From the CEO

That’s a wrap! Our beautiful city put on a magnificent show this week as we hosted a very successful UDIA National Congress, kicking off at the absolutely stunning rooftop bar at the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) on Monday night for the welcome event sponsored by Oliver Hume.  The theme for the night was ‘see the light, be the light’ and I think our city took that theme very seriously! We could not have asked for a better backdrop to welcome over 400 delegates from around the country as the sun set and the City skyline literally shone.

The serious business commenced on Tuesday with plenary sessions focusing on housing supply, affordability and the impact of economic pressures on the market.  The study tours on Tuesday afternoon were another opportunity for delegates to explore more of Perth and view some of the cutting edge projects that are occurring here.  One of the key themes that came out of many of the projects viewed on tour was just how much we managed to achieve and get off the ground during (and in spite of) the pandemic and all the well known challenges that came with those years.  It really is remarkable to take the time to reflect on how much we have achieved during the ‘covid years’ and I think it is important to appreciate and be proud of the projects that have been delivered for the community and benefiting WA’s powerhouse economy.

Wednesday was another packed program and we have provided some more in-depth write ups below, but the highlight was the launch of UDIA’s National State of the Land report that has reinforced systemic housing supply issues across the nation and Perth has also taken on the mantle of most affordable capital city in Australia.

The Congress culminated with the National Awards for Excellence and once again WA shone, with two fantastic projects in Park Terraces by Celsius Developments and Rosewood West Perth by Rosewood Care Group taking home awards along with Stockland’s Rachel Ezzard who was awarded the national Young Leader 2023.

I couldn’t be more proud of WA, our members, our Congress supporters, and my team for putting on such a great show this week.  I know there are so many people that attended who will be returning to the west coast very soon to explore opportunities or maybe just enjoy the hospitality and world class locations that they have recently discovered.

I will leave you with some words of wisdom from our closing Keynote, the inimitable Justin Langer – what the caterpillar sees as the end of the world, the master sees as the butterfly.  From what I have seen this week and how we have emerged from Covid – there are plenty of masters in this industry.

WA Developers shine on National stage   

Western Australia took out three gongs at the UDIA National Awards for Excellence 2023, held right here in Perth on Wednesday night.

The national awards program recognises the very best in the urban development sector across the country.

Rosewood West Perth by Rosewood Care Group won the Award for Excellence in Seniors Living; Park Terraces in Shenton Park by Celsius Developments took out the award for Best Small Scale Development and WA young professional Rachel Ezzard was honoured as the National Young Leader for 2023.

To read more about these projects, click here.

The full list of winners are below and we congratulate all of the 2023 UDIA National Awards for Excellence Winners in the 16 categories on their wins:

  • Women In Leadership – Michele Adair – CEO, Housing Trust – NSW
  • Young Leaders – Rachel Ezzard – Development Manager, Stockland WA
  • Diversity in Development – Lendlease
  • High Density Development – TreeHouse by Aria, by Aria Property Group – QLD
  • Residential Development – Catherine Park Estate, by Harrington Estates and The Fairfax Group – NSW
  • Social & Community Infrastructure – Activating Reservoir Reserves for healthy communities, by SA Water – SA
  • Small Scale Development – Park Terraces by Celsius Developments – WA
  • Masterplanned Communities – Harmony by AVID Property Group – QLD
  • Affordable Housing – Daily St by Otello – SA
  • Award for Design – Sofitel Adelaide – by Palumbo Group – SA
  • Urban Renewal – Midtown Centre by AsheMorgan & DMann Corporation -QLD
  • Seniors Living – Rosewood West Perth by Rosewood Care Group – WA
  • Award for Marketing – Altura – West Village by Sekisui House Australia – QLD
  • Medium Density Development – Parkridge Noosa by Altum Property Group – QLD
  • Award for Sustainability – Nightingale Ballarat by Hygge Property with Nightingale Housing VIC
  • The Project of the Year Award – Harmony by AVID Property Group – QLD

Head to the UDIA National LinkedIn page for an overview of all of the winners on the night, here.

WA Young Leader takes home top gong

Winner of the Young Leaders’ Award, Rachel Ezzard, is a Development Manager at Stockland in Western Australia and has ensured WA has won the National Young Leader Award for the second successive year and third time in the last four years.

Ms Ezzard has worked on a range of major masterplanned communities in and around Perth and has a passion for sustainability and innovative thinking.

