UDIA in Action

The highly anticipated release of the draft Medium Density Code at UDIA WA’s packed luncheon in November with Premier Mark McGowan has driven much debate over the past few months throughout the industry. UDIA put together a bespoke consultation advisory group made up of key member representatives across the development, building and planning spheres to consider the benefits and unintended consequences of the Code in order to prepare our formal response to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage this week.

UDIA fully supports the policy outcomes that the draft SPP seeks to achieve, specifically, facilitating quality residential development and promoting a range of housing types that provide residents with choice, including affordable options.

Working closely with the Housing Industry Association, it is clear that throughout the development and residential construction industries there are clear and consistent concerns that the Code in its draft form will have significant consequences for housing affordability and diversity. Whilst supportive of the need to address poor outcomes arising from incremental infill, the Code does not adequately cater for greenfield areas that are or will be covered by structure plans and infill in master-planned areas.

A copy of UDIA’s submission will be available for members from Monday next week, and we are heartened by the number of members being proactive and preparing their own submissions in support of our recommendations.

Following a meeting with Ministers Saffioti and Carey, UDIA are working on potential solutions to the current rental crisis and lack of supply. UDIA CEO Tanya Steinbeck participated in a Emergency Housing Roundtable with Shelter WA and REIWA last week where a range of options have been canvassed. Watch this space for more detail in the next couple of weeks.

WA’s strong employment figures

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have revealed Western Australia’s employment rate has fallen below pre-COVID levels to sit at 4.8% in March, the lowest unemployment rate in WA for 7 years.

The decline to 4.8% is 1.3% down on February’s figures and highlights a strong recovery from WA’s five-day lockdown at the start of February.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said both employment and hours worked in March 2021 were higher than March 2020. He said WA’s increase in employment and hours worked were the strongest of all States and Territories.

Almost 33,000 jobs were created in WA in March, making up almost half of the total jobs added nationally, which saw more than 13,077,600 Australians now in work.

More of the latest statistics relevant to the property industry will be analysed in this month’s Urban Intelligence Report that will be released to UDIA members tomorrow.

Australian housing market recovery

According to new analysis from CoreLogic, it has been 81 months since Perth’s last housing price peak in June 2014, however the recent resurgence is providing positivity and could be the start of a sustained and rapid recovery.

Despite the uplift, current values in Perth are -15.9% down on the previous peak. The analysis highlights that the peak-to-trough decline was induced by the rapid withdrawal of mining investment, employment opportunities and migration and lasted around 67 months.

As the market started to recover in mid-2019, come early 2020 COVID-19 created an additional negative shock, which pushed values down a further -2.2% between April and July of 2020. However, the Perth dwelling market has seen consecutive increases in value for the past 8 months.

For the past 5 months, value increases have exceeded 1% a month, which is a strong growth rate and signals the start of what may be a sustained and rapid recovery. This coincides with rising interstate migration levels to Western Australia, and projected increases in already rising mining investment.

To view the analysis in full and see how the other capital cities around Australia are performing, click here.

Interim R-Codes, Volume 1 Review

This week the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage announced approved amendments from the interim review of SPP 7.3: Residential Design Codes – Volume 1 (R-Codes) would become operational on Friday 2 July 2021.

The amendments are aimed at supporting the residential building industry, local governments, and homeowners by simplifying clauses and streamlining approval processes for low to medium density housing projects.

The approved amendments can be viewed on the DPLH website to allow stakeholders, including local government, the residential building industry, and homeowners, a transitional period to adjust to the amended provisions, ahead of implementation on 2 July.

To assist with the transitional period, DPLH will be hosting two information sessions about the changes (attended online or in-person) on Wednesday 21 April and Tuesday 27 April 2021 from 10am-11am.

For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Water Symposium

Later this year Engineers Australia are hosting a Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium that will be delivered online for the first time, providing an excellent opportunity for WA water hydrologists and drainage engineers to get involved in this national conference without the travel.

Set to take place from 30 August until 2 September, the theme for this year’s conference is Digital Water, which is focused on how data and intelligence is transforming water management, unlocking new knowledge and opportunities, enabling better understanding of complex problems, and providing greater benefit to the community.

