UDIA in Action

UDIA WA has welcomed the announcement of the McGowan government’s new Ministry today, including his appointment as Treasurer.  While there are several new faces in Cabinet following Labor’s landslide victory over the weekend, Rita Saffioti will retain the planning and transport portfolios, providing continuity for the planning reform agenda and other related policy including the roll out of METRONET.

We welcome new Housing Minister John Carey, who recently spoke at UDIA WA’s State Conference and has been involved with the Institute in his role as Parliamentary Secretary.  Mr Carey also takes on the local government portfolio and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his new Ministerial capacity.  More details on the new Cabinet including specific appointments below.

UDIA’s research team continues to focus on the Medium Density Design Code, meeting with WAPC Chairman David Caddy and Director General Gail McGowan to discuss the details of the new code this week.

We are also continuing to advocate for immediate measures to address the rental crisis in WA, calling for a short, sharp incentive for investors to purchase newly completed apartment stock.  You will have seen the ongoing coverage in The West over the last two weeks based on our ‘fixing the rental crisis’ policy position.  Read more here.

Finally, UDIA took part in a Construction Training Fund (CTF) stakeholder forum late last week to discuss industry priorities and future workforce skills.  Skills shortages and getting the right people into WA to fill positions is a critical issue over the next 12 months and beyond.

We hope to see many of you at our first industry luncheon for 2021 next week!  Bookings close tomorrow so don’t miss the opportunity to network with colleagues and get a range of perspectives on economic and property market growth in the year ahead: book here.

State Cabinet announced

Following the McGowan government’s landslide victory at the state election on the weekend, the Premier has announced his new cabinet today.

Along with his own appointment as Treasurer, the Premier is joined by the following Ministers who will be sworn in at Government House tomorrow:

  • Minister for Planning, Transport and Ports – Hon. Rita Saffioti
  • Minister for Housing and Local Government – Hon. John Carey
  • Minister for Finance, Lands, Sport & Recreation and Citizenship & Multicultural Interests – Hon. Dr Tony Buti
  • Minister for Environment, Climate Action and Commerce – Hon. Amber-Jade Sanderson
  • Minister for Water, Forestry and Youth – Hon. Dave Kelly
  • Minister for Community Services, Child Protection, Women’s Interests and prevention of family and domestic violence – Hon. Simone McGurk
  • Deputy Premier, Minister for Health, Medical Research, State Development, Jobs & Trade and Science – Hon. Roger Cook
  • Attorney General, Minister for Electoral Affairs – Hon. John Quigley
  • Minister for Police, Road Safety, Defence Industry and Veterans – Hon. Paul Papalia
  • Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Heritage – Hon. David Templeman
  • Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development – Hon. Alannah MacTiernan
  • Minister for Mental Health, Aboriginal Affairs and Industrial Relations – Hon. Stephen Dawson
  • Minister for Emergency Services, Racing & Gaming, Small Business and Volunteering – Hon. Reece Whitby
  • Minister for Education and Training– Hon. Sue Ellery
  • Minister for Mines and Energy – Hon. Bill Johnston
  • Minister for Disability Services, Fisheries, Innovation and ICT – Hon. Don Punch

UDIA WA congratulates all of the new and continuing Ministers and we look forward to working collaboratively with the team as we look to progress our Policy Priorities for 2021 on behalf of members.

State of the Land released

UDIA National released the annual State of the Land report on Friday via “UDIA TV”, with members able to log in to the live presentation by Core Logic’s Tim Lawless and hear the latest on the land and housing market across the country.

The report provides an overview of the greenfield and multi-unit markets across the country in 2020.  The headline figures show that Perth had the highest lift in greenfield sales across the year (128% lift) compared with all other capital cities.  While the greenfield market boomed, the multi-unit market also experienced a 13% lift in sales, however completions were down 35% and the number of units under construction also decreased by 9% over the year.

Off the back of the is information, UDIA reinforced our call for the state government to introduce a short, sharp incentive for investors to purchase newly completed apartments, in order to get that stock onto the rental market as soon as possible.  The 75% Stamp Duty rebate would be an extension of the current rebate available to off the plan and under construction apartments.

Read the State of the Land report here.

