From the CEO

In our 24 hour news cycle, it’s easy to be consumed by the enormity of the challenges we face today, the lack of progress on critical societal issues and all the bad things that happen in our world.

For those valued UDIA members that have been around our industry for decades, you could be forgiven for the relentless frustration with the cumulative impact of policy, regulation and inefficient administration that stands in the way of delivering affordable housing when and where it is most desperately needed.

It is important however, to remember how far we have come and where we could have been if it weren’t for industry bodies that represent your collective views and frustration. With a singular focus of delivering better outcomes for both the industry and the broader community, the UDIA team are here to actively listen and take meaningful action.

We are also here to recognise, celebrate and promote the contribution the development industry makes to both our economy and our community. It was with so much pride that we showed the rest of the country that west truly is best at the UDIA National Awards for Excellence two weeks ago, taking home three gongs for Young Leaders in Rachel Ezzard from Stockland, Small Scale Development in Park Terraces by Celsius and Seniors Living in Rosewood West Perth by Rosewood Care Group.

Now it’s time for us to recognise and celebrate the best in the west in 2023 with the WA Awards for Excellence nominations now open. Make sure you save the date for our sell-out Gala Celebration on 16 September where not only will we be celebrating our award winners, we will be toasting 50 years of UDIA WA.

Streamlining environmental assessments and approvals

Environmental assessments and approvals currently present a major challenge for our industry, and thus for ensuring adequate provision of crucial, diverse supply across the housing continuum to support our growing population.

In response to the issues are members are experiencing, we have established a Working Group as a sub-group to our Environment Committee to progress a process review to identify solutions to address identified industry pain points.

The development of a strategic, planning-led approach to environmental decision-making has been a longstanding priority for UDIA WA.  This Working Group and the Environment Committee are supporting UDIA WA advocacy around scoping for the proposed alternative to the SAPPR to ensure it appropriately balances environmental considerations and land use objectives, as well as to seek quick wins in the interim.

We will be engaging with strategic partners to present a united and compelling reform package to Government.

UDIA WA Policy team in action

The latest round of committee meetings continued with the Built Form Standing Advisory Group last Thursday, and the Environment Committee this week.  Key matters being discussed included:

  • Implications of the Medium Density Code for built form developers;
  • State Government consultation for the Built Environment Sectorial Emissions Reduction Strategy;
  • Next steps for UDIA’s Development Ready Pipeline project;
  • UDIA’s advocacy around cost recovery for environmental assessments under the EPBC Act;
  • UDIA WA’s continued advocacy around a strategic planning-led approach to state-based environmental decision-making assessments and approvals; and
  • education opportunities around climate literacy.

With input from the committees, the team is currently drafting a submission to DWER on the Planning Scheme Regulations for EPA referrals.  The submission is due tomorrow (Friday, 14 April).

Land Report

Next month sees the return of the highly popular Land Report, published in partnership with The West Australian with the new edition set to focus on various aspects of the Perth housing market.

This publication will be inserted into the Saturday Real Estate section of The West Australian newspaper on Saturday 13 May appealing to an audience of 491,000 Saturday readers.

This audience, made up of landbuyers and homebuilders, will have access to a wealth of information provided by the UDIA and the team of real estate journalists at The West Australian.

This will include:

  • The latest market data and analysis from the 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.

For your chance to be involved with the upcoming edition of the Land Report, see here or reach out to Mahwish Ali at The West Australian here for more information.

WA unemployment rate falls

Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed the Australian unemployment rate remained steady in March to sit at 3.5% however the seasonally adjusted figures for Western Australia saw the local unemployment rate fall to 3.4%.

WA’s figure was 0.4% lower than the previous month’s figures and was the result of the number of people employed rising by 0.5%. WA now has the second lowest unemployment rate of all States, behind just NSW which recorded an unemployment rate of 3.3%, 0.1% higher than its previous month’s figure.

The total number of employed West Australians is now at a record high of 1,527,600 compared to the previous high of 1,520,300 in December.

There was no change in WA’s rate of underemployment which was steady at 5.7%, the lowest of all States with Australia’s national underemployment rate rising to 6.2%, a 0.4% increase on the February figures.

WA also boasts the highest participation rate of all States with 69.1%, albeit 0.1% down on the previous month.

Register for Member Briefings

UDIA WA are proud to share details of two free Member Briefings available exclusively for UDIA WA members, brought to you by UDIA WA research Partners Urbis and CoreLogic.

The first is on Thursday 4 May and sees Perth’s leading property economists David Cresp and Tim Connoley of Urbis review the Urban Development Index results for Q1 2023 before they provide an overview of where they see the Perth greenfield land market heading and what will be the key influences going forward.

