From the CEO

“There’s a hole in your budget, dear Labor, dear Labor.”  Well if there is one memorable advertisement of this Federal Election campaign for good or bad reasons (clearly this is a bad reason) – it’s this one. Love it or loathe it and I think in the vast majority it’s loathe – it’s smart. Everyone’s subconscious has now been conditioned to repeat this line at random times throughout the day.

As we approach polling day and our democracy sausage, I read with interest and a little defensiveness Peter Law’s opinion piece in today’s West where he refers to Perth’s “urban sprawl developments pretty much all looking the same”. It’s in the context of Scott Morrison’s campaign focus on housing policy for the “suburban battlers”. Peter has quite insightfully suggested that the party focus represents a significant shift from the traditional Liberal base of wealthy western suburbs professionals to the “party of working families in Alkimos and Ellenbrook”. Which he says, is where the Coalition sees the next election being won or lost as it’s where the population is growing the fastest.

Spot on there Peter. Why is the population growing fastest in these ‘urban sprawl estates’? Because they nail the value proposition for our suburban battlers. They provide housing choice that is not available in the wealthy western suburbs at an affordable price point with all the community infrastructure one could need. The market is filling a gap in a flailing housing system and the pollies know it.

What they now must understand and respond to is supply. Because there are so many battlers out there now incentivised to the hilt to get into the market, the fundamental question for us here in WA is – where are they going to live?

Latest land sales numbers revealed

On Tuesday UDIA WA exclusively released to members the latest edition of our quarterly Urban Development Index, which showed a 22% drop in sales figures in the first quarter this year compared to the last quarter of 2021.

According to the report 1,880 lots were sold in the first three months of the year and while this was down on the previous quarter, it is still much higher than pre-pandemic and pre-stimulus figures which saw just over 1,000 lots sold in the first quarter of 2019.

While sales numbers remain healthy the report highlights that sales activity is likely being stifled by skills and materials shortages, especially when looking ahead to the construction levels and the number of lots being forecast to be delivered to market in the next 12 months.

There are 3,855 lots under construction and predicted for release in the next 12 months according to the UDI March 2022 data.  Given the heightened sales activity that has been experienced since the stimulus was introduced in early 2020 and looking at what happened in the last property market boom in 2014, it could be expected the number of lots to be introduced to market to be much higher.

In the last boom, sales peaked at 2,660 lots in the March 2013 quarter. Construction activity then peaked at close to 6,000 lots expected for release over the coming 12 months in the March 2014 quarter.

Following the stimulus led boom this time around, sales peaked at 3,407 lots in the September 2020 quarter, but we have only been seeing construction activity hover at around 3,000 – 4,000 lots under construction each quarter over the last couple of years.

This highlights that industry is not delivering at the same levels as we have done in previous periods of high demand and provides further evidence that if demand continues, we will end up with a land supply shortage as predicted in UDIA’s Housing Our Community report in June last year.

To read the latest edition of the Urban Development Index in full, click here.

UDIA Members can also access the full suite of UDI data available via the Urbis Loop Platform. This interactive dashboard allows you to fully customise and download UDI quarterly lot sales and land supply data at a local government, corridor and regional level.

As a UDIA member you also have access to Urbis’ Apartment Essentials data via the Urbis loop. To access Urbis Loop, click here.

The Urbanist Live X PropTech Hub WA

UDIA are delighted to release the latest edition of our podcast The Urbanist Live, which delves into the world of innovation and technology.  Our host Tanya Steinbeck sat down with PropTech Hub WA General Manager Cullum Ashton (Ash) to talk about how PropTech Hub WA is promoting innovation to the property and construction industry.

In the episode Tanya and Ash look at how Perth is becoming the Prop Tech Capital of Australia and analyse the success of the PropTech’s Accelerator program which provides successful businesses with $20,000 worth of free services.

Not only is PropTech Hub WA providing excellent networking opportunities for innovative organisations, it is also paving the way for WA companies to gain national and international recognition and funding for their projects.

To listen to the latest episode, click here and for more information about PropTech Hub WA’s Accelerator program, click here.

Join UDIA WA’s RAP Working Group – call for EOI

UDIA WA recently established a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group to assist the Institute in providing leadership to the broader urban development industry in respect to reconciliation and more meaningful engagement with the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we and our members operate.  The Group will soon commence a series of engagement meetings and consultation with relevant stakeholders so that we can listen and learn in order to develop our first ‘Reflect’ RAP in partnership with members of the Aboriginal community.

