From the CEO

We are all familiar with the concept of the housing continuum, with crisis accommodation at one end and home ownership at the other. Whilst the majority of the focus is on the supply of the various housing products at each stage along the continuum, a critical component is the transition between each housing product as life circumstances change for those in our community.

Change is challenging for many of us and even more so for those who are most vulnerable in our society. Therefore I was most pleased to see the Minister for Housing’s announcement today on a landmark pilot program to assist rough sleepers to transition into social housing. The reform package will see Housing Choices provide property and tenancy management through a supportive landlord model that assists people with complex needs that has been successfully trialed in Bunbury.

This is the role that our government must play in prioritising social outcomes over commercial objectives to provide the intense wrap around supports as people make the transition into other forms of housing as their lives become more stable. As industry responds to the Housing Diversity Pipeline sites, how we ensure that future developments providing a mix of social and affordable housing have the adequate tenancy and wrap around support will be critical to the success of the role of the private sector in this space. Partnerships with community housing organisations is one such way to address the issue.

Facilitating the transition between housing types as your lifestyle and household make up changes over time is critical to address housing under-occupation which is rife throughout Western Australia in particular in the metropolitan area. Our taxation settings must support not detract from this aim. As UDIA WA begins preparing its Pre-Budget Submission, this will be front of mind to ensure the private sector are able to play their part in ensuring all Western Australians have place to call home.

Quarterly key stakeholder meetings

It has been a busy week with key stakeholder meeting for the team at UDIA WA as we continue to represent our members across a range of critical areas. We met with the WAPC Chairman and senior representatives of DPLH, the Acting CEO and Acting COO of Development WA and the Director General and senior representatives of the Department of Communities as part of a quarterly meeting series.

Key issues discussed at all three meetings included the social housing policy mix, housing diversity pipeline, and priorities for ongoing engagement, as well as UDIA’s Development Ready Pipeline project and support for the UDIA National Congress.

At the WAPC/DPLH meeting, industry issues and concerns were raised relating to the Medium Density Design Code and the need for Local Development Plans in a medium density infill situation, delays associated with SDAU clearances and the need for guidance around how these are processed to ensure consistency and clarity, and coordination / collaboration with the EPA.

WAPC/DPLH and EPA/DWER are meeting regularly and working to increase the lines of sight around what the EPA will call in, and the revised framework will be discussed at their next meeting as a key opportunity to provide clarity around what needs to be referred to the EPA.

We look forward to keeping members up to date on what is happening in these areas.

UDIA National – driving Build to Rent

UDIA National released a policy paper yesterday into how to drive more Build to Rent projects in Australia. The paper shows that BTR can be delivered by the development industry at scale with implementation of reforms that level the playing field with build to sell housing.

Ahead of the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council’s review of the barriers to establishing BTR, UDIA National’s report outlines the core challenges and provides nine practical solutions designed to be readily implemented as a part of the Government’s National Housing Accord to accelerate housing delivery across the spectrum.

One recommendation by UDIA is that private BTR development should be incentivised to cover the rental gap for private affordable BTR housing, by way of the reintroduction of an NRAS-like scheme, to help deliver more housing under the Future Fund.

The report cites examples from overseas where success has been achieved with BTR to boost scale across at-market and affordable housing.

A concerted effort is needed from Governments to harness more diverse market housing supply options like Build to Rent (BTR) to overcome the affordable housing shortfall. The Federal Government has an important role through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) to help States/Territories provide CHP incentives to BTR projects that provide affordable housing.

UDIA National stands ready to work with government and industry to drive BTR so that more affordable and social housing can be delivered across the housing spectrum.

Read the full policy paper here.

nbn® announces new Director, nbn Marketplace

nbn® is continuing to drive their transformation program in the New Developments with the recent announcement of Kamie Ang as the new Director, nbn® Marketplace.

Many of our members would know Kamie from his time managing the New Developments program for nbn in WA. Kamie has always been passionate about advocating smart technology as a baseline for all developments and it is this passion and deep industry experience that has positioned him as the best person to bring the new Marketplace concept to life, driving the smart cities strategies into nbn new developments and expand his support for UDIA and its members nationally.

