From the CEO

The cliff that some in the industry are fearing we are edging ever closer to in terms of land sales seems to be further in the distance or even a mirage, with the UDIA WA Urban Development Index for the June Quarter showing a 15% decline in the quarter but remains around 60% above 2019 sales figures. Land prices have increased ever so slightly with the average lot price just above the five-year rolling average of $232,290.

WA has been lucky so far, with COVID-19 successfully locked out of Westralia we are continuing to reap the benefits to our economy – although we all know how quickly this can change. The lack of skilled labour and materials shortages still remain key issues, however the State Government have shown their commitment to addressing these challenges with a prompt response to the Skills Summit recommendations.

From an apartments perspective, we are pushing as part of our State Budget Submission for an extension to the 75% stamp duty rebate for Off the Plan apartments to December 2022 and to include projects under construction. If we are going to address and meet future demand for housing choice, apartments are a critical part of the picture in the context of delivering the infill agenda.

Perth remains one of the most affordable places to live in the country, and in the top ten most liveable cities in the world. We cannot underestimate the value we offer interstate and international residents and the impact on housing demand when our borders come down. It’s just a matter of time and we all hope, its sooner rather than later.

Housing inquiry an opportunity to fix affordability woes

A new parliamentary inquiry has been commissioned to examine the tax and regulatory settings that impact housing supply and affordability.

UDIA National has welcomed the new inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue.

The terms of reference for the inquiry include:

  • Examining the impact of current taxes, charges and regulatory settings at a Federal, State and Local Government level on housing supply;
  • Identifying and assessing the factors that promote or impede responsive housing supply at the Federal, State and Local Government level; and
  • Examining the effectiveness of initiatives to improve housing supply in other jurisdictions and their appropriateness in an Australian context.

UDIA National President Simon Basheer said the inquiry was a positive opportunity to identify and resolve long-standing barriers to housing supply and improved affordability.

“It is undeniable that the imbalance between supply and demand has caused prices to rise to the point where Australian housing is some of the most unaffordable in the world,” he said.

“State and local governments consistently fail to meet their own targets for housing and land supply or remove the regulatory barriers adding time and cost to new housing projects.

“The responsibility to address largely sits in the hands of the states; but there are solutions available to the Commonwealth and we look forward to being active participants in the inquiry.”

UDIA National has already begun the work to scope its submission to the inquiry and will be actively working with state divisions and members to shape the detail.

Details of the committee, its membership, terms of reference and submission process are available here.

WA land market remains strong

Yesterday UDIA WA released the latest edition of our quarterly Urban Development Index (UDI) that found while land sales figures have dropped this quarter, they are substantially higher than those seen prior to the stimulus measures last year.

The figures show that the number of new land sales in Perth declined 15% in the June 2021 quarter but remain approximately 60% above 2019 sales figures, a number that is in direct contrast to expectations from some commentators that we would see sales numbers fall in the wake of heightened activity prompted by the stimulus.

The recent results are representative of a much healthier market compared to 2019 following about five years of stagnant market conditions.

The government stimulus led to a period of unprecedented sales figures, a level of demand that is unlikely to be equalled anytime soon, but the latest results show that demand is still very strong, and we expect that to continue well into next year and beyond.

The new land market reached a five-year peak in the September 2020 quarter with close to 3,500 sales in that one quarter, prompted by the generous government grants on offer.

This quarter (June 2021) recorded 1,640 sales, well above the 1,047 sales recorded in March 2019, which was the land markets lowest point in five years.

The average price of new land in Perth during the June quarter was recorded at $236,122, just above the five-year rolling average of $232,290.

While the market is performing well, we still need to be mindful of the impact strong demand could have on land supply in the coming years.

The number of lots under construction predicted for release in the next 12 months has declined by 8.4% and lower construction rates raises concerns about how housing supply in the coming years may be affected.

