From the CEO

“Growth hurts because change isn’t easy, that’s why they call it growing pains.” Tony Gaskins

As highlighted yesterday in this article on WA Today, Perth is bursting at the seams trying to accommodate the surge in population growth post COVID. Unsurprisingly, the North-East and South-East urban growth corridors are doing most of the heavy lifting with Alkimos-Eglinton coming out on top increasing by a whopping 5,367 people between 2019 and 2023. That’s compared to back in 2011 when fewer than 100 people lived there.

This highlights the often inconvenient truth that house & land packages in greenfield areas are usually the fastest supply response to sudden spikes in demand for housing. You only have to look at the top 20 suburbs in the article to see there are very few suburbs in infill locations that make the cut.

What is also both inconvenient and true is that the flow of house & land product to the market will soon slow to a trickle if demand does not slow down. Whether its construction sector capacity both civil and home or the lack of catalyst infrastructure that is preventing subdivision at scale from occurring quickly, the only inevitable outcome is further pressure on housing choice and affordability.

The pipeline of medium and high density infill needs to expand significantly yet remains constrained by flailing feasibilities. At some point unit values will get to the point where they become viable again despite elevated construction costs, but how long is that going to take?

Perth & Peel’s aspirational infill targets will remain aspirational until the people of Perth see the value and necessity in greater density. We need to ensure that the community conversation around the housing crisis centres around the need to change our attitude. It is very often the same NIMBYs criticising “urban sprawl” saying they don’t want density anywhere near them.

The growing pains will inevitably continue until we get the balance right. So let’s change the conversation.

Updated Residential Design Codes operational

The highly anticipated State Government design codes that guide quality medium density housing development in Western Australia came into effect today.  

UDIA WA welcomed the final version of State Planning Policy 7.3 Residential Design Codes, as another step toward more consistent, high-quality outcomes for medium density development, in both infill and greenfield locations. 

The new ‘Part C’ of the Residential Design Codes (the Codes) is aimed at encouraging quality, liveable outcomes for single homes R50 and above, grouped dwellings R30 and above, and multiple dwellings R30 to R60. 

The changes to the policy and regulation have been made in line with the extensive advocacy efforts of UDIA WA to ensure the timely delivery of housing to the market. UDIA WA supports the need to deliver new and improved housing products which foster good design and innovation.

This revised Code allows for greater flexibility and choice for consumers whilst also allowing for the supply of housing products to not be interrupted.

Read the new SPP 7.3 here.

Policy Team in Action

Last Friday, the UDIA Policy and Research Teams met with the Department of Treasury’s Housing Supply Unit to discuss the NHP Pilot Report outcomes and the constraints that exist in key growth areas around Perth and Peel including infrastructure and environmental issues.

We appreciate the opportunity to engage with the Housing Supply Unit and look forward to continuing to ensure issues constraining industry’s ability to deliver housing are front of mind.

Following discussions with our Committee members, we are forming a working group to understand the potential implications and formulate a response on the Western Australian Best Practice Industrial Conditions (WABPIC).

This matter has caused concern for members of the industry with regard to the potential increase in cost to deliver critically needed housing. We will be working with this group to ensure that the flow-on effects that these sorts of policies have on industry capacity to deliver housing are heard by the Government.

Join us for the CEO Sleepout

UDIA WA are pleased to share we will once again be forming a team, including our CEO Tanya Steinbeck, to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.  We’re calling for our members to support and join our cause on the night!

The event, which aims to raise vital funds and awareness to assist homelessness initiatives, takes place each year with CEOs from various organisations across WA sleeping out at Optus Stadium for a night.

UDIA WA has been involved with the event for the past few years taking a committed team of members helping to raise thousands of dollars each year and we’re looking to do the same this year.

If you would like to join the UDIA WA CEO Sleepout team, find more information here and click on ‘Join Us’ if you wish to be part of the team.  Otherwise you can also donate to the cause via the same link.

Last chance to book in for April Breakfast

UDIA WA are pleased to announce Evan Hambleton General Manager Assets Planning & Delivery at Water Corporation has been added to the panel discussion at our upcoming April Breakfast that will explore how we can work together to plan, coordinate and deliver strategically important infrastructure ‘at the right time’.

Lack of essential infrastructure is consistently highlighted as one of the top issues constraining urban development in Perth and the regions. In the midst of a housing crisis, this critical issues must be addressed.  

The event will feature presentations and a panel session involving the strategic planning and delivery leaders in this area, to explore what action is being taken to transform infrastructure delivery from constraint to catalyst!

Evan Hambleton’s inclusion on the panel adds to an already stellar line up of speakers and panellists including Infrastructure WA CEO Phil Helberg, Scyne Advisory Partner, Infrastructure & Property Craig Shepherd, Western Power CEO Sam Barbaro and ATCO Australia CEO and Country Chair John Ivulich with UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck facilitating the panel discussion.