Although they will be big shoes to fill, we are very lucky in WA to welcome Brian O’Keefe as the new nbn Account Manager for WA. Brian will continue the great efforts from Kamie, and partner with your business to get the most out of nbn for you and your customers.  Brian comes with a wealth of experience, having worked in the Telco industry for over 20 years as a technology advocate and leader. Brian will start on the Monday the 28th of November and Kamie will transition him into the role over the next few months. nbn are focussed on ensuring a smooth transition with our members and our team, therefore Kamie will continue to be available for the immediate future. Brian and Kamie will both be joining us at the UDIA Sundowner so expect some face to face introductions very soon.

Everyone at UDIA WA would like to extend our gratitude to Kamie for all the support an enthusiasm he has provided the past few years, and congratulate him on his new role. Welcome aboard Brian – we look forward to working with you.

UDIA releases latest market and economic data

The October edition of UDIA WA’s Urban Intelligence report has a comprehensive rundown on all the key property market trends and economic data for our members to understand current conditions.  The report also includes a feature article that highlights Western Australia’s modestly rising property market, which is defying the downward national trend.

This month, we have also included a new feature in the report, the Herron Todd White (HTW) Property Clocks, which provide a high level picture of the state o the housing and unit markets across Australia.

For your copy of the latest report, download it here.

State Government to assist rough sleepers

Homelessness Minister John Carey has today announced a reform package aimed at assisting and transitioning rough sleepers in Western Australia into 100 social homes across the Perth metropolitan area and the South-West.

As part of the reform package, the McGowan Government will invest $20.7 million as part of a partnership with Housing Choices that will deliver 100 social homes between Perth, Peel, and Bunbury specifically for rough sleepers.

Housing Choices will provide property and tenancy management for 100 social dwellings through a supportive landlord model, in addition to securing access to 50 homes. The State Government will spot purchase an additional 50 properties, and these 100 homes in total will be prioritised for people who have experienced prolonged homelessness.

Further information on the State Government’s 10 Year Strategy on Homelessness and new reforms can be viewed at

Australia’s national accounts released

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released information on Australian National Accounts on Friday including state by state breakdowns.

According to the date, the Australian economy grew 3.6% in 2021-22 following growth of 2.2% in 2020-21. The result reflects the recovery in the economy coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic with the removal of border restrictions and lockdown measures across the country. Australia’s jurisdictions experienced different impacts from the Delta and Omicron waves of COVID-19, natural disasters, and global supply shocks across the year. Despite these events, all eight states and territories experienced growth in 2021-22.

In Western Australia, GSP grew 3.1% following a rise of 3.3% in 2020-21. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (30.3%) and Construction (9.6%) were the major drivers of the growth.

The increase in the Construction GVA follows a rise of 5.2% in the previous year. Home building continued to increase in 2021-22 despite labour and supply shortages impacting the industry. Non-residential construction was supported by high levels of public investment in infrastructure and buildings and drove the increase in construction output.

OECD latest economic outlook

In their latest report released earlier this week, the OECD is forecasting that world growth will decline to 2.2% in 2023 and bounce back to a relatively modest 2.7% in 2024. Asia will be the main engine of growth in 2023 and 2024, whereas Europe, North America and South America will see very low growth.

According to the report, “higher inflation and lower growth are the hefty price that the global economy is paying for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Although prices were already creeping up due to the rapid rebound from the pandemic and related supply chain constraints, inflation soared and became much more pervasive around the world following Russia’s invasion.”

“As a consequence of the unexpected surge in prices, real wages are falling in many countries, slashing purchasing power. This is hurting people everywhere. If inflation is not contained, these problems will only become worse. Thus, fighting inflation has to be our top policy priority right now.”

Interestingly, the report backs decisions to increase interest rates to curb inflation and suggests these strategies are starting to pay off. However the rising rates are not without challenges and risks.

“Debt repayment will be more expensive for firms, governments and households who have variable rate debt obligations or when taking on new debt.

“We are particularly concerned about low-income countries, over half of which are already in (or at high risk of) debt distress and now face tightening financial conditions. Currency depreciation vis-à-vis the US dollar in many of these countries, and in emerging markets, adds to these risks.”

To read the full report, visit here.