Latest Urban Development Index released

Tuesday saw the official release of the latest Urban Development Index (UDI) which includes UDIA’s exclusive land sales data from the September 2019 Quarter.

Figures within the UDI found the number of lots sold were 23.6% per cent higher than at this point 12 months ago and the size of lots were also 2.1% bigger than last year with an average size of 386sqm.

The average price of lots sold was slightly lower than 12 months ago with the $224,842 recorded in the September Quarter 1.2 per cent down. Following this price decline, the average price per square metre also dropped compared with 12 months ago, sitting 3.2 per cent lower at $582.

The release of these figures followed a Member Briefing on Monday, presented by our Research Partners, Urbis Directors Tim Connoley and David Cresp, which was attended by a number of members interested to learn more about the current market.

To view the latest UDI click here or to view a short informative video outlining the key stats from the September Quarter, click here.

Independent review of EPBC Act scope announced

The Commonwealth Government has unveiled the scope of its long-awaited, independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

The review has been an advocacy and policy priority for UDIA National given the red and green tape barriers imposed on new housing developments by the existing framework.

UDIA National priorities for the review include seeing the EPBC Act finally fulfil its original promise of a single, streamlined environmental assessment for major projects.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has released details of the review, including its terms of reference and composition of the independent panel.

UDIA National has engaged with Minister Ley in the lead up to the review’s commencement and will be meeting with her in Canberra in November.

UDIA National have written to Minister Ley to emphasise the clear goals that should define the review. These include:

  • Establishing a timeline for completing outstanding bilateral agreements and strategic assessments, as well as updating existing bi-lateral agreements
  • An audit of progress against the ‘one-stop shop’ premise that underpins the EPBC Act and absorbing lessons from existing processes which work well.
  • Resolving flaws in the process of strategic bio-certification to remove delays
  • Considering statutory timeframes for responding to applications
  • Producing a simpler and more effective regime for offsets
  • Lifting the quality, consistency and transparency of guidance
  • Ensuring proposed listings of matters of national environmental significance are underpinned by clear evidence and science.

UDIA National will be taking a detailed and coordinated approach to engaging with the review and ensuring the priorities of members are reflected in our submissions.

Full details of the review and its terms of reference, as well as the composition of the independent panel, can be found here.

Land Report released

On Saturday in The Weekend West and Sunday in The Sunday Times, the October edition of the Land Report was released.

Made up of 32 pages, the October edition is an excellent compendium of information including exclusive land sales data from the September 2019 quarter as well as several thought leadership articles where UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck delivered clear and concise messaging across a variety of topics.

This edition also included updates, contributions and editorial from a number of members including Stockland, Satterley, DevelopmentWA, Cedar Woods, Peet, Richard Noble, Parcel Property, Department of Communities, JWH Group and Okeland Communities.

For more information and to view the full version of the October Land Report, click here.

New Professional Development Course focusing on Built Form Development

March 2020 will see a new two-day professional development course being added to the UDIA WA training program that will teach the practical elements of residential built form development.

This masterclass is tailored to the local development industry and presented by a leading industry practitioner. Facilitated by Danielle Davison who has worked in the property development industry for 23 years; this is the only course of its kind currently being delivered in WA.

Offering practical and highly relevant content, this two-day course will provide a comprehensive learning solution with valuable content that is applicable for those just starting out/with limited knowledge, as well as those who have operated in this field but are seeking an up to date refresher on all elements associated with residential built form practices & processes.

For more information or to register for the course, click here.

Stamp Duty on multi res developments – update

Thank you to those members who responded to UDIA’s request earlier this week for feedback, questions and issues related to the state government’s announcement of an ‘Off-the-plan Duty Rebate’ which will be introduced for multi-unit dwellings.

We will specifically be seeking feedback regarding the roll out, application and timeframes of the new initiative.

UDIA believes the introduction of a rebate is a positive step toward market stimulation for some sectors of the apartment market, however there are those cases where sales may be impacted negatively.  Therefore, we are requesting clarification and further information from the Office of State Revenue.

