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28 October 2021

Industry Issues 28-10-2021

From the CEO

As we head towards a grim tally of almost 5 million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide, the reality of having to live with the pandemic rather than continually trying to stamp it out is hitting home. Our east coast friends are finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel with restrictions being removed and travel back on the cards. In stark contrast, here in WA we are living out our mantra of being a ‘wait-a-while’ state with no fixed date or certainty on when our border will finally be taken down. Many Western Australians also seem to be ‘waiting a while’ to get vaxxed, with the Premier mandating 75% of the workforce in an attempt to get us moving.

This ongoing uncertainty makes it even harder to look into that crystal ball and know with a significant degree of certainty what lies ahead for industry and market conditions over the next 12 months. What we do know, is that lot sales are solid with our Urban Development Index showing we are averaging 2,201 per quarter to the end of September. We are anticipating 25,150 dwelling commencements in 2022 – a conservative estimate due to extended construction timeframes caused by trade and material shortages.

Assuming we see the return of overseas migration in early 2022, this will likely drive further momentum. There is currently a backlog of 28,000 permanent migration visas granted with WA as the likely destination. Annual migration totalled 30,383 and 29,043 in 2012/13 and 2014/15 at the peak of the last economic cycle. Combining the current backlog with the typical annual migration figures of previous boom years, we would anticipate annual net overseas migration to total 55,000.

We have a real opportunity to position Perth and WA as the best place to live, work and play on a global scale. We just need to put out the welcome mat and set a date for the homecoming.

Lunch fosters thriving neighbourhood discussion

The creation of thriving liveable neighbourhoods goes right to the heart of what UDIA is all about as we support our members in creating communities for the future.  Therefore, it was fantastic to have a platform to discuss the range of issues, challenges and opportunities for creating successful neighbourhoods at our industry luncheon event last Friday.

A key focus of discussion was around the 15 minute city and 20 minute neighbourhood concepts that were recently covered in the International Study Tour edition of UDIA WA’s magazine The Urbanist.

To read this piece in full, click here and to read our International Study Tour edition of The Urbanist, click here.

Latest land sales stats revealed

Demand for new land in Perth continues to grow according to the latest statistics revealed in the latest edition of UDIA WA’s Urban Development Index (UDI).

The September quarter UDI recorded a 35% increase in new land sales for the quarter as well as an uptick in the average price of new land with a 5% increase over the quarter and an 11% rise compared to the September 2020 quarter.

The north west and north east corridors remain strongest in terms of lot sales with around 60% of all sales across the Perth Metropolitan Region occurring across these two corridors, while the most affordable land can be found in the southern corridors with the average price of land around $15,000 below the PMR average.

To view the full roundup of statistics from the September quarter, UDIA members can view the latest edition of the UDI here.

For a brief rundown on the statistics as well as broader commentary about the land market more generally, you can read the Land Report lift out that was published in The West Australian on Saturday here.

Access to UDIA WA website is changing

From tomorrow access to the UDIA WA website is changing as part of our aim to provide exceptional member services.

UDIA WA has invested in new technology that will integrate our member database with our website and online event registration capabilities with our new UDIA WA online Community Portal providing our members with seamless, integrated services and up to date information at the click of a button.

As part of the change all current login details for the website will be removed and each member organisation’s Key Representative will be granted access initially. The Key Representative will then be able to provide access to a further 2 representatives for their organisation.

All the necessary information will be emailed to Key Representatives tomorrow (Friday).

Once active the UDIA WA Community Portal includes exclusive member only access to:

  • Urban Express weekly news
  • The Urbanist quarterly magazine
  • The Urban Development Index quarterly market update
  • The Urban Intelligence economic data report
  • UDIA WA Members Directory listing details of all UDIA WA members
  • UDIA WA Diversity Toolkit
  • Relevant governance documents including the UDIA WA Annual Reports and Constitution
  • Ability to update you and your organisations details

For more information or any queries, email membership@udiawa.com.au

UDIA reveals latest economic data

UDIA WA released the September 2021 Urban Intelligence report to members at the end of last week providing a comprehensive run down on all the latest economic, development and building data relevant to our industry.

The feature article this month focuses on the latest meeting Housing Industry Forecasting Group looking at what might impact dwelling commencement figures over the next 12 months.

Members can read more here.

Native Vegetation Guideline released

Earlier today the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation announced the new Guideline: Native vegetation clearing referrals has been finalised and published on the department’s website.

UDIA providing a submission during the one-month public consultation period in July and would like to thank members for their feedback in preparing the submission.

A consultation summary report is published alongside the new guideline to summarise the external feedback received and the department’s responses to that feedback.

Other material has also been published to support the new guideline and to reflect other amendments to Part V Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) that have also taken effect. These include:

  • updates to the existing Procedure: Native vegetation clearing permits to incorporate new information and flowcharts reflecting how clearing referrals and the changes to the amendment and surrender processes fit into the broader stages of native vegetation clearing permits assessments
  • a new combined referral form / permit application form, which will replace both existing clearing permit form types, and will be located on the redesigned clearing permit application forms webpage, and
  • general revisions to various native vegetation clearing pages on the department’s website to reflect the EP Act amendments.

