Purchaser Sentiment Survey released

Last Friday UDIA WA with Urbis hosted an exclusive member briefing that delved into the findings from the latest edition of the Urban Development Index (UDI) and the newly released Urbis/ UDIA WA Home Purchaser Sentiment Survey, which highlighted positivity among buyers in WA, despite the economic impact of COVID-19.

The sentiment survey found 48% of people are positive about purchasing a home in the current market and that figure climbs to close to 60% for those looking to purchase as an ‘owner occupier’.

The sentiment survey also clearly reflects the positive impact of recent federal and state government stimulus measures, increasing the likelihood of buying for 17% of people surveyed.

For more information, read our media release, which includes comments from UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and Urbis Director David Cresp, here.  A summary of the detailed findings will be made available to members next week.

Agreement to streamline environmental approvals given green light

Earlier this week the Commonwealth Government entered into a bilateral agreement with Western Australia to streamline environmental approvals.

The Commonwealth Government confirmed its intention to enter into a landmark agreement that will provide a single avenue for industry to achieve Commonwealth and State environmental assessments and approvals.

It is expected the agreement will result in an average six-month reduction in decision-making timeframes.

This approach is supported by the interim review of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, released last month by Professor Graeme Samuel.

WA’s environmental impact assessment practices of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) are highly acclaimed. In 2019 the EPA was honoured with an International Association for Impact Assessment award. More recently, the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies identified WA as the number one place in the world for mining and mineral exploration.

The bilateral approval agreement will complement the State Government’s work with the Commonwealth on Environment Online and with the Biodiversity Information Office.

Housing Industry Forecasting Group to revise expectations

Earlier today UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck attended the latest meeting of the Housing Industry Forecasting Group.  The Group is due to provide a revised forecast for the remainder of the 2020/21 Financial Year.

At the height of the pandemic in Western Australia, the group revised down its forecast for the 2019/20 Financial Year but was unable to accurately predict the following Financial Year due to the unknown impact from the pandemic.

Following a better than expected finish to the 2019/20 through the introduction of the Housing Stimulus, it is expected the HIFG will provide a more favourable prediction for the first half of this financial year at least.

Boardroom Luncheon with the Planning Minister

Tomorrow, UDIA WA is proud to host a Boardroom Luncheon with Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

The lunch will be attended by a select group of senior industry representatives and will provide an excellent opportunity for our members to hear directly from Minister Saffioti on an update to the planning and development policy priorities in the lead up to the 2021 State Election.

Our thanks go to Strategen JBS&G for co-hosting the event.

Latest economic figures released

On Tuesday, UDIA WA released the latest edition of our monthly Urban Intelligence report.

This month’s edition includes a feature article analysing what the economic outlook for WA might be and highlights the key stats relevant to the development industry in WA.

For more information and to read the report in full, click here.

BGC Home launch

On Wednesday, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck attended the launch of BGC Home, the newest and biggest homes showroom in Western Australia.

Officially opened by Housing Minister Peter Tinley, the new showroom, located in Osborne Park is designed to revolutionise the WA home building experience and includes 1,000sqm of inspiration and style to explore.

Regional sales on the up following successful introduction of Regional Land Booster Package

In July the State Government along with DevelopmentWA launched the Regional Land Booster Package, designed to encourage land sales outside of the Perth Metropolitan Area. Just 3 weeks into the initiative and DevelopmentWA have recorded a 4-fold increase in regional sales enquiries compared to the same period last year with 40 lots sold across regional WA.

DevelopmentWA will now release a further 15 lots to meet the strong demand in the local market.

The Regional Land Booster applies to 1,095 development-ready industrial, commercial and residential lots across regional WA for sale at affordable rates, saving land buyers a combined $116 million.

Landgate Notice to Surveyors

Landgate recently released a Notice to Surveyors focusing on the WA Land Development – COVID-19 Recovery Stimulus Packages.

The notice highlights what Landgate will be doing to assist with the higher than expected demand for land and showcases the advantages of Landgate’s NLR-Plan Surveyor Portal, which is a web-based application with a cloud solution and is the interface between Landgate and the lodgement of plans and other records from practising licensed surveyors.

The Portal can be used to create many types of plans as ‘Portal Plans’, which consist of autogenerated plan graphics and a digital data file (CSD file).

About 80% of all deposited and survey-strata plans (eligible plans) are capable of being created as Portal Plans, which comprise about 60% of all plans.

The key message from the notice is that Landgate strongly recommends every plan that can be a Portal Plan should be created and lodged as a Portal Plan.

The maximised use of Portal Plans will provide Landgate with significant efficiencies in processing survey plans. That saving can then be applied to the processing of more complex plans that are not currently capable of automation, resulting in a reduced time to issue titles.

To read the full notice, click here.

Report into the City of Perth officially released

Earlier this week a 2000-page report into the actions of the City of Perth was officially released, with the report containing over 250 findings and 350 recommendations, which have implications for the City and the broader local government sector.

During its examination the Inquiry identified 135 matters that required referral to other organisations including WA Police, Australian Federal Police, and the Australian Taxation Office.