Currently our RAP Working Group is made up of two members from UDIA WA Council, two UDIA WA staff members and two members from the UDIA WA Diversity Committee.   We are now seeking two further members from the broader UDIA WA membership.  If you have background, experience and/or expertise relevant to the development of a RAP, we would love to hear from you.  Please send expressions of interest to join the working group to Gemma Osiejak: . Please include a brief overview of your relevant experience to date.  We aim to appoint two new members prior to the next working group meeting on Thursday 21 July.  Contact Gemma with any queries related to the working group.

UDIA’s Land Report features in The West Australian

On Saturday, The West Australian Newspaper published the latest edition of UDIA’s Land Report, which provides a concise overview of available land for consumers as well as providing key hints and tips for people looking to buy land in WA.

The 12-page feature includes insights from a variety of UDIA members including Parcel, PEET and Satterley in addition to several articles featuring commentary from UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and an overview of land activity in the Northern and Southern Corridors.

To view the latest edition of the Land Report, click here.

WA leading the nation

This morning the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the latest Labour Force figures which saw the national unemployment rate sit at 3.9%, however in Western Australia, the unemployment rate dropped by 0.5% to sit at 2.9%, its lowest level since October 2008.

WA’s rate is the lowest of all the State’s and Territories with WA also boasting the highest participation rate of all the States.

The 3.9% recorded across the country is the lowest the unemployment rate has been in the monthly survey. The last time the unemployment rate was lower than this was in August 1974, when the survey was quarterly.

The underemployment rate nationally dropped 0.2% to sit at 6.1%, sitting just below WA’s underemployment rate of 6.2% which saw a 0.4% drop in April.

Updated Notice of Exemption (Clause 78H)

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage notified us that the Department’s website (here) has been updated to include further FAQs and detail in the Explanatory Notes for Planners following the updated notice of exemption (Clause 78H), which was gazetted on 22 April 2022.

The new documentation can be viewed here, however if you have any questions, please contact the Planning Reform team on 6551 8002 or

The changes in the updated notice of exemption (Clause 78H) responded to the changes in Western Australia’s COVID-19 response, as well as Regulatory changes which have replaced certain exemptions in the Notice. This includes the following changes:

  • Certain exemptions have been removed as these have now been replaced by exemptions in the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulation, 2015 (Regulations):
    • Removal of exemptions relating to certain land uses. A 90-day expiry date now applies to these exemptions.
    • Removal of exemptions relating to car-parking for non-residential development and the payment of cash-in-lieu.
    • Removal of the need to obtain approval for signage relating to hotel, tavern, restaurant/café (or similar land uses).
  • Clarifying the exemptions to home businesses only apply during a Lockdown.
  • Extending the applicability of the exemption for agricultural workers accommodation in the Shires of Manjimup and Harvey to all local government areas.
  • Clarifying the exemptions applicable to non-conforming uses will expire on the day after the State of Emergency Declaration ends.
  • Removal of exemptions relating to consultation, advertisement, applications and/or forms.

To view the updated exemption, click here and to view the explanatory notes for planners, click here. For more information, click here.

Design Review Panel EOIs

The City of Wanneroo is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified design professionals with demonstrated expertise in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, sustainability or other related specialist design professions to nominate for membership on the City’s Design Review Panel.

Acting in an advisory capacity, the Panel plays a vital part in delivering high-quality development in the City of Wanneroo. Design advice will need to consider the relevant planning framework and the 10 Design Principles as provided in State Planning Policy 7.0: Design for the Built Environment.

The Panel will draw from a pool of up to eight design professionals, including a Chairperson and seven fellow Panel members. The roles, responsibilities and remuneration for the Chairperson and Panel members are set out in the City of Wanneroo’s Design Review Panel Terms of Reference. For further information and to nominate please visit the City’s website at the following link: Design Review Panel Members – Expressions of Interest – Design Review Panel (DRP) – City of Wanneroo

Six WA builders join State-wide panel to bolster Modular Build Program

This week, Housing Minister John Carey announced the establishment of a State-wide modular build panel, to assist with the delivery of the Government’s Modular Build Program.