The Urban Development Index is a quarterly research publication released by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA), which covers Residential Land Activity. It provides a comprehensive analysis of land sales activity in the state, as well as current property and economic conditions. Data and analysis includes land sales, lots on the market, and developer lot construction intentions over the next 12 months.

To register for this free member briefing, click here.

The second member briefing celebrates the recent signing of CoreLogic as an official UDIA WA Research Partner as pre-eminent Property Market expert Tim Lawless (Executive Research Director of CoreLogic’s Asia-Pacific research division) will provide a detailed overview of the current trends across the Western Australian property market, along with his expectations for the next twelve months.

When will Perth’s median property pricing finally start forging closer to the major capitals on the East Coast? How will the retraction in the forward construction pipeline impact on pricing and rents across Perth and the Regions? How does the down-turn in WA’s apartment and medium density sector compare with historical and national trends? These sorts of important questions and many more will be explored in this free UDIA Member Briefing.

To register for this free member briefing, click here.

Building activity falls in December

The total number of dwelling units commenced in Australia fell 6.7% to 41,374 dwellings in the December quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week.

The fall was driven by private sector other residential dwellings, which fell 16.5% to 12,053 dwellings and follows a fall of 11.7% in the September quarter. Private sector house commencements fell 2.3% to 28,330 dwellings and follows a fall of 4.4% in the September quarter.

Dwellings under construction have fallen 2.0% to 238,475 in the December quarter after a record high of 243,456 in September. This was despite new houses reaching a new record high of 105,111 dwellings under construction in December 2022.

The value of total building work done fell 1.1% to $30.7b in the December quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms. The fall was driven by non-residential building work done, which fell 3.3% to $12.3b and follows a rise of 3.6% in the September quarter. New residential building work done rose 1.1% to $15.8b. Work done on new houses rose 1.0% to $9.3b, while new other residential building rose 1.2% to $6.5b.

Tickets selling fast for UDIA WA Annual Golf Classic

UDIA WA’s Annual Golf Classic is THE sporting event of the year for the development industry with this year’s event set to be bigger and better than ever.

Grab your driver, your wedge, your putter and gather your colleagues & clients and get ready for a fantastic day on the green!

Registration includes:

  • 18 holes of golf across the stunning grounds at Joondalup Resort
  • Buggy hire
  • Pre-game food & beverages
  • On course snacks, BBQ lunch and drinks from the on course beverage carts
  • Post-game food & beverages at the evening networking function

Register your spot here but do so quickly as spaces are filling up fast.

Ensure your project receives the recognition it deserves

UDIA WA are delighted to announce nominations for the 2023 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence are officially open.

For close to three decades, the prestigious and highly sought after UDIA WA Awards for Excellence program has maintained the status as one of WA’s most respected and valued industry awards.

Specifically developed by, and for, the development industry and judged by highly respected, independent industry professionals, the Awards recognise excellence and innovation across Western Australia.

Winning trophies are displayed with pride in boardrooms and display cabinets across the State as a tangible sign of excellence and achievement.

Enter the Awards and have your project celebrated at the 2023 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner with over 500 influential development industry professionals and dignitaries from the Western Australian Government.

This year the categories are:

  • Residential Subdivision
  • Masterplanned Communities
  • Affordable Housing
  • Sustainability
  • Seniors Living
  • Urban Renewal
  • Social & Community Infrastructure
  • Marketing Excellence
  • Design Excellence
  • Boutique Development
  • Medium Density Development
  • Apartments (mid-rise)
  • Apartments (high-rise)
  • Diversity in Development
  • Women in Leadership
  • Young Development Professional

You can submit your nomination in 3 easy steps:

  1. Review the nomination kits here.
  2. Gather your project team and get a head start on understanding the relevant criteria and supporting documents you will need to make your submission stand out from the rest.
  3. Start your entry here.

UDIA WA would like to extend our thanks to the 2023 Awards for Excellence Platinum Sponsor Western Australian Planning Commission, Gold Sponsors Stantec and Category Sponsors nbn, Wormall Civil, Longreach Recruitment, Stockland and Slick Design for their support.

Celebrate 50 years with us

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) is delighted to celebrate 50 years working for the community creators in Western Australia during 2023.

To celebrate this special milestone, we are hosting an exclusive event for members and special guests at the beautiful Bunker Bay Resort from Wednesday 31 May to Friday 2 June 2023.

We will take time at this event to reflect on the Institute and what we have achieved as an industry in the last 50 years. We will also look forward to what we can expect in the next 50 years and the challenges and opportunities we need to prepare for as we navigate the future.

The program will be a mix of networking, plenary sessions and opportunities to connect.

Further information and a full program will be released soon but to book early, click here for more information.

UDIA WA are also producing a special 50th Anniversary Special edition of The Urbanist magazine with limited advertising spaces available in this publication. To celebrate with us through this special commemorative edition, click here for more information.