and we are excited to provide this opportunity to our members.

If you would like to showcase your company, business, project or estate on the CH7 & GWN7 TV series, state-wide, give ‘Dingo’ a call on 0417279103 or email him on dingoistalent@bigpond.com

May Land Report opportunities

The next edition of the Land Report liftout produced by The West Australian newspaper in partnership with UDIA WA is due for publication on Saturday 15th May.

The Land Report features the latest land market data from UDIA’s Urban Development index along with a range of editorial articles aimed at letting consumer know what is happening in the land market currently, tips for buyers and information about new growth areas and communities.

If you would like to take up an advertising opportunity in the lift out that reaches an audience of over 360,000 readers, contact Maddisen Booth at Maddisen.booth@wanews.com.au

More information about the lift out including rates can be found here.

Skills shortage looms as major issue

According to the latest CCIWA Business Confidence Survey, rising skills shortages are a top concern for WA businesses, with 54 per cent saying they are struggling to fill at least one skilled occupation.

Jobs including drillers, labourers, machinists, engineers and technicians are in top demand and the sectors with the biggest need for skilled staff were food services (77 per cent), wholesale trade (75 per cent) and construction (70 per cent).

Despite the skills shortage, three in five businesses surveyed said they were optimistic about the economy over the next 12 months with just 10 per cent expecting to shed jobs next quarter due to the Federal Government’s Job Seeker scheme ending.

More information including an overview from Chief Economist Aaron Morey here.

Latest gender equity insights

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) and the Workplace Gender Equity Agency have released their Gender Equity Insights report for 2021.  This is the sixth year that the report has been undertaken and it aims to support Australia’s journey toward gender equality in pay, employment and leadership.

This 2020 report specifically tested this proposition: do more women in leadership positions within an organisation lead to better company performance? The finding is unequivocally, that it does. A strong and convincing causal relationship exists between increasing the share of women in leadership and subsequent improvements across a suite of company performance metrics.

The report also identifies the top performers, who have consistently taken steps to improve gender equality outcomes over the last seven years. It also examines why some companies are better than others in delivering improved gender equity outcomes and the factors that drive success through consistency of policies, practices and accountability.

Read the full report here.

Latest data breaking records

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released a range of data sets this week that provide excellent insight into a range of areas relevant to the property industry.

In good news for Perth, our population increased 1.8% over the 2019-20 period, which was the largest capital city increase outside of Brisbane.

The regional population data drills down into further specifics, highlighting the largest growth area for the period was Ellenbrook, welcoming 2,400 more people, followed by Perth City (+2,200 people and Baldivis (+1,900 people).

In terms of building approvals for February 2021, the number of new residential dwelling units approved totalled 2,769 representing a 41.42% increase MoM (which is a massive 147.45% increase YoY).

The number of new houses totalled 2,429 (+36.23% MoM, +157.86% YoY), the number of semi-detached dwellings totalled 47 (-64.66% MoM, +4.44% YoY), and the number of new apartments totalled 293 (+597.62% MoM, +121.97% YoY).

In WA the number of new housing loan commitments for the construction of new dwellings totalled 1,940, representing a massive year on year increase of 278.17%. This is the largest YoY increase since the dataset began in July 2002.

The number of commitments for the purchase of newly erected dwellings represented a 27.33% increase MoM (+64.66% YoY). Again, the largest YoY increase since June 2006.

New loan commitments for the purchase of residential land numbered 415, representing a 0.24% increase MoM (+110.66% YoY).

Another indicator that the economy is on the rise, for the 3 months to February 2021 national job vacancies increased by 12.27% QoQ.  With the highest number of job vacancies recorded since the time series began in 1979.

In WA, job vacancies increased 6.95% QoQ to 40,000 and this is the highest number of job vacancies recorded since the time series began in 1983.

While the property market booms in WA, retail trade is not fairing quite as well. In WA, the seasonally adjusted estimate for retail trade decreased -5.40% MoM (+10.50% YoY). In original terms WA retail trade decreased -14.51% MoM (+6.54% YoY).