For more information and to register your attendance, visit the conference website here.

Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund

The Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund has now been activated to assist victims of the Tropical Cyclone Seroja.

Destruction and property damage across WA’s mid-west caused by Tropical Cyclone Seroja has led to the activation of the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund (LMDRF) for the second time this year.

Homes have been destroyed and more than 20,000 residents were left without power after the cyclone made landfall as a category three storm at about 8pm on Sunday 11 April, bringing wind gusts of up to 170 kilometres per hour.

The Fund has been activated to raise and coordinate monetary donations to financially support the community affected by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.

For more information and to donate, click here.

The fund had previously been activated to support the Wooroloo and Hills Bushfire 2021 Appeal, however this has now closed and as at 1pm 13 April 2021, it raised $16,435,271 in support of this appeal.

Draft Local Planning Policy 32 – Public Open Space

The City of Kalamunda Council recently resolved to adopt draft Local Planning Policy 32 – Public Open Space (POS policy) for advertising.

The intention of the POS policy is to provide more detail to supplement the provisions of the State Government Development Control Policy 2.3 – Public Open Space in Residential Area, Operational Policy Liveable Neighbourhoods and Local Government Subdivisional Guidelines.

The draft policy provides guidelines in respect to both new and existing POS including but not limited to:

  • POS requirements at subdivision;
  • Cash-in-lieu contributions;
  • Location and design of POS;
  • Types of POS such as sport, nature and recreation, and;
  • Level of services and facilities.

For more information and to view the policy, click here.

RBA economic snapshot

The Reserve Bank of Australia recently upgraded its economic snapshot which provides an overview of the key stats impacting the Australia economy.

The latest update highlights that the unemployment rate is currently sitting at 5.8% but employment growth is currently -0.4%.

According to the snapshot, inflation is 0.9%, still way below the 2-3% target set by the RBA before they will consider raising the cash rate target, which is still at 0.1%.

The snapshot also highlights that China’s GDP growth is 6.5%, a massive improvement on the combined GDP growth of the G7 countries made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States of -3.3%.

To view the snapshot in full, click here.

PD Course

The UDIA WA Professional Development Course kicks off next Monday 12th April.  The program is specifically designed for the Western Australian context and introduces participants to the various areas of knowledge required to operate effectively in our local residential development industry.

Participants will learn to define and manage projects, while becoming familiar with terminology from the broad range of disciplines and concepts involved in property development.

The remaining 5 modules in the April intake are as follows:

Monday April 19 – Module 2: Project Planning and Marketing

Monday May 3 – Module 3: Environment and Sustainability

Monday May 10 – Module 4: Project Management

Monday May 17 – Module 5: Building the Development

Monday May 24 – Module 6: Practical Application

There is the option to enrol for the full course or for any of the above specific modules, however spaces are limited.

For more information, click here or email events@udiawa.com.au to secure your place.

UDIA WA partners with Home in WA

UDIA WA is pleased to announce a new media partnership with the long running Home in WA television series. The new partnership provides an important opportunity for UDIA to showcase the fantastic work that the urban development industry does in creating new and regenerating existing communities to a wide audience on Channel 7. We will also be able to highlight the importance of the industry to the broader economy and jobs growth and foster greater engagement with residents and new home buyers.

As part of the media partnership Ron (DINGO) Reddingius is pleased to offer all UDIA WA members a very special discount rate for video content on the 2021 TV series. Filming is set to start in mid-May and we are excited to provide this opportunity to our members.

If you would like to showcase your company, business, project or estate on the CH7 & GWN7 TV series, state-wide, give ‘Dingo’ a call on 0417279103 or email him on dingoistalent@bigpond.com

May Land Report opportunities

The next edition of the Land Report liftout produced by The West Australian newspaper in partnership with UDIA WA is due for publication on Saturday 15 May.

The Land Report features the latest land market data from UDIA’s Urban Development index along with a range of editorial articles aimed at letting consumers know what is happening in the land market currently, tips for buyers and information about new growth areas and communities.

If you would like to take up an advertising opportunity in the lift out that reaches an audience of over 360,000 readers, contact Maddisen Booth at Maddisen.booth@wanews.com.au

More information about the lift out including rates can be found here.