Six Western Australian building companies have been appointed to the panel to design and construct modular residential housing throughout the State, including homes in regional areas.

The establishment of the panel is designed to further reduce delivery timeframes, with all the participating companies pre-approved to deliver modular housing projects.

The State Government is currently engaging a number of other companies, including small and medium size builders, which could see the panel expand further in the future.

The Modular Build Program was established by the Housing Minister late last year, and is one of a number of initiatives put in place to speed up delivery times for new social housing.

To date, contracts have been awarded for 36 new homes in the Modular Build Program, all for regional WA. The first homes are expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.

State Budget’s $14.3 million boost to build construction careers

As part of last week’s State Budget announcement a $14.3 million investment was included to support the development of Western Australia’s construction industry workforce and provide financial support to apprentices and trainees.

The $14.3 million Construction Training Fund (CTF) investment includes $4.5 million for a new tool rebate to support apprentices and trainees purchase trade-related tools and safety equipment.

Eligible apprentices will be able to claim up to $500 each from the CTF for purchases made between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

To support the introduction of a new apprenticeship pathway for the civil construction sector, the CTF is providing eligible employers with a wage gap subsidy to cover the difference in wages paid between the new apprenticeship and outgoing traineeship. The $5.1 million program will run over the next four years.

The State Government’s Skills Summits in 2021 identified access to a driver’s licence as a common barrier to employment as an apprentice. The CTF includes a $1.3 million initiative to assist young people with gaining the experience and skills they need to obtain a driver’s licence for entry into a construction trade apprenticeship.

The CTF also includes an additional $1.6 million of incentives for employers and apprentices involved in rebuilding disaster-affected regions to support communities impacted by the Wooroloo bushfires and Cyclone Seroja.

Under the scheme, employers can claim up to an additional $6,000 from the CTF over two years and apprentices can receive up to $2,000 over the same period.

A further $1.9 million has been allocated to identify and promote training in trades with a declining number of workers through online resourcing for target employers, advertising and apprentice mentoring programs.

For more information on these initiatives, visit

Award winner site tours

Join us for an exclusive tour of three of our 2021 Awards for Excellence winning projects as we take a closer look at what it takes to be crowned as one of the best projects in Western Australia.

We will be taking attendees on a 3.5 hour tour that includes Lucent Claremont by Celsius Developments, Eden West by Edge Visionary Living and One Subiaco by Blackburne. The tours will provide an unmissable opportunity to talk face-to-face with the project directors and gain a better understanding of what makes these projects stand out.

Event registration includes networking drinks at the Subiaco Hotel and all bus transfers between the projects.

For more information and to join us, click here.

Collaborate with Curtin to create an extended Internship program!

To build on Curtin University’s successful internship programs they are looking to work with industry to create new, extended work experience options for their students and they need help from the industry.

They are inviting industry participants to join them in brainstorming what an extended internship would look like; What does industry need? What skills gaps should be addressed? What support would be needed? How will this create more job ready graduates? Does this link with the Government’s Job-ready Graduates Package?

The session will be held at Curtin University, 139 St George’s Tce on 19 May from 3.00pm – 5.00pm. Afternoon tea & refreshments will be supplied.

Click here to register and for more information, contact Chanelle Gibbs via or on 08 9266 4572.

Professional Development Opportunities

Following another successful intake for our Built Form Development course (check out this awesome review here) UDIA are looking forward to delivering our next set of courses starting with our Half Day Fundamentals Course on Tuesday 31 May.

This course has been designed to offer those who are new to the development industry (either recent graduates, or experts in their field but new to working in this area) a comprehensive overview of WA’s Urban Development Industry.

For more information and to book your spot, click here.

For those looking to take their career to the next level our 6-day Foundations of Property Development is the ideal option.

This course is designed to give an end-to-end overview of the land development process, and is taught by reputable local experts in the industry who have a wealth of first hand knowledge and experience. Participants can complete all 6 modules, or attend individual modules.

For more information and to book your sport, click here.

Finally, registrations are also open for our Built Form course, which is a 2 day course that teaches the practical elements of residential built form development; from site identification, feasibility analysis and assumptions, product design, to the delivery, titling, contracting and sales and marketing.

Facilitated by Danielle Davison, this course provides the ideal grounding for anyone interested in Built Form Development. Early bird rates for this course are available until 30 June. Book your spot, here.