Case studies and findings highlight:

  • councillors and candidates using sham leases to become eligible to stand for election;
  • decisions on planning matters not based on planning considerations;
  • lack of disclosure of financial interests by most councillors;
  • excessive use of dining room by councillors for family and friends;
  • councillors using their position to advance personal business interests;
  • focus on specific events for the allocation of grants, sponsorships and tickets; and
  • a range of issues with the City’s administration – poor management, lack of financial management and planning, and procurement and contracting issues.


The report has been referred to the City, which has 35 days to advise what it has done or proposes to do to give effect to the recommendations that apply to the City of Perth.

The recommendations, together with the recommendations of the Local Government Act Review Panel released last week, will feed into the Local Government Act Review process.

New recycled construction materials guide available

A new guide has been released to boost the use of recycled construction materials in WA.

The free guide features information on what, where and how much construction waste is available for reuse in WA projects.

The Guide is focused on the opportunities to reuse and recycle materials from C&D in development projects, with a focus on the civil works, site development, landscaping and building construction and contains:

  • Potential uses for recycled materials;
  • Information on what materials are currently available;
  • Recycler contacts in WA;
  • Successful case studies of recycling in WA; and
  • Properties of recycled materials and testing requirements.

To view the guide in full, click here and to read the further recommendations from the guide, click here.

Just days left to finalise submissions for UDIA WA Awards for Excellence

There are now just a matter of days before nominations for the UDIA WA 2020 Awards for Excellence close on 24 August.

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.

All of our 2020 Award winners will be eligible to enter the UDIA National Awards which are announced each year at the UDIA National Congress where Western Australia has a strong track record of success.

National winners from WA this year included the Armadale Fitness & Aquatic Centre by the City of Armadale in the Social and Community Infrastructure category, Cirque Mount Pleasant by Stirling Capital for High Density Development along with Daniel Panickar taking out the National Young Development Professional Award.

Don’t let your project miss out on the recognition it deserves. See here for more information on how to enter.

UDIA requests for feedback

UDIA is working on submissions and responses in relation to the following.  Members are encouraged to provide feedback and comments to inform our submissions to policy@udiawa.com.au by the specified dates below:

A Stronger Tomorrow State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion paper (here), closes Friday 21 August. Please provide feedback to UDIA ASAP as UDIA will be finalising its submission in the coming days.

The R-Codes Interim COVID-19 Review (here), closes September 10th. Please provide feeback to UDIA no later than Thursday 27 August.

Building and Energy has released a consultation paper proposing changes to the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 to allow for the registration of building engineers and to introduce a code of conduct for engineers. The closing date for submissions is Thursday 3 December 2020. Download the consultation paper here for details of the proposals and to have your say. Please provide feedback to UDIA no later than Thursday 19 November.

Building Approvals dipping in June but lending up

Nationally the seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 4.9% in June, while the value of total building approved increased 7.3%, primarily driven by non-residential building (+17.8%) with residential building increasing just 0.1%.

In WA the total number of dwelling units approved decreased 19.19% MOM (-4.1% YOY, original terms), while the total number of dwelling units (houses) approved in the Greater Perth area decreased just 0.61% MOM (+4.38% YOY).

The total value of building jobs in WA for residential alterations and additions creating dwellings increased 114.4% MOM (original terms) compared to a decrease of 6.1% MOM (-2.96% YOY) for the total value of houses and -43.7% MOM (+12.0% YOY) for total value of other residential building jobs.

Despite the drop in building approvals, June saw new loan commitments for investors outpace owner occupiers, with total new loan commitments increasing 16.7% MOM. The increase was driven by the purchase of new dwellings, while lending for the construction and purchase of new dwellings decreased slightly. The number of First Home Buyer loan commitments increased 6.2% in seasonally adjusted terms.

In WA, the total number of owner occupier new housing loan commitments (ex. refinancing) increased 18.99% MOM (in original terms). This was mostly driven by a 32.7% increase in the number of commitments for the purchase of newly erected dwellings and 40.99% increase in loans for the purchase of residential land.

Wage growth continues to struggle amid stabilising retail sector

The seasonally adjusted estimate for total national retail turnover increased 2.7% in June, following a rise of 16.9% in May and decrease of 17.7% in April.

WA experienced a 2.5% increase in seasonally adjusted terms following an increase of 19.7% in May and 16.8% decrease in April.

The June 2020 quarter saw all five living cost indexes fall with employee households recording the most drastic fall at 2.6%. This decrease is the largest fall to date, primarily driven by free childcare.

The drop in living costs will have come as good news for a number of households as the wage price index (WPI) showed little signs of improvement in the June quarter 2020.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted WPI increased just 0.2% in June quarter 2020. The lowest quarterly rise since the commencement of the series in September quarter 1997.

The WPI did increase 1.8% over the year to June quarter 2020 but this was below the previous lowest annual rate of growth recorded in June quarter 2017 (1.9%).

In WA, the WPI remained constant QOQ at 134.1, an increase of 1.75% YOY.