From the CEO

It’s official. Today the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has become Housing Australia.

The expanded remit of the new look and much easier to say Federal Government housing powerhouse is a positive step forward for a more strategic and integrated approach to the delivery of housing across the continuum and across the country.

I have spent the last few days in Brisbane at the National Housing Conference where the Federal Minister for Housing, the Hon. Julie Collins MP spoke about the commitment of the Albanese Government to make a meaningful and long-term impact on the provision of social & affordable housing. I had the opportunity to speak as part of a panel discussion on the ‘States of the Nation’, highlighting the WA experience along with representatives from Queensland, Victoria and Adelaide.

The three key takeaways from the discussion with over 1,400 delegates from around the country are this. First, there has never been a better time to achieve systemic reform across planning, funding and delivery of housing than now. All three levels of government singing from the same hymn sheet on the issue of supply is a rarity. Second, whilst there is significant scepticism about the ability to deliver on the highly ambitious targets of 1.2 million homes – the sense is that a stretch target is better than no target at all. Third, we are in fierce competition with all the states & territories for WA’s fair share of both funding and workers. The need is acute and spread across Australia and we need to make sure WA puts its best foot forward and fast.

This week’s welcome news that the State Government has expanded the off-the-plan duty rebate scheme to apartments under construction is testament to the work of the UDIA team and members. It’s no silver bullet, however all options have to be on the table as we work towards making these ambitious supply targets a reality.

Extension of transfer duty scheme for apartments announced!

This week UDIA WA welcomed the State Government announcement that the Transfer Duty Concession to apartments has been extended to projects under construction.

UDIA WA participated in a press conference on Tuesday morning with Premier Roger Cook, Treasurer and Deputy Premier the Hon. Rita Saffioti, and Minister for Planning & Housing the Hon. John Carey where it was announced that the State Government will extend the transfer duty concessions available for new apartment purchases to include those under construction.

The Premier also announced the allocation of $15.45 million as part of the previously announced Infrastructure Development Fund to support 15 infill developments.

Applications for the Infrastructure Development Fund remain open until 6 September 2024 and more details can be found here.

UDIA WA has implemented a strong and consistent campaign to highlight the housing crisis here in WA and in particular the dire need to support the apartment sector to meet demand for housing across the state.

In our clearly articulated Policy Priorities and in regular meetings with State Government representatives, including the Treasurer and Minister for Planning, UDIA WA has outlined the support needed to boost apartment development in Perth, including expansion of the existing off the plan duty concession scheme to apartments that are under construction.

We have also highlighted this critical issue in regular media coverage, social media and the range of communication and engagement platforms we have at our disposal.

The announcement on Tuesday is testament to the State Government’s willingness to listen to industry and act on our recommendations to ensure the housing supply crisis is addressed for the benefit of all West Australians.

Key details to note:

Buyers of apartments under construction that sign an eligible contract will receive a transfer duty concession equivalent to 75 per cent of the concession currently available for off-the-plan purchases, capped at $50,000.

The following tiers apply:

  • 75% of duty payable for properties valued up to $650,000;
  • 75% sliding to 37.5% of duty payable for properties valued between $650,000 and $750,000; and
  • 37.5% of duty payable for properties valued at $750,000 or more.

The concession will be available for purchases from 31 August 2023 until 30 June 2025, in line with the existing off-the-plan transfer duty concession.

UDIA WA will continue to advocate for the concession to be made permanent. We are also seeking the abolishment of the Foreign Buyers Surcharge and continue to highlight the importance of all government policy updates or changes to consider housing affordability as we continue to highlight the need to address housing supply constraints across the housing continuum.

Policy Team in Action

This week we held the Built Form Standing Advisory Group meeting. There was a large agenda, however key points of discussion included:

  • The Government’s announcement regarding Transfer Duty Concessions being extended to under construction projects.
  • Potential temporary solutions to addressing the workforce shortage while housing is constructed.
  • Social and affordable housing options and how developers can play their part in delivering these products.
  • Building inspections during the construction process and the Government’s work in that regard.