If you have any queries about the new guideline or other aspects of the EP Act amendments related to native vegetation clearing, please contact the Department’s Native Vegetation Regulation branch by phone on (08) 6364 7098 or via email to info@dwer.wa.gov.au.

End the year in style

The annual UDIA Outlook End of Year Party has once again proven popular with our young professionals – having already sold out!

Fear not, if you are keen to network with colleagues and celebrate the end of year in style, tickets for the UDIA End of Year Sundowner at Nedlands Yacht Club are now on sale.

Set to be held on the picturesque banks of the Swan River our End of Year Sundowner is a fantastic way to celebrate the year with friends and colleagues.

This year’s event will run from 5-10pm and presents the ideal opportunity to chill out and catch up with industry colleagues and friends and play a few lawn games while soaking up the festive atmosphere.

For more information and book your spot click here.

A big thanks to our Outlook sponsors Parcel Property and Cedar Woods and to our End of Year Sundowner sponsors MNG and Douglas Partners.

Land Report

Last Saturday the latest edition of UDIA’s Land Report was published in The West Australian. This bi-annual publication provides an update on the state of the land market in Western Australia using UDIA WA’s exclusive data from our Urban Development Index.

View the latest edition here and for a full overview of insights from the September quarter, members can access the UDI, here.

Australia’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan

This week the Federal Government released Australia’s whole-of-economy Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan as the plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

In announcing the plan the Government said we will achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in a practical, responsible way that will take advantage of new economic opportunities while continuing to serve our traditional markets.

The Plan focuses on technology. The Technology Investment Roadmap is the cornerstone of the plan, and prioritises technologies that will help Australia cut emissions while creating jobs and growing our economy.

For more information on the Government’s plan, click here.

The current edition of UDIA WA’s thought leadership publication The Urbanist focuses on climate action, highlighting the practical efforts the development industry is doing to benefit the environment now and into the future and can be read here.

Become a key player in sustainable development

Are you a developer or consultant with an appetite for sustainable development? Join us on November 25th for a 3-hour webinar that is a direct stepping stone to becoming a certified EnviroDevelopment Professional (EDP) or certifying your own project.

The course offers the opportunity to gain knowledge of the EnviroDevelopment program and stay in touch with the latest trends and technologies in green communities across Australia.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become an EDP.

The course focuses on all facets of EnviroDevelopment program including the foundations, the technical standards, the certification process, the practical application and case studies.

To book now, click here and for more information email EnviroDevelopment Manager Taylor Hood on thood@udiaqld.com.au.

Significant reforms to protect the environment and streamline assessment process

At the end of last week the State Government announced the second stage of the Environmental Protection Amendment Act 2020 was completed with the proclamation of some important changes to the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

These changes streamline the environmental impact assessment process and improve the pathway for regulation of native vegetation.

The changes also facilitate the implementation of bilateral agreements with the Commonwealth for environmental impact assessment and clearing of native vegetation.

Supporting regulations, guidance and procedures have been developed in consultation with stakeholders.

The third stage of this reform will include amendments to implement the new ‘prescribed activity’ licensing regime, allow for the implementation of environmental monitoring programmes and provide for the management of offset funds.

More information about the Environmental Protection Act amendments is available here.

Strong financial management leads to “positive” WA credit rating

This week ratings agency S&P Global revised the outlook on Western Australia’s AA+ credit rating to “positive” from “stable”.

The “positive” outlook reflects a one-in-three chance of an upgrade to AAA in the next one to two years, provided WA’s strong financial performance continues.

Driving the change in S&P’s outlook is WA’s “continued budget outperformance compared with domestic and global peers” and “exceptional fiscal metrics”.

The ratings agency observed that WA’s economy has recovered strongly after the initial outbreak of COVID-19, with containment of the virus enabling a quick return of economic activity to now exceed pre-COVID-19 levels.

Western Australia’s strong economic performance has “propelled broad-based revenue growth” and allowed the State to take advantage of strong commodity prices.

S&P’s notes that reforms to the GST have mitigated the downside risks to WA’s budget, preventing the record low GST share it otherwise would experience.

Designing a waterwise neighbourhood made easier during National Water Week

Water Minister Dave Kelly is encouraging developers to recognise the value of water-sensitive urban design in combatting the impacts of climate change and reduced rainfall, through a waterwise development guide.

A joint initiative between DevelopmentWA, Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the guide was created by sustainability experts Josh Byrne & Associates to demonstrate the benefits of waterwise design in homes and communities of the future.

The guide uses the soon-to-be-built OneOneFive Hamilton Hill development to showcase the latest in water-sensitive urban design.

A DevelopmentWA project, OneOneFive Hamilton Hill will feature localised stormwater infiltration methods such as permeable paving and water harvesting tree pits, the inclusion of a community groundwater bore, and advanced water-efficiency in buildings and within the landscape.

The design options investigated in the guide can be applied to all types of developments, and support efforts by developers, local governments, urban water professionals and others to deliver future communities that use and reuse water as efficiently as possible.

Making it easier for developers to integrate water-sensitive urban design into new estates supports resilient and highly liveable neighbourhoods in the face of climate change and reduced rainfall.

As OneOneFive Hamilton Hill progresses, the guide will be updated to include learnings and insights captured during the construction and occupation phases of the project.

For more information or to view the guide, visit here.