UDIA in Action

It has been another exceptionally busy and productive week for the team at UDIA WA!

We kicked off the weekend by welcoming the news that the construction timeframes for the Federal Government’s Homebuilder scheme have been extended.  This is a huge win for industry and new homebuyers alike and our National office has worked hard to achieve this fantastic outcome.

Keeping to National news, we were pleased to announce that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will officially open this year’s UDIA National Summit.  The virtual event is on Thursday 29 April and further details can be found here along with registration information.

Closer to home, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck represented the property industry at the CEO Voice Luncheon hosted by AIM and The West Australian today where discussion focused on the topic: Business and the Newly Elected State Government.  Look out for the write up in The West next weekend.

On Tuesday, Tanya also met with fellow UDIA CEOs in Sydney for a future-based discussion as Australia enters the next stage of the pandemic response. The UDIA WA State Council also met on Wednesday for their bi-monthly meeting and adopted UDIA WA’s updated strategic plan.

UDIA’s Modern Methods of Construction (MMoC) Sub Committee met this afternoon to progress their action plan which is seeking to assist the take up of modern methods of construction and finally, our Director Policy and Research Chris Green attended the DWER Waste Reform Advisory Group meeting this week.

Unprecendented collaboration recognised

Last year industry and relevant government agencies were working at absolute capacity to meet unprecedented demand from new home buyers due to the government stimulus measures.  While this unexpected boom has posed several challenges in relation to tight timeframes, labour shortages and supply issues, there was also a high level of positive collaboration and the ‘all in this together’ attitude among stakeholders is worth highlighting.

To acknowledge this collaboration, UDIA WA has sent commendation letters to key stakeholders involved with the successful delivery of the Federal and State-based land stimulus measures.  This is following the record number of land sales recorded during the stimulus application timeframes.

According to Landgate data, the number of subdivisional lots approved across the duration of the stimulus period totalled 10,025, representing an uplift of 5,780 additional lot sales (or a 236% increase) when compared to the same period in 2019.

Current National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) research estimates each new home built would, on average, support three jobs based on newly constructed dwelling multipliers and current average dwelling costs. UDIA WA estimates, in applying the NHFIC industry jobs multiplier to the total number of lots approved, the industry will support 30,075 jobs across the economy.

UDIA WA would like to extend our sincere thanks to all those involved with the successful delivery of so many sales and helping to provide an excellent pillar of support to the State and National economy.

Homebuilder Extension

This week UDIA National applauded the Commonwealth Government’s decision to extend the timeframes for commencing construction for eligible applicants under the HomeBuilder scheme by a further 12 months.

The Government announced that:

  • All applicants under the scheme now have 18 months from the date of signing a building contract to commence work, replacing the prior trigger of six months;
  • The extension is available to all applicants who signed a contract between June 4, 2020, and April 14, 2021 (covering the entire HomeBuilder eligibility period); and
  • Applicants now have until April 30, 2023, to submit all supporting documentation to their relevant state or territory revenue office.

The move is consistent with advocacy efforts by UDIA National and dialogue with the office of the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing, Michael Sukkar.

The advocacy efforts of UDIA National have been focused on promoting the fact that land sales and housing construction have effectively doubled over the past 12 months and the industry is working at maximum capacity.

For more information and to read the full update from UDIA National, click here.

UDIA WA represents industry on Medium Density Code

UDIA WA has outlined a strong argument for why we do not support the draft Medium Density Design Code in its current form in our recent submission to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

The draft code was launched by the Premier at UDIA WA’s industry luncheon in November 2020.  The launch of the draft code was highly anticipated by our industry in the hope that the policy would provide much needed guidance for the delivery of quality medium density development outcomes, particularly in infill locations.

Our submission makes it clear that while UDIA WA supports the policy outcomes that the draft SPP seeks to achieve, we cannot support the Medium Density Code in its current advertised form.

Our fundamental concern centres around the application of a Code that may be appropriate for one component of the infill market where land values are high but will have catastrophic consequences for greenfield and some brownfield developments.

In forming our submission, UDIA WA established a bespoke working group to undertake a detailed review of the draft Code and supporting guidelines.  This group was instrumental in unpacking the detail and potential consequences of the draft document to ensure that our formal response is well informed and provides constructive feedback.

Key issues that have been identified in our submission include:

  • Affordability impacts, particularly in greenfield areas
  • Stifling innovation by using workarounds such as Precinct Plans to vary Code provisions
  • Consumer rejection of some product created under the code
  • Poor streetscape outcomes

UDIA WA has made clear and concise recommendations in our submission that we will implore the WAPC to consider, including:

  • Immediately advising LGA’s NOT to implement the draft Code
  • Separating out into two parts – single residential and Grouped/ Multiple dwellings
  • Change minimum density to R40 (instead of R30/35)

There are several more detailed recommendations in our submission that can be read by clicking the link here.

Prime Minister confirmed to open National Summit

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver the Opening Keynote Address at UDIA’s National Summit.

The Prime Minister joins an already stellar speaking line-up that includes The Hon. Michael Sukkar MP, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Social & Community Housing; Colin Keane, Director, Research4; Bill Evans Chief Economist, Westpac Banking Corporation and Eliza Owen, Head of Residential Research Australia, CoreLogic.

This year’s National Summit will take place virtually and it will provide a detailed economic outlook plus granular analysis on the forward prospects for the nation’s housing and greenfield markets from some of Australia’s preeminent experts.

The Summit will conclude with the UDIA 2021 National Awards for Excellence, showcasing our finalists from across Australia and crowning the 2021 winners!

The National Summit and National Awards for Excellence will be live streamed via our online webcast system to our members and guests across Australia. There will be a live comments function alongside the viewing screen during the event so you can interact, ask questions to our speakers, congratulate your peers on their success and send a virtual cheer! UDIA National looks forward to bringing this event to you virtually and with any luck, we will be face to face again in 2022!

Registrations to book your place at this year’s National Summit close early next week so click here for to register today!

Latest Market Statistics released

Last week UDIA WA released the latest edition of our monthly Urban Intelligence report which highlights the key stats and facts impacting the urban development industry.

This month’s report also includes a feature article from Christopher Green looking at the growth potential for the WA market as well as some of the potential headwinds we may face.

UDIA WA members can access the full report here.

BCEC Monthly Labour Market Update

Earlier today the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre released the March 2021 edition of its Monthly Labour Market Update which highlights that Australia has officially reached full employment recovery.

According to the report, in March, the labour force added another 70,000 workers, taking the number of employed to just over 13 million, some 74,000 more workers than there was a year ago in March 2020. This is the sixth consecutive month that employment growth has been positive nationally.

Hours have also recovered strongly and are above pre-pandemic levels, participation rates have reached an all-time high, youth unemployment continues to fall and underemployment levels are edging closer to pre-pandemic levels.

The report also shows there are still some 50,000 fewer full-time men employed today than a year ago and to date only 82% of full-time jobs for men have been recovered.

Women on the other hand have seen significant full-time employment growth, with current levels 27% higher than a year ago.

For more information and to view the report in full, click here.

PD Course

The UDIA WA Professional Development Course continued this week with module 2 taking place on Monday 19 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.

Due to the public holiday on Monday 26 April, the program continues with module 3 on Monday 3 May.

The remaining 4 modules in the current intake are as follows:

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.