The Policy Team has also continued working as part of UDIA’s role on the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation Implementation Group, including providing a response to the consultation drafts of the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation Guidelines and Consultation Policy. We would like to thank Lucy Shea of Clayton Utz for her ongoing advice on the details and implications of legislative framework.

Industry Breakfast highlights growing market

This week we were pleased to host an extremely informative Industry Breakfast wherein we released exclusive data from revealing the number of potential downsizers in Perth has grown 14% since 2021.

The Breakfast commenced with a keynote presentation from Michael Blythe, Economist in Residence at Downsizer, who said the growth in downsizers was a combination of the ageing population and growing awareness about the benefits of smaller abodes, which includes the ability to free up equity from the family home.

Mr Blythe’s presentation provided a comprehensive rundown of a range of information about Downsizer profiles, intentions and potential equity release based on extensive research.  The exclusive chart pack from is available to UDIA WA members here.

Following his presentation Mr Blythe was then joined by Blackburne Managing Director Paul Blackburne and Providence Lifestyle Group Director John Wood who provided their local experience and insights in an interactive and engaging panel session expertly facilitated by Jane Bennett.

The findings from the Breakfast were reported by Kim Macdonald in yesterday’s edition of The West Australian here as well as a feature article from Claire Tyrell for Business News, here.

Big thanks to our Technology Partner nbn, Event Sponsor CLE Town Planning + Design and our Research Project Partner Downsizer for supporting this morning’s event.

UDIA WA Environmental action update

Through ongoing work with UDIA National, the UDIA WA Policy Team and UDIA WA members took part in a workshop with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) as part of Nature Positive environmental law reforms.

Work with DCCEEW is ongoing to ensure that the voice of the development industry is heard through this process of reform, and we will keep working with our members to make sure this occurs.

This week UDIA WA also met with the EPA Chair as part of our regular and ongoing engagement programs.

Discussions included the current market conditions, challenges for industry in interacting with the EPA and DWER and the way in which approvals are managed, as well as the work on the EPA’s Social Surroundings process in the light of the changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation and the need to avoid duplication and for industry to understand expectations around surveys and consultation.

Efforts are in train around reviewing environmental assessment processes and UDIA WA will feed into this.  While the EPA has its statutory obligations, the Chair’s general advice to project proponents is to consider what other legislation may be applicable to help reduce the likelihood of assessment.

Start your engines for National Congress

With the F1 taking place the weekend after UDIA National Congress in Melbourne, the city will be a hive of activity and a great place to be but now is the time to book your Congress tickets, accommodation, and flights to avoid the F1 rush.

UDIA National Congress returns to Crown Melbourne on 18-20 March 2024 and will feature a range of high-profile speakers focusing on the urban development industry in Australia with key international case studies and a look ahead to what’s next in terms of innovation and market demand.

Book your tickets, here and if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, reach out to National Congress Manager Nichola Byrne, here.

Thanks to the UDIA National Congress Presenting Partner NBN for their support.

Work with us: Industry Education Officer

We are pleased to announce an exciting new opportunity for an Industry Education Officer at UDIA WA.

In this newly created role, you’ll be responsible for delivering and growing UDIA WA’s professional development and training program, positioning us as the ‘go-to’ organisation for the industry’s educational needs.

Key responsibilities include implementing a refreshed Professional Development and Training Program based on the National Microcredentials Framework, managing the ongoing delivery and expansion of our current program, identifying and developing new training offerings, and ensuring budgets are managed and revenue targets are met.

If you’re passionate about education and professional development, and have experience in managing training programs, this role is perfect for you.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity, apply here.

Land Report this weekend

Be sure to pick up a copy of The West Australian this Saturday for the latest edition of UDIA WA’s Land Report which provides an overview of the current state of the land market across Perth.

In addition to using exclusive UDIA WA data the bi-annual publication provides readers with insights from UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and our members on a range of core issues impacting the industry at the moment.

The new edition will include:

  • The latest market data and analysis from UDIA WA.
  • Commentary from leading developers.
  • Region-by-region analysis.
  • New trends in infill and greenfield development.
  • Creating a connected and vibrant city.
  • Housing supply and affordability.
  • And much more.

The Land Report is available in Saturday’s edition of The West Australian and will be available on their Online Feature Browser early next week.