UDIA releases latest land data

UDIA WA’s Urban Development Index for the September quarter was released to members on Tuesday highlighting a 2.6% increase in land sales for the quarter and a minor 1.8% drop in the average price of new land.

While the figures reflect a settling of the market following the huge jumps experienced in the June quarter directly following the announcement of stimulus measures, the market remains positive as developers work to deliver new stages and keep up with demand.

A high level summary of these latest figures also featured in the October edition of The Land Report lift out published in The West Australian last weekend, with several UDIA members featured in the editorial.

Members can download the Urban Development Index here and you can read the Land Report here.

Innovation takes centre stage

UDIA WA was pleased to host three expert speakers in their field to share their knowledge in relation to innovation and sustainability with guests at our Industry Luncheon last Friday.

Lance Glare, Director at Carbon EMT shared his advice on emerging trends for developers to be aware of in relation to energy, outlining three key trends including the imminent rise of Electric Vehicles (EV); the move to a disrupted energy generation model; and the rise of the Carbon Net-Zero movement.

Mr Glare said that in relation to EVs, consumers appreciate the cost and environmental benefits of their use, however what they don’t yet know is that you can use EVs to store surplus solar generation and essentially run your home from your vehicle. While Australia currently has one of the lowers uptakes of EVs in the developed world, Mr Glare says that 2024 will prove a critical tipping point for EV adoption and 50% of new car sales will be electric by 2030.

Due to the fast rate of adoption in the coming years, developers should consider seizing the opportunity and ensuring a Smart EV Charging Management System is implemented.

In relation to the distributed energy generation model, Mr Glare advised that Australia has the highest uptake of solar in the world and in WA 29% of households have rooftop PV solar.

According to Mr Glare we could see increased network volatility unless we safeguard now. He recommended that developers consider moving ‘behind the meter’ to limit exposure to grid volatility; investing in solar and battery technology; and preparing cost-reflective residential tariffs.

In closing, Mr Glare said that there is a greater focus on sustainability rating tools like Green Star and NABERS and there are a range of ways that scores can be improved when using these tools.

Following Lance’ informative presentation, Dr Josh Byrne provided a case study on East Village at Knutsford by DevelopmentWA.

Dr Byrne provided in-depth analysis and shared experiences in implementing high performance housing, a precinct scale battery, lot-scale rainwater harvesting, stormwater harvesting, a precinct ground water scheme and efficient landscaping all in the one successful project.

Dr Byrne said that East Village is a great example of how a financially viable project can be achieved on a constrained infill site of relatively small scale. He laid down the gauntlet for other projects to follow the lead and learn from the exemplar project.

Rounding out the presentations, Ben Haddock from Arup provided a deep dive into digital innovation and how Arup is using Virtual Reality (VR) technology to create highly engaging, sensory experiences of the built environment.

Mr Haddock had the audience keen to try out the VR inclusive cycling experience, which utilises 360 degree immersive technology to demonstrate how different route options could look, sound and feel at an early stage of the design process.

The technology, that has been used by the Liverpool City Region to refine the design of new active travel routes and engage a wider audience, is inclusive and allows planners and designers to receive instant real world feedback on potential interventions while minimising design risk and increasing road safety.
Overall, the presentations and subsequent panel session were a fantastic way for guests to learn in more detail about the latest innovation happening on the ground here in WA and further afield.

A big thank you to event sponsor Parcel; event supporter Department of Communities and our networking partner JDSi Consulting Engineers.

We look forward to welcoming guests at our final luncheon for the year on 27 November featuring an exclusive address from Premier Mark McGowan. Don’t miss out on a ticket, this event will sell out. See more here.

State election edges closer

At our industry luncheon with the Premier on 27 November, UDIA WA will launch our election campaign for 2021 directly to the Premier and we will also launch the state election edition of our magazine, The Urbanist.

In the process of writing articles for the election edition of the magazine, UDIA has met with key players including Opposition Leader Liza Harvey, Minister for Transport and Planning Rita Saffioti and shadow planning and environment representative Hon. Tjorn Sibma. The edition will also feature articles from Premier Mark McGowan and several other key stakeholders.

We have appreciated the willingness of our elected representatives to sit down and discuss their plans for the next four-year term and we look forward to sharing the magazine with members next month.

Championing Diversity and Inclusion

UDIA WA is proud to launch our new Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Diversity toolkit for members at our Industry Sundowner tonight.

Our Industry Workforce and Diversity Committee Co-Chair Tiffany Allen will officially launch the policy and toolkit to guests at the sundowner tonight and outline the extensive research and work that has gone into developing the interactive tool that will assist our members in producing their own Diversity and inclusion policies.

UDIA WA’s new policy outlines our commitment to fostering a workplace culture that understands and values diversity and inclusion and sets an example for the wider urban development industry.
The toolkit can be viewed by members here.

Listen to our latest podcast featuring an interview with Tiffany discussing UDIA WA’s goals and objectives in relation to diversity and how to use the new toolkit here.