Property industry boosts jobs

UDIA WA estimates that over 30,000 jobs were potentially created during the stimulus period last year in Western Australia.

According to Landgate data, the number of subdivisional lots approved across the duration of the stimulus period totalled 10,025, representing an uplift of 5,780 additional lot sales (or a 236% increase) when compared to the same period in 2019.

Current National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) research estimates each new home built would, on average, support three jobs based on newly constructed dwelling multipliers and current average dwelling costs.

Therefore, UDIA WA estimates, in applying the NHFIC industry jobs multiplier to the total number of lots approved, we will support 30,075 jobs across the economy.

These figures reinforce UDIA’s assertion throughout last year that the property and construction industry must be supported in ensuring jobs growth and economic stability.  We are very proud of our members significant contribution to the economic recovery in Western Australia.

Australia’s population grows despite restrictions

Australia’s population grew by 0.9 per cent during the year to 30 September 2020 despite a decrease in overseas migration as COVID-19 related international travel restrictions continued to take effect. WA had the second highest population growth of any state (1.2%).

ABS Demography Director Phil Browning said: “Natural increase accounted for 61.4 per cent of annual population growth, while net overseas migration accounted for the remaining 38.6 per cent.

“Over this 12-month period, there were 299,500 births and 164,100 deaths registered in Australia. Natural increase during this period was 135,400 people, a decrease of 3.8 per cent from the previous year.”

Net overseas migration was down 64.8 per cent compared to the previous year, driven by a decrease in overseas migration arrivals (35.4 per cent).

There were 365,700 overseas migration arrivals and 280,600 departures during the year ending 30 September 2020, resulting in net overseas migration of 85,100 people.

More here.

Design matters: medium density symposium

The Association of Consulting Architects (ACA), in collaboration with Open House Perth, will present a special Medium Density Symposium at WA Museum Boola Bardip on March 31.

Following the release of the draft Medium Density Policy by the WA State Government, the symposium will bring together representatives from government, architecture & design, planning and the development industry to present a united vision for Perth’s future density.

For more information and tickets visit this link.

Plan to Identify Planning and Zoning Reforms

The Productivity Commission has released an information paper to provide guidance on specific areas of planning and zoning regulation where Council on Federal and Financial Relations (CFFR) members could uncover some ‘quick wins’ to boost economic activity.

In July 2020, the CFFR asked the Commission to prepare a plan to identify planning and zoning reforms that jurisdictions could consider as part of their response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic.

This paper is the result of that request. It was prepared as a guide to policy makers in the States and Territories, highlighting the key issues (as judged by the Commission) and possible directions for reform. The project was undertaken in August and September 2020.

Read more here

Minutes of the Monetary Policy Meeting of the Reserve Bank Board

This week saw the release of the minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy meeting for March.

At this meeting the board reaffirmed the existing policy settings as expected, with members noting that the global economy was set to regain momentum over coming months, after a slowdown around the turn of the year induced by a resurgence in coronavirus infections in some countries.

With widespread inoculation likely to be achieved in a number of advanced economies in coming months and substantial further fiscal support in the United States in prospect, downside risks to the global growth outlook had receded. Members agreed that the prospects for a sustained global economic recovery were better than a few months earlier, although the path ahead was likely to remain bumpy and uneven.

Turning to the domestic economy, members noted that employment had continued to recover to be around ½ per cent below its pre-pandemic level. Full-time employment had also continued to recover.

Members noted that the recovery in domestic activity and labour market conditions had continued to be supported by highly expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. The recovery would be further supported by the rollout of the domestic vaccination program. However, in the near term there was some uncertainty relating to the effect that the end of the JobKeeper program would have on labour market conditions.

An important near-term issue was how households and businesses would adjust to the tapering of some fiscal support measures. Members noted that there may be a temporary pause in the pace of improvement in the labour market, as many firms had already adjusted the size of their workforces.

Despite these generally positive developments, members agreed that wage and price pressures had been subdued and were expected to remain so for several years. The economy had been operating with considerable spare capacity and the unemployment rate had remained high. Further progress in reducing spare capacity was expected to occur, but it would take some time before the labour market would be tight enough to generate wage increases consistent with achieving the inflation target.

To read the minutes in full, click here.