UDIA In Action

This week UDIA WA finalised our Policy Priorities 2021 publication ready for the launch at our annual State Conference in Bunker Bay next week. This new document builds on our recent state election campaign and details key actions that we support for the year ahead as we continue to recover and re-build from the pandemic and cement WA’s reputation as a place of choice to live, work and invest.

UDIA WA also had the pleasure of interviewing global economist Jonathan Pain this week to get his latest thoughts on what to expect from an international economic perspective in the coming year.  Jonathan is a keynote speaker at the State Conference next week and we are looking forward to sharing his insights with delegates in Bunker Bay.

UDIA WA also took part in the Water Sensitive Cities Transition Network meeting this week, receiving an update on the Waterwise Action Plan before discussing future research priorities.

On Wednesday, UDIA WA was a guest of WA Business News at their Politics and Policy Breakfast featuring a keynote from Opposition Leader Zac Kirkup.  Mr Kirkup focused on the need to ensure balance in the Parliament as an outcome of the upcoming State Election.  He also outlined the LNP’s new renewable energy policy, plans for stamp duty reform and commitment to Roe 8 and 9 as key policy platforms.

In relation to government policy and action, UDIA WA also attended the launch of Project Western Australia, a new resource from the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation that highlights their recommendations following the 2021 State Election to foster growth and productivity.

To round out the week UDIA WA are eagerly anticipating celebrating with our industry friends and colleagues at our Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner tomorrow night. We look forward to seeing many of you at the celebration as we announce the much-anticipated winners and finalists!

Perth land sales double

This week saw the release of UDIA WA’s Urban Development Index for the December 2020 quarter, which rounded off an unprecedented year for the Perth market with sales for the year almost double those in 2019.

While the December quarter saw a drop in land sales compared with the record-breaking figures recorded in the June and September quarters, the 1,840 sold in the three months to December were 43% higher than the December 2019 quarter. Across 2020 as a whole, 10,035 lots were sold in total, almost double the 5,200 sold in 2019.

Despite the high sales numbers throughout 2020, the good news is that prices remained relatively steady, with the average price of new land in the Perth Metro Area sitting at $240,650 in the December quarter, which is 6% higher than the same time last year.

UDIA members can download the full report here and click here to read UDIA WA’s media release.

UDIA WA Member Briefing – Hosted by Aprao

The key talking point amongst today’s property professionals is which technology will be adopted by their peers, competitors and even the market and how to position themselves for the future.

Aprao, a cloud-based property finance and feasibility platform, are excited to join the UDIA WA and demonstrate how property professionals can manage development feasibilities with increased accuracy, consistency, and efficiency.

In practical terms, this means providing an online property development platform where users can instantly assess the financial viability of a project, calculate residual site value, produce a sensitivity analysis, and compose a detailed development cashflow – all in a format pre-approved by lenders. Aprao will empower all parties to make faster and smarter decisions.

Join CEO Daniel Norman as he walks through case studies and exactly how Aprao drives efficiency within the development ecosystem. Hear what the industry of tomorrow will look like and the role Aprao is playing today.

The presentation will run for approximately 1 hour, with 30 minutes of presentation and 30 minutes for Q&A. During this session, you will have the ability to sign up for a 7-day free trial and receive a UDIA WA discount code for your first month at 50% off.

To book your place, click here.

WA unemployment remains steady

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning revealed WA’s unemployment rate remained at 6.2% while the national unemployment rate dropped from 6.6% to 6.4% in January.

WA’s unemployment rate also came in well below all other States, and was beaten only by the NT and ACT.

The underemployment rate in WA sat at 7.0% in January, -0.6% lower than the previous month and was again the lowest of all State, with only the Northern Territory (6.9%) and the ACT (5.7%) produced lower results.

Despite the positive results, the participation rate across all States and Territories dropped, with the exception of Victoria (+0.6%) and the Northern Territory (+1.0%).

National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1

This week, the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) sent out a reminder regarding the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1.

DMIRS is reminding those in industry that a building permit application lodged on or after 1 May 2021 needs to demonstrate compliance with the NCC 2019 Amendment 1 until such time that a future edition of the NCC comes into effect.