Ma Ezzard reflects genuine leadership qualities, her passion for mentoring, and her proactiveness to improve industry is impressive and inspired the judges.

To read more about Ms Ezzard’s achievements, click here.

Perth officially most affordable in the country

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) launched the highly anticipated annual State of the Land Report at the UDIA National Congress in Perth on Wednesday.

The report now position’s Perth as the most affordable capital city in Australia with a median new land price of $228,000. With the median land price growing a modest 6% in 2022 Perth has assumed the mantle from Adelaide as having the most affordable residential blocks in the country.

This compares to an astronomical average price of $716,381 in Sydney for new land and $382,125 in Melbourne, and is a whopping 42% lower than the combined capital city average.

Issues around forward supply of housing is highlighted across the nation in the report as new dwelling growth fundamentally is not keeping up with population growth.  The rental vacancy rate is also the tightest on record across the country.

According to the report, the strong recent performance of the national greenfield sector has helped soften the blow from the on-going softness in multi-unit supply, however with both the greenfield and multi-unit sectors set to experience reduced output in the coming three years, aggregate capital city new residential market supply will decline to the lowest levels recorded in a decade.

While the land market has remained relatively stable despite the headwinds over the Covid impacted years, multi-residential development, particularly apartment projects, have not faired so well.

According to the report, annual completions of multi-unit dwellings were down 20% across Perth over the year to December 2022 and completions are expected to continue to decline over the next three years given construction is down 54%.

Read the full report, here and to read our Media Release, click here.

WA successfully hosts UDIA National Congress 2023

Yesterday saw the completion of the 2023 UDIA National Congress right here in Perth, bringing to a close an incredible showcase of what Perth and WA has to offer.

This year’s event started on the rooftop of AGWA as the sun shone on the Opening Night celebration. Hosted by Oliver Hume, the theme for the evening was See the Light, Be the Light. From a gorgeous sunset providing the ideal backdrop to the entertainment provided by the traditional owners of the land and a spectacular light show that accompanied proceedings, it was an awesome spectacle of what Perth and WA has to offer.

The next morning, plenary sessions were kickstarted by Adrian Harrington, Chair of NHFIC who spoke on the solutions for Housing a Future Australia. Mr Harrington was followed by one of Australia’s pre-eminent businessmen Mark Bouris AM who gave his insights into the future of the Australian economy.

Andrew Miller, Senior Leader, Urban Solutions at Hatch Canada was our first international keynote and he spoke on Mobility and the Future of City Building before our Panel Session on ESG with PwC’s Amy Lomas, Hesperia’s Mark Taylor and Talent Nation’s Richard Evans closed out the plenary sessions for the day.

To read more about this year’s UDIA National Congress, click here.

Homebuilder extension safeguards homeowners and housing affordability

Today’s announcement by the Federal Government to extend Homebuilder by two years is a welcome action that will ensure existing purchasers are not forced to default on construction contracts on projects impacted by pandemic induced delays.

“Without this decision, ordinary Australians, through no fault of their own, were in danger of losing not only their Homebuilder grant but also their home deposits, which have taken them years to save – putting them in a worse situation than before the pandemic,” said Maxwell Shifman, UDIA National President.

Homebuilder provided up to $25,000 in grants to hardworking Australians towards the construction of new homes and renovations. It was the only way for many Australians to get into homeownership, and many housing projects relied on Homebuilder supported purchasers to satisfy pre-sale requirements for construction loans.

Following today’s announcement, purchasers who were eligible under Homebuilder now have two further years to see their homes completed and obtain the grant. This extension will ensure Australians will not be negatively impacted financially, keeping their family home ownership aspirations alive.

The industry now has the breathing space it needs to finish Homebuilder projects, following supply chain delays, COVID 19 shutdowns, and construction company failures that pushed timelines past the earlier completion deadline for Homebuilder,” said Mr Shifman.

The extension to Homebuilder does not involve any additional expense to Government, it simply recognises that the challenges experienced by the construction industry,  have been outside anyone’s control.

UDIA applauds the Government for listening to the concerns of its members in the development and construction industry, and taking the necessary steps to prevent a cascade of purchaser defaults. We will continue to work with Government to ensure Homebuilder delivers on its original promise of homeownership for ordinary Australians,” said Max Shifman.

UDIA WA welcomes this news as helped to prepare a draft of the submission for National’s input, and following further advocacy, including meeting with the Minister’s Office and providing further data around the indicative impact on purchasers from the potential loss of deposits, in addition to the grants, the above extension is a great result for industry.