We will be forwarding members feedback to the Office of State Revenue and will provide an update next week.

Perth regains regional status for international students

UDIA welcomed the Federal Government’s decision this week to re-instate Perth’s regional status for International Students looking to undertake study in Australia.  This was one of the recommendations in the package of policy measures presented to government by UDIA along with other industry bodies aimed at stimulating the market in WA.

As part of the move it enables International Students an extra year of post-study work in WA which it is envisioned will provide a boost to the economy and jobs market.

According to WA Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery, WA’s international education sector currently supports 14,600 full-time jobs however the change will not impact the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List, which remains the same.

Payroll tax relief for thousands of WA Businesses

In further market stimulus measures, earlier today, a new payroll tax relief was announced by the State Government, a move set to help up to 12,000 WA businesses in a bid to provide stimulus to the State’s economy and support new jobs.

The new payroll tax relief will see the annual threshold for companies exempt from payroll tax increased to $950,000 from January 1, 2020 before rising to $1,000,000 from January 1, 2021.

The increase in the threshold will see around an extra 1,000 businesses in WA being exempt from payroll tax and will cut the payroll tax liability for an additional 11,000 businesses.

The newly proposed changes bring WA’s payroll tax regime closer to those seen in the other States and have been welcomed by industry groups including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

UDIA meeting with Shadow Minister for Housing

Earlier this week, UDIA met with Shadow Minister for Housing, Sean L’Estrange MLA to discuss a range of housing and planning related issues.

UDIA greatly appreciates the Shadow Minister request to engage with UDIA and looks forward to further engagement with the Member for Churchlands. We will keep members updated with any further meetings or outcomes from this engagement.

Perth City Deal aims to energise CBD

On Monday, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck participated in a round table with Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge and other industry representatives to discuss the Perth City Deal.

The aim of the City Deal is to increase population density of the Perth CBD so it will directly feed into the hospitality and retail sector with the aim of having a flow-on effect into the local economy.

According to the Federal Government, the deal is designed to create an energised CBD for people to work, live and play through higher population density and an economic boost to city businesses.

The deal will include a strong emphasis on education with talks underway to relocate a university campus into the CBD. UDIA will continue to represent our members in relation to the City Deal as it progresses.

1,500 new homes ear-marked for Perth’s South

A new joint venture between the Department of Communities and LWP Property Group will facilitate 1,500 lots developed for housing in Perth’s south eastern corridor.

The $350 million collaboration between DoC and LWP will see 94.1 hectares of land across State landholdings in Casuarina, Forrestdale and Treeby developed into affordable housing and new communities over the next decade.

A range of housing products will be produced with an aim of being delivered to wide and varied market segments and will cater for all stages of people’s lives.

Environmental Legislation feedback sought

Community and Industry feedback is being sought by the State Government on a new discussion paper that outlines the State Government’s plans to modernise environmental protection legislation.

The discussion paper Modernising the Environmental Protection Act presents the background to the proposed reforms and is accompanied by the release of an Exposure Draft Bill.

Some of the key proposed changes include:

  • reforming clearing provisions to deliver efficient, targeted, flexible and transparent outcomes;
  • improving efficiency by accreditation of environmental practitioners to certify documents prior to their submission; and
  • enabling cost recovery of environmental impact assessment and services provided by the State on behalf of the Commonwealth Government through bilateral agreements.

Anyone wishing to read the discussion paper, click here.

Submission on the draft discussion paper close on January 28, 2020 and if members would like to provide feedback to inform UDIA’s submission, please send this through to

Prices in Perth on the rise

According to the latest Consumer Price Index, prices in Perth (all groups) remained at 1.6% annual growth in the September quarter, while nationally prices fell to 0.5% annual growth.

Housing costs in Perth increased 0.6% over the past year, while nationally they increased by 0.4%.