It is recommended that NCC 2019 Amendment 1 is used for current and upcoming design proposals, particularly where there may be a chance that the building permit application cannot be made prior to 1 May 2021.

Access Housing officially rebranded

As of today, Access Housing will officially change its name to Housing Choices Western Australia (Housing Choices WA), as the merger between Access Housing and Housing Choices Australia reaches completion.

The two organisations officially merged on 1 July 2020, paving the way for Housing Choices to become one of the largest community housing providers in the country. In Western Australia, Housing Choices WA has 1,850 properties with over 3,000 tenants and a total asset value of over $175 million. Since the merger, Housing Choices (including WA) is now responsible for the management of nearly 7,000 social and affordable homes across five states in Australia, with assets valued in excess of $900 million and with annual revenue of nearly $70 million.

The merger’s completion puts the Housing Choices Group of Companies in a leading position to work with the WA Government and other industry stakeholders to help resolve the State’s current housing crisis.

For more information, read the media release, here.

Small Businesses to receive $500 electricity offset

Following the lockdown and associated restrictions implemented 2 weeks ago, the State Government announced a $500 offset was being extended to small business and charity electricity customers, to provide some relief.

For those who are supplied power by Synergy or Horizon Power, this offset will be applied to their account directly in the coming weeks (as has been the case with previous electricity offset provisions).

In addition to those supplied by Synergy or Horizon Power the offset this time will also be extended to small business who are supplied power by others, such as their landlord.

There will be an application process developed to assist with this process. For more information, click here.

Infrastructure Priority List launch 2021

Friday 26 February will see the launch of Infrastructure Australia’s 2021 Infrastructure Priority List – a comprehensive investment roadmap to support Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-20 bushfires and the recent and ongoing drought.

This free and interactive online event allows you to discover the key infrastructure investment needs of our cities, regions and remote communities.

The launch event includes the following:

  • Hear from Infrastructure Australia’s CEO, Romilly Madew, and Chief of Infrastructure Prioritisation, Robin Jackson.
  • Welcome message from The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.
  • The launch will be interactive, so please feel free to submit your questions to our speakers throughout the event.
  • The list will be launched live on Friday, February 26th at 11 AM (AEDT).
  • Discover which projects and initiatives feature on this year’s list.
  • Find out which areas of infrastructure need focused investment.
  • And learn more about how Infrastructure Australia works with Australia’s governments, infrastructure delivery agencies and other infrastructure bodies to support the efficient and timely delivery of infrastructure projects.

For more information and to register, click here.

Healthy Active by Design

The National Heart Foundation of Australia has released a new training document, Healthy Active by Design, which is a practical guide to incorporating health and physical activity into the design of our built environment.

This resource offers the best-available evidence and advice to assist with the development of healthy and active neighbourhoods. Partnership and collaboration with stakeholders in planning, health, transport and local government sectors have enabled the completion of an evidence-based national HAbD tool.

This tool assists planners, allied professions and the general community to advocate for, and contribute to improving community health and well-being in Australia by considering planning for active living approaches.

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

Minutes of the Monetary Policy Meeting of the Reserve Bank Board

This week saw the release of the minutes from February’s Monetary Policy Meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

In the meeting, the board members discussed international economic developments and noted that the outlook for the global economy had improved following the successful development and early stage rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Turning to the domestic economy, members noted that the recovery in the second half of 2020 had been faster than initially expected, in line with the pattern observed internationally. Favourable health outcomes in Australia had enabled the lifting of restrictions and boosted activity.

The meeting also saw discussions about the international and domestic financial markets before deciding on the monetary policy. As part of this, the Board reaffirmed the existing policy settings, namely:

  • a target for the cash rate of 0.1 per cent
  • an interest rate of zero on Exchange Settlement balances held by financial institutions at the Bank
  • a target of around 0.1 per cent for the yield on the 3-year Australian Government bond
  • the expanded Term Funding Facility to support credit to businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, with an interest rate on new drawings of 0.1 per cent
  • the purchase of $100 billion of government bonds of maturities of around 5 to 10 years at a rate of $5 billion per week following the Board meeting on 3 November 2020.

To read the minutes in full, click here.