UDIA leads joint industry approach on market stimulus

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck along with representatives from REIWA, PCA, MBA and HIA met with Ministers Saffioti and Tinley yesterday afternoon to present a package of policy support measures aimed at reinvigorating the flagging WA property market.

In an unprecedented show of unity, the five major industry bodies have been working on the comprehensive package for several weeks, ensuring that it provides practical, achievable measures that the state government can take in the short term to boost the market.

The recommended measures include:

  • Increase Keystart purchase price cap to $550,000
  • Combine and match Keystart’s ‘Couples’ and ‘Families’ income categories to match the new family limit of $155,000
  • Increase the Stamp Duty exemption for First Home Buyers to $550,000 for existing stock in line with revised Keystart purchase price cap
  • Introduce a stamp duty exemption for multi-unit dwellings
  • Introduce a stamp duty concession for seniors to right-size
  • Adjust the rate of the Foreign Buyers Surcharge to 4%
  • Deliver an additional 300 social housing dwellings
  • Support population growth by reinstating Perth with regional migration status

UDIA will continue to work with the group to ensure the government understands the importance of the property industry to the broader WA economy and jobs growth.

We will keep members informed of progress.

Read our full media release here.

Missing middle lunch creates great debate

Earlier today, UDIA WA was joined by 450 guests at our last Industry Lunch for 2019, which focused on Delivering the Missing Middle.

The lunch kicked off with a presentation from Urbis Regional Director Ray Haeren, outlining their latest research into medium density product in Perth. Ray suggested that while Perth still has a way to go, there is actually more medium density product available to the Perth market than Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data suggests, due to the definitions that the ABS use.

Ray outlined that the majority of medium density product is delivered by ‘mum and dad’ investors and this had led to less than desirable outcomes for many suburbs.  He suggested that good precinct planning and a clear medium density design code would guide better outcomes.

Stockland Senior Development Manager Andrew Wallis and Cedar Woods Managing Director Nathan Blackburne followed Ray with case studies on their companies experience in delivering medium density both in Perth as well as the eastern states and Adelaide.

UDIA National President Darren Cooper then presided over a lively discussion panel featuring Design WA Director Nic Brunsdon and Hillam Architects Director Felipe Soto joining the three keynote speakers.

Throughout the lunch the audience were encouraged to engage with the discussion and debate into the missing middle as they were invited to send through their questions for the speakers and panellists.

As expected, those questions prompted some interesting debate around how industry and government can work together to deliver quality medium density to the market.  The issue of community acceptance of increased density and infill development was also raised, with panellists highlighting the importance of state and local government ‘holding their ground’ in regard to policy and planning decisions that benefit the broader community in the face of vocal minorities.

The event was an excellent way to close out the industry lunch sessions for 2019 and we look forward to our first Industry Lunch of 2020 held in February.

Thanks to our Environmental Partner Strategen JBS&G; Industry Partner CotteeParker and Event Sponsors Urbis and somo for supporting the event.

Initiatives passed to assist First Home Buyers

On Tuesday the Federal Government passed new laws through Parliament implementing the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and the National Finance and Investment Corporation’s new research function.

Designed to facilitate earlier access to home ownership for first home buyers the deposit scheme will allow eligible FHBs on low and middle incomes to purchase a home with just a 5% deposit and will support 10,000 first home buyers a year.

The new legislation also establishes a new housing research function that will allow NHFIC to examine housing demand, supply and affordability in Australia, complementing existing housing-related research.

Black gold set to be explored

Earlier this week the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan provided funding to Geoscience Australia to carry out an exploratory drill at Waukarlycarly in the South West Canning Basin in Western Australia’s north.

Drilling is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 with results made publicly available in mid-2020.

If early estimations are proven to be correct this site could potentially produce 43 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil, which is 50 per cent larger than the annual global production of 29 billion barrels.

Should the drilling prove successful, reports from the government suggest hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created, which could see an influx of people looking to move to Western Australia from overseas and interstate, which could provide a welcome boost to our flagging property market.

Tourists coming to Australia on the rise

In more positive news, figures from the ABS found the number of visitors arriving in Australia increased 6.4% year-on-year (YoY) to 789,200 persons in August

Of this total, 73,000 persons spent the longest amount of their stay in Western Australia, an increase of 10.8% from the same time last year.

Amongst the other states, NSW had 7.0% more visitors arriving YoY (282,800 persons); Victoria had a 7.6% YoY increase (197,000); Queensland had a 1.4% YoY rise in visitors (194,200); and South Australia’s figures were up 6.6% YoY (19,500). The Northern Territory and the ACT had lower visitor numbers compared to the other states at 8,800 (+7.3% YoY) and 8,000 respectively (+23.1%), as well as Tasmania which had 6,000 visitors in August (+57.9% YoY).

With more people looking to visit Australia, it is hoped this will lead to an increase in net overseas migration to boost the population and subsequently the property market.

New paper offers guidance for senior housing options

A new State Government directions paper detailing how to address the housing needs of older Western Australians was released today.

