Latest land data points to potential recovery

UDIA WA’s June Quarter 2019 Urban Development Index will be released to members next week. Preliminary data shows the number of lots sold in Greater Perth for the June 2019 quarter increased 16.5% compared with the previous quarter and the average price has stabilised at $221,695.

While the quarterly figures look promising, there is still some way to go for the property market to fully recover, with annualised figures reflecting a 9% decline in sales volumes over the year to date and a 3.8% decline in average prices over that period.

More details will be available on Tuesday 13 August.

Ellenbrook train line route finalised

The state government has announced the finalised route and station locations for the Morley – Ellenbrook Line.  The 21-kilometre line will include stations at Moley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook, with a future station to be developed at Bennett Springs East.

Premier Mark McGowan said that passengers from Ellenbrook will be able to make the trip to the CBD in 30 minutes.

Given the North Easter corridor is one of the fastest growing in WA, the highly anticipated finalisation of the route and stations is positive news for new and existing developments in the area.

More information here.

Report on coastal erosion released

The McGowan government has released a state-wide report on coastal erosion, outlining the scope and scale of coastal erosion across WA and potential options for managing risk.

The report identifies 55 locations across Western Australia – 15 metropolitan and 40 regional – that have varying levels of risk that will need collaborative solutions. An additional 31 locations have been placed on a watch-list for future monitoring.

The estimated cost for managing the 55 locations could be up to $110 million over the next five years, with additional funding required in the long term.

Findings include a broad evaluation of coastal management options – which along with more detailed local coastal hazard risk management and adaptation planning – will inform future funding considerations and priorities for the coastal zone.

More information available here.

Planning System Green Paper summary of submissions

A summary of the 254 submissions related to the Modernising Western Australia’s Planning System: Green paper concepts for a strategically-led system has been released that highlights recurrent themes from the submissions received.

Some of the key themes identified include strategically led local planning; mandatory development requirements; guidance and preparation of local planning frameworks; community engagement; reasons for decisions; local government accreditation and infrastructure prioritisation and coordination.

The full report is available here.

Homelessness week

In recognition of Homelessness Week, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck participated in a panel discussion about how industry and government can work together to provide more affordable housing.

The keynote speaker at the event was National Director of Housing First in Ireland Bob Jordan, who discussed his experience rolling out the Housing First model for people who sleep rough and long-term users of emergency accommodation with complex needs.

The model offers the provision of immediate, permanent and affordable housing to tackle homelessness, and then provides the appropriate wraparound housing and health supports, and connections to community-based supports, to ensure people maintain their housing and improve their overall health and well-being.

To find out more visit here.

Planning reform action plan and precinct planning policy release

Minister Saffioti will release a new Action Plan for Planning Reform along with the Draft Precinct Design policy on Tuesday 13 August.

The Action Plan responds to the summary of submissions received on the Modernising Was Planning System green paper and provides key initiatives that are promised to bring greater clarity, consistency and efficiency to the planning system.

The Precinct Design Policy is phase two of Design WA and will be out for consultation for a two-month period.

To attend the launch hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia, visit here.

Cash rate remains at 1%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced, as anticipated, that the cash rate would remain at 1.0% this month.

According to the RBA, “conditions in most housing markets remain soft, although there are some signs of a turnaround, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. Growth in housing credit remains low. Demand for credit by investors continues to be subdued and credit conditions, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, remain tight. Mortgage rates are at record lows and there is strong competition for borrowers of high credit quality.”

There is growing expectation that the RBA may cut the official rate again in the coming months dependant on labour market developments and consumer spending.

UDIA sponsors Town Teams conference

UDIA is a major sponsor of the upcoming Town Teams ‘Discovering Place’ conference in Perth on Friday 13 September.

The Town Team movement is an ‘underarching’ non-profit organisation promoting active citizenship, a network of Town Teams and thriving communities.

The conference will feature international key note speaker Gabriella Gomez-Mont, the founder of Laboratorio para la Cuidad, the award winning experimental arm of the Mexico City government and The Urban Taskforce a new type of nomadic and creative office specialized in cities – and that constantly shifts shape to accommodate high-level, transdisciplinary collaborations across the world.

Other conference speakers include David Engwicht, Director Creative Communities International; Suzanne Waldron, Behavioural and Leadership Facilitator, TEDxPerth Curator; Adiran Fini, Director FJM Property; Tobias Volbert, Director 7 Senses Foundation; and Prof Ted Snell, Director Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

Find out more here.

We welcome your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members. We encourage you to forward any feedback on these items to

  • EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance (here). Submissions close Monday 2 September, 2019.
  • DWER issues paper ‘Waste not, want not: valuing waste as a resource’ out for comment (here). Submissions close Wednesday 4 September, 2019.
  • Draft State Planning Policy 3.6 – Infrastructure contributions (here). Submissions close Monday 2 September, 2019.

Older Australians housing aspirations

A new Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) report released today explores the housing aspirations of older Australians (over the age of 55) in order to support government policy making that will deliver the housing and housing assistance required to meet their diverse aspirations.

The research, ‘Older Australians and the housing aspirations gap’, found that current housing meets the short-term housing aspirations of over 90 per cent of older Australians but only meets the longer-term aspirations for around 70 per cent as needs change with age.

While the housing aspirations ‘gap’ is relatively small, it is largest for renters in the private and social housing sectors and highlights a demand for diverse housing options, notably in small regional towns, for two- and three-bedroom houses.

Download the full report here.

New! BGC Housing Group

BGC Australia has announced the creation of a new residential building group.  BGC Housing Group, to be based in new state-of-the-art premises in Osborne Park in 2020, will incorporate the existing operations of BGC Residential, J-Corp and BGC Development.

Leading the newly formed Group is Executive General Manager Michael Bartler.

WAAA Member Briefing 

Over 50 UDIA members attended this week’s UDIA Member Briefing with WA Apartment Advocacy to discuss the findings of WAAA research examining the emerging trends in apartment living. The research revealed that the overwhelming majority of those living within an apartment were satisfied with their housing choice and did so to be close proximity to community infrastructure such as public transport or other amenity features.