HV Pool System Charge Change

UDIA WA is extremely pleased to advise members that as a result of a governance agreement signed recently between Western Power and UDIA WA regarding the high voltage subdivision pool – the current system charge will be reduced.

As a result of a collaborative approach, the system charge will be reduced from $261 kVA to $175 kVA. This will allow for the HV Pool to reach its target balance within 2-3 years. The new system charge will come into effect 1 November 2020.

The intent of the high voltage (HV) subdivision pool is to drive a more equitable outcomes for Developers who contribute towards HV infrastructure assets.

The pool reimburses developers who have paid for more than their share of the HV infrastructure and collects funds from developers who make use of excess capacity on that infrastructure.

UDIA WA will continue to work with Western Power to provide further HV Pool refunds to the land development industry moving forward.

UDIA provides market update

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck presented at an RAC Property Finance event on Wednesday, outlining the latest development market activity, particularly in light of recent market stimulus measures and COVID-19 related restrictions.

While the market is currently buoyant due to federal and state stimulus, Tanya advised that the record low rental vacancy rate, end to stimulus measures, lower listing levels and questions around population growth would be some of the primary influencers over the next year or more on the property market in WA.

Infrastructure WA External Stakeholder Reference Group meets

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck is pleased to participate in leading WA’s infrastructure future as a member of the Infrastructure WA External Stakeholder Reference Group (ESRG), which met for the first time on Tuesday.

Members of the ESRG will have an important role in the development of WA’s first State Infrastructure Strategy (SIS), including providing feedback on the proposed vision for and development of the SIS and advising on strategic issues impacting on industry.

WA economic growth increases

WA has lifted to from seventh to joint sixth place for relative economic growth in the latest State of The States report released by CommSec.

The report shows that Tasmania remains the best performing economy for the third consecutive quarter followed by the ACT, Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Queensland (joint sixth with WA) and finally the Northern Territory.

According to the survey, WA has experienced the second fastest nominal economic growth this quarter, up 7.7 per cent. However, in the specific areas of construction, population growth and unemployment, WA remains behind several other states.

See full detail in the report here.

Rental crisis looms

The latest figures from REIWA paint a concerning picture for the rental market in WA with the vacancy rate down to just 1% in the September quarter. along with a record low number of rental availability, the median house rent increased to $390 per week which is up 5.5% from last quarter and 8% over the year.

In terms of sales, the REIWA data shows a decrease in number of houses sold for the September quarter of 8%. There was a 20% fall in sales over the year.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Centre (AHURI) has released a report on renting in the time of COVID-19: understanding the impacts and highlights that around a third of renters expected that they would need longer term government support in recovering from pandemic related financial hardship.

More here.

Consumer Price index on the rise

The consumer price index (CPI) rose across the nation by 1.8% this quarter with Perth’s CPI increasing in line with Sydney at 1.8%.

More specifically in Perth, automotive fuel rose 9.7% and new dwelling purchases by owner occupiers rose 3.6% due to the increases in base prices for project homes. Interestingly, property rates and charges fell by 1.5% due to COVID-19 rebates and concessions for rate payers from local councils.

Adoption of the 2022 National Construction Code delayed

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has presented a variety of significant challenges for the building industry, regulators and consumers, Building Ministers have agreed to a four-month delay to the adoption of the 2022 edition of the National Construction Code (NCC).

Find out more details here.

Two iconic buildings approved

Brookfield Properties is set to construct two new towers, one of 58 storeys and one of 21 storeys, at Elizabeth Quay with the State Government providing development approval on Tuesday.
The two towers, designed by New York architects Rex in consultation with local firm Hassell, will together deliver more than 52,000sqm of high-quality office space, 1,800sqm of dining and retail space, 237 apartments and 84 hotel rooms.

The government says that the $367 million development is expected to create 2,500 construction jobs in WA.

New Infill Performance Evaluation Framework released

The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities Infill Performance Evaluation Framework is a way of assessing the water sensitive outcomes from infill development, and the SUWMBA Tool is one of several tools practitioners can use to assess water sensitivity.

The framework is intended to help guide the assessment and design of water sensitive cities.

Specifically, the framework assesses the performance of a city, precinct or lot by describing it as a three-dimensional system including all flows and storage of piped and natural water flows.

This approach provides a more complete picture of system performance than simple measures of water supply versus water demand.

More information here.

UDIA requests for feedback

UDIA is working on submissions and responses in relation to the following. Members are encouraged to provide feedback and comments to inform our submissions to policy@udiawa.com.au by the specified dates below:

Review of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 DUE 25th November


Discussion Paper ‘Waste Not, Want Not – Valuing Waste as a Resource – Proposed legislative framework for waste-derived materials’ DUE 18th December

PACT Site Security update

To date, October has seen three hot water units reported stolen from constructions sites in Salter Point, Shelley and Bushmead. Two of the thefts activated installed GPS tracking devices with investigations continuing with Cannington Detectives.

Burglaries have been reported in Treeby, Camillo and Bushmead with six illegal rubbishing dumpings. Assist your industry in reducing crime and illegal rubbish dumping, report all incidents efficiently and effectively HERE