Called Ageing with Choice, it sets the direction for government, industry and the community sector to help older Western Australians, particularly those on low to moderate incomes, to access affordable, manageable and stable homes in their community of choice.

For more information, visit here.

Unemployment rates dropping

In September, Australia’s unemployment rate fell 18 basis points (bps) MoM to sit at 5.1%, 20bps higher than at the same time last year and 55bps higher than WA’s unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate for WA fell 11 basis points (bps) month-on-month (MoM) to 5.6% (5.7% trend and seasonally adjusted), which was 33bps lower year-on-year (YoY).

Total employed persons in WA fell 0.2% MoM and increased 0.6% YoY to 1.348 million, forming a 10.4% share of the national total (12.926 million).

Reduction of TAFE fees will benefit METRONET

As part of the ‘lower fees, local skills’ policy, the McGowan Government has made a commitment to reduce TAFE fees by 50 per cent for 34 high priority courses, a move which will greatly benefit the future talent looking to work on the METRONET projects.

The $53.5 million policy will see the reduction of important METRONET TAFE courses including certificate II and III in Civil Construction and certificate II in Civil Construction Plant Operations.

These courses will be available from a variety of TAFE institutions including the new speciality METRONET Trade Training Centre that will be established from next year at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Midland campus.

The METRONET project will enable a variety of new infrastructure and transport improvements across Perth and once complete should help to complement a growing property and development industry.

Time running out to see the Russel Perry Award winner

With just one week before UDIA WA offers members an opportunity to take a look inside Cirque Mount Pleasant by Stirling Capital through an exclusive site tour, time is running out for any members still keen to see inside this award-winning project.

Set in the burgeoning Canning Bridge precinct, Cirque won both the Excellence in High Density Award and the Russel Perry Award for Urban Development Excellence (which recognises the highest standards of innovation & best practice in development) at the 2019 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence.

Places are strictly available on a first come, first served basis and any members interested in attending should contact the events team at events@udiawa.com.au ASAP.

Build-to-Rent complex unveiled in Subiaco

On Tuesday UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck attended the official opening of Element 27, the first 100% rental apartment community in Western Australia.

Backed by an international Superfund the project is made up of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and has been designed to suit the modern lifestyle.

Included within the development is a variety of community amenities including a fitness centre, heated pools and a rooftop lounge, the complex is also pet friendly providing flexibility for a variety of renters.

For more information, visit here.

UDIA Professional Development Program underway

UDIA WA’s long running Professional Development Program is well underway following the first two successful sessions.

Module 3 starts on Monday and will introduce participants to the key concepts and tools involved in achieving sustainable urban development, including looking at environmental sustainability, developer options in social and economic sustainability and environmental law. Registrations for this module are now closed and attendees have until tomorrow, Friday October 18 to book in for the fourth module which will run on Monday October 28.

Module 4 will examine basic tools and techniques to assist in understanding the complex area of project management, a fundamental component of the development industry.

The remaining sessions of the six-day program will run each Monday over the next four weeks, with participants able to enrol for single one day modules. Modules 4 and 6 attract REBA CPD points and the full program is also aligned to the BSB 51415 Diploma of Project Management delivered by Swinburne University of Technology.

Led by experienced presenters from the WA property development industry, the course provides practical lessons on how to manage the project lifecycle and understand the principles of commercial awareness, time, quality and cost.

More information available here.

Hedlanders to have their say on proposed voluntary buy-back

A series of consultation meetings over the next three months have been organised to allow Hedland residents the opportunity to input into the development of the proposed Port Hedland voluntary buy-back scheme.

There will be three consultation meetings in Port Hedland on Thursday October 25, Monday November 18 and Monday December 9 with one being held in Perth on Monday October 28.

Anyone wishing to attend the meetings should send their details to PDC@pdc.wa.gov.au or telephone 6551 7500.

Following the consultation process recommendations for the scheme will be reported back to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

We value your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members. We encourage you to forward any feedback on these items to policy@udiawa.com.au

  • DWER Climate Change in Western Australia – Issues Paper (here). Submissions close November 29, 2019.
  • Proposed reforms to the building approval process for single residential buildings in WA (here). Submissions close December 9, 2019.
  • Draft East Wanneroo District Structure Plan (here). Submissions close December 20, 2019.

Site Security Update

With just 4 reports of burglary, 7 reports of stealing and 4 reports of damage, September was a relatively quiet month for reported building and construction industry crime. By contrast October has seen a busy start to the month.

A country builder will be questioned by Police after PACT Site Security investigators posed as buyers for hot water system advertised for sale on social media. Investigators confirmed the unit had been stolen from a BGC Housing site in Aveley and as a result Police executed a search warrant on the premises to recover the property, inquiries are continuing with the identified builder.

Calleya Estate, Treeby; Glades Estate, Byford and Greenlea Estate, Baldivis have seen a number of burglaries committed in the past week and thieves in Baldivis cut through packs of 63 colour bond roof sheets with an angle grinder stealing required lengths before retuning and removing all offcuts.

For more information on the efficient and effective onsite reporting of onsite crime and the benefits go here.