Attendance at this event attracts 1.5 REBA CPD Points.   

For more information and to register, click here.

National Dwelling Commencements data masks a dire issue for housing

This week’s ABS data on residential building activity indicates that the modest quarterly increase in dwelling commencements is masking a much more dire issue.

“In order for us to hit the housing targets we need around 37,800 house commencements nationally every quarter and we are now sitting at only 23,900, that means we are undershooting by 37% on housing,” Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) National President Col Dutton said.

“We also need around 22,200 multi-unit commencements every quarter and we are under this volume by 36%,” he added.

What the graph above shows is that detached commencements are all falling off a cliff since the peak of 2021 and multi-unit commencements are down to the lowest level in a decade.

“The marginal increases revealed in today’s data are hiding a disaster not only for the industry but importantly for the people of Australia desperate to get onto the property ladder if we cannot stimulate new housing supply,” Mr Dutton said.

UDIA National is calling on the government to take action on the following issues:

More homes more quickly:

  • Incentivise accelerated approvals, more housing supply & density bonuses for added floor space, height or reduced lot size to deliver more housing fast across the continuum.
  • Reward States & Territories financially under the bonus for dwelling approvals issued on the 1.2m Accord target to support “front end” delivery, rather than waiting for builds.

Effective Planning Systems:

  • Incentivise streamlined planning across the continuum including halving planning times and accelerating zoning to convert undeliverable zoned land to housing faster.

Time running out to feature in The Land Report

Time is quickly running out for any of our members who are keen to secure exclusive advertising space in the new edition of the Land Report, which will be published in The West Australian in May.

UDIA WA is proud to partner with The West Australian on this long running lift out that features data from our quarterly Urban Development Index as well as a range of editorial that is designed to inform and educate readers on the latest trends in infill and greenfield development, creating a connected and vibrant city plus ways to improve housing supply and affordability.

The report is an opportunity to reach up to 481,000 readers of The West Australian on Saturday through advertising and advertorial content.

Anyone who books into the Land Report by Tuesday 23 April will also be able to enjoy complimentary editorial within the publication. Click here for more information or reach out to Carla Wray at

Last chance to book for the full 6-day PD course

With the upcoming 6-day Foundation of Property Development Residential Land course set to start on Monday, this is the last chance to book in for the full 6-module course but participants can still book in for individual modules once the course has started.

Whether you’re new to land development, have been working in the industry for a couple of years and want to upskill or you’re wanting to engage with and provide services to land developers but want to understand more about how they work, this course is for you.

This 6-day course introduces participants to the various areas of knowledge required to operate effectively in Western Australia’s land development industry.

It is designed to give an end-to-end overview of the property development process, and is taught by reputable local experts in the industry who have a wealth of first hand knowledge and experience.

The program is delivered over six consecutive Mondays with the upcoming course set to start on Monday 15 April.

Through this 6-day course you’ll:

  • Learn how to manage development industry roles with increased productivity and efficiency.
  • Learn to define and manage projects, while becoming familiar with terminology from the broad range of disciplines and concepts involved in property development.
  • Gain a practical understanding of the tools needed to navigate through complex development processes and the different roles within a project team.
  • Connect to expert, on the ground residential property development professionals, in a real-time environment.
  • Enhance your understanding to be able to work more effectively with developers, consultants, service and approval authorities, and other key stakeholders.

By attending this course, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively oversee and engage with residential development projects, make informed decisions, promote quality design and planning, and collaborate more effectively with developers and stakeholders.

Register here.

Develop your knowledge of WA’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Legislation

If you’re not familiar with your current responsibilities under WA’s Aboriginal Heritage Legislation and the changes that have been recently implemented, book in for our 1-day Aboriginal Heritage Legislation to update and enhance your knowledge.

While you may have worked with the legislative and policy framework previously, things have changed. If you’re a developer, planner, engineer, engagement specialist or other practitioner involved in the planning, design, and delivery of urban development projects, this course is for you.

Led by experienced presenters from the WA, the program is designed to increase the understanding of:

  • The changes to WA’s Aboriginal Heritage legislative and policy framework and the requirements and implications in an urban development context;
  • Landowner obligations, how to comply and considerations for project feasibilities and timeframes;
  • How to assess and minimise risk of harm to Aboriginal heritage; and
  • How to undertake business and consultations in a sensitive, respectful, and appropriate manner, including how and when to best engage with Aboriginal people during the development process.

Register here.

Bigger Sustainability Showcase magazine

Since announcing the launch of our new Sustainability & ESG magazine, we have been thrilled by the response from our members keen to showcase their sustainability and highlight the great work they are doing in this space every day.

Such has been the response to the initial call for members to be involved with the magazine, we have decided to increase the size of the magazine to make it an even bigger and better showcase of sustainability.

If you would like to be included in this new bigger edition of our magazine, click here to view the prices for including an advert in the edition or reach out to Chris Thurmott at to secure your spot.