The need for a substantial level of new lots in the pipeline to meet future demand was also reinforced by UDIA WA’s research partner and Urbis Director Tim Connoley, during a free Member Briefing held by Urbis following the release of the UDI.

“There is a strong level of interest from people wanting to move to WA for a range of reasons, not least the employment opportunities on offer and perceived safety from the pandemic,” Mr Connoley said.

“Interstate migration – despite the hard border – is at the highest level since 2012 and the state government has made it a priority to encourage people to move west as an outcome of the Skills Summit.

“We expect demand for land to continue steadily into next year and increase further once international borders start to reopen and students, tourists and workers apply to come here,” said Mr Connoley.

To read the complete Urban Development Index report, available free to our members, click here.

Medium Density

Last week UDIA attended DPLH’s Medium Density Advisory Group meeting to discuss the outcomes of the public consultation and next steps in the policy development process.

Outcomes of the public consultation and an overview of feedback received through the stakeholder workshops are available on the DPLH website here. Further design and feasibility testing of the code will now take place with the code likely to be finalised early next year.

UDIA looks forward to working with the DPLH team and UDIA members as part of this testing.

Finalised District structure plan for East Wanneroo released

This week, State Planning Minister Rita Saffioti released the final East Wanneroo District Structure Plan that sets a 50-year vision for the development of more than 8,000 hectares of land in Perth’s northern suburbs which will cater for 150,000 residents, 50,000 homes and support up to 20,000 jobs.

A key priority was guiding how the area’s sensitive water resources will be managed and this was a core component of our submission lodged in response to the draft plan that was released in 2019.

The strategy has now been approved by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, with the plan looking to provide for 50,000 new dwellings, a district town centre, six high schools, and the potential creation of 280 hectares of new Parks and Recreation reserves including native bushland and wetlands.

The area includes parts of Wanneroo, Mariginiup, Gnangara, Jandabup and Pinjar.

To view the final plan, click here.

Agreement reached on purpose-built quarantine facility in WA

UDIA WA were pleased to see an agreement reached between the Commonwealth and our State Government regarding the delivery of a 1,000 bed purpose-built quarantine and emergency response facility in Western Australia this week.

The introduction of such a facility was recommended in UDIA’s recent State budget submission as we hope it will form a crucial part of enabling a sustainable and safe pathway to re-opening our borders.

Under the agreement, the Commonwealth will fund the construction of the facility and the Western Australian Government will operate the facility and meet operational costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said this agreement was another important step in building longer-term resilience capabilities that can also help with the management of the COVID-19 pandemic into next year, particularly the safe management of international arrivals into Western Australia.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said he was pleased a formal agreement had been met to progress a purpose-built quarantine facility by the Commonwealth Government.

Planning for the facility aims to secure the first 500 beds being ready by the end of March 2022.

The announcement means Australia is now on track to have four dedicated quarantine and emergency response facilities, one in each of the Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

To read UDIA WA’s State Budget Submission in full, click here.

Modern Methods of Construction

Last Thursday the UDIA WA Modern Methods of Construction (MMoC) Sub-Committee met and received a presentation from Padraic Mellett, Director & Jarrod Waring, CEO from Offsite Construction, on the company’s digital fabrication and construction methods and projects, as well as opportunities and barriers they saw for theirs and other modern methods of construction ahead.

Our Sub-Committee is broadly focused on promoting viable opportunities to increase the use of modern methods of construction in WA and seeks to identify and to remove implementation barriers for MMoC the mainstream single or grouped dwelling market.

We look forward to continuing to keep members informed on progress.

Don’t miss your chance to be seen by industry

Time and spaces are running out for anyone looking to advertise in the September edition of UDIA WA’s The Urbanist magazine, our thought leadership publication that has taken the development industry to exceptional new heights.

Each quarter UDIA WA produces The Urbanist which leads the development industry with engaging, quality content and we would like to offer you the opportunity to feature in the upcoming edition.

The upcoming edition features a sustainability theme, which provides an excellent outlook to align your company with.

In addition to the above opportunity, UDIA WA is also producing our exclusive Awards for Excellence Winners Supplement which includes further advertising/promotion opportunities.

Should you choose to advertise in both The Urbanist and the Awards for Excellence Winners Supplement, we can offer you a discount but only if you book by Friday 27 August. If you’d like to see our additional advertising opportunities and package options, click here.

With just 4 spaces remaining including the 2-page centre spread which provides fantastic exposure potential secure your place alongside excellence today by emailing

Just one week left to submit ideas

Submissions for ideas to feature at the inaugural The Urbanist IMPACT FORUM close next week.

We are looking for ideas that could have an impact on the development industry now and into the future, with the successful contributors set to receive complimentary coaching from TEDX’s Shil Shanghavi and the opportunity to feature alongside Holly Ransom.

For more information and to submit your idea, click here.

Planning policy and reform seminar

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) are encouraging the development industry to attend their free upcoming planning policy and reform seminar, set to take place on Thursday 26 August.

To date the DPLH have only received limited responses to the planning policy and reform seminar and in order to confirm the venue booking, they required an RSVP by 12 noon Friday 20 August

The seminar will provide an update on:

  • State Planning Policy 2.4 Planning for Basic Raw Materials
  • State Planning Policy 2.9 Planning for Water and
  • The Planning Reform program

If the event is cancelled, information on State Planning Policy 2.4 Planning for Basic Raw Materials, State Planning Policy 2.9 Planning for Water and the Planning Reform program will be available on the DPLH website.

Details of the event will be confirmed with those who have registered.

Please email for in-person or on-line attendance at:

Did you catch the latest episode?

Saturday saw the return of Home in WA with the latest segment from UDIA WA educating the community on the benefits of living in an EnviroDevelopment certified project.

This week’s segment was focused on DevelopmentWA and Lendlease’s Alkimos Beach joint venture, which was one of the first WA projects to receive the full six-leaf EnviroDevelopment accreditation.

To view the episode, click here and visit our YouTube channel here to catch up on all of our previous episodes.

Big improvement in Western Australian employment figures

The latest employment figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed a resurgence in the WA unemployment rate following a small increase last month.

The latest figures show the WA unemployment rate is now just 4.6%, the lowest it has been since late 2013 and matches the national average. The lower unemployment rate follows a surge in the WA workforce which hit a record high of 1,410,900.

Although WA’s figure is bettered by NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, the participation rate here is substantially higher than the other States highlighting the strong percentage of employed Western Australians.

WA’s underemployment rate, the rate of employed persons who have the capacity to take on more hours, is also the lowest of all States at 6.9%, a figure only bettered by the Northern Territory and the ACT at 5.8% and 6.4% respectively.

6,500 jobs were added in WA in July and there are now more than 27,000 more Western Australians working than just prior to the pandemic.

Full-time work dominated the employment gains with 7,000 positions created last month, off-set by a small fall in part-time work.

Men accounted for 4,200 of the new jobs (65%) while 2,300 women also picked up work.

Record highs were set for both the number of Western Australian men (753,400) and women (657,500) in jobs.

The number of unemployed Western Australians fell to just 67,900 – the lowest mark since 2013 and nearly half the 121,000 left without work shortly after the COVID pandemic struck last June.

Infrastructure WA Chair named as Agent-General

Earlier this week, the State Government announced it had appointed current Infrastructure WA Chair John Langoulant AO as the new Agent General for Western Australia in the United Kingdom/Europe region.

Mr Langoulant will start in the position on October 18, 2021 for a three-year term and will undertake a short period of induction before being deployed to the State’s Investment and Trade Office in London.

As the Agent General, Mr Langoulant will work closely with Western Australia’s Investment and Trade Commissioners in attracting further investment, promoting trading relationships and representing Western Australia within the United Kingdom and European markets.