Perth rents fell by 2.2% over the year, while the cost of new dwelling purchases by owner-occupiers increased  by 1.0%; the cost of other housing increased 2.4%; and the cost of dwelling maintenance and repairs also rose 2.8% from the same time last year.

The highest price increases over the past year in Perth were seen in lamb and goat (15.3%); tobacco (15.2%); international holiday travel and accommodation (8.0%); beef and veal (7.5%); and child care (7.4%).

We value your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members. We encourage you to forward any feedback on these items to

  • DWER Climate Change in Western Australia – Issues Paper (here). Submissions close November 29, 2019.
  • Proposed reforms to the building approval process for single residential buildings in WA (here). Submissions close December 9, 2019.
  • Draft East Wanneroo District Structure Plan (here). Submissions close December 20, 2019.

Building approvals in Perth on the decline

Statistics from the ABS found the number of house building approvals in WA decreased 7.6% QoQ and 18.6% YoY to 2,763 in the September Quarter, however WA building approvals for dwellings (excluding houses) rose in number by 34.1% MoM and 26.2% YoY to 1,176.

Of the building approvals the value of residential building jobs for new houses declined 6.0% QoQ in the September quarter to $808.8 million, 16.3% below figures at the same time last year and building jobs for dwellings (excluding houses) rose in value by 75.8% QoQ and 16.3% YoY to $406.9 million.

The total value of WA residential building jobs increased 11.0% QoQ and fell 6.7% YoY to sit at $1.4 billion. This total consisted of: $1.239 billion for new construction building jobs (+10.4% QoQ; -9.0% YoY); and $160.2 million for alterations and additions (including conversions) (+15.8% QoQ; +15.3% YoY).

UDIA members pick up water gongs

The best and brightest from the water industry were recognised at this year’s Australian Water Association Western Australian Water Awards, which was held on Friday night as part of National Water Week celebrations.

Among the winners this year, the Water Corporation and Vector Lifting picked up the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award for the Kununurra Division Dam Gantry Crane Project, a $4.1 million project that upgraded an essential piece of irrigation infrastructure in the Kimberley.

The Water Corporation were again called to the stage alongside the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), this time to pick up the Program Innovation Award for the Drainage Liveability Program, which turns stormwater drains and basins into living streams.

The Water Corporation were celebrating once again when the judging panel awarded a high commendation to its employee Nicole Locke in the Young Water Professional of the Year category.

The Student Water Prize went to another UDIA member with the University of Western Australia’s Jen Middleton picking up the award for her Unravelling Stream Ecosystem Functioning in Urban Landscapes to Improve Management of Water Quality and Habitat research.

For a full list of all the winners and more information about the awards, click here.

State Government looking to cut red tape

A new ‘Draft Position Statement: Residential Aged Care’ was launched at the start of the week, which is aimed at cutting red tape and fast-tracking planning for aged care facilities across Western Australia.

It is estimated the next 40 years will see the number of older Australians double and this draft plan is designed to guide local governments around how to address aged care housing and residential aged care needs by providing a consistent planning approach.

The draft position statement is open for public comment until January 19, 2020 and can be viewed here.

Community invited to drop-in

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage have organised community drop-in sessions for the Draft East Wanneroo District Structure Plan for those interested in finding out more.

The drop-in sessions provide members of the community with a great opportunity to meet some of the team involved with developing the plan and ask any questions they may have.

There are three sessions left, all taking place on Thursday November 7 with session times at 10am -12pm, 2-4pm and 6-8pm. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to look at the draft structure plan document and guidelines prior to the drop-in session.

For more information, click here.

PEXA 5 in 5 talks to Goldfields Group Managing Director

Each month PEXA produces a quick video discussing five key issues in five minutes. For this month’s five in five HWL Ebsworth Partner Michael Mammen hosted the video and spoke to Goldfields Group Managing Director Marco Gattino.

During the video, Mr Gattino spoke about Goldfield Group’s views on PEXA national consistency and the benefits both developers and their clients experience from digital settlements.

To view the video click here.

Committee Nominations set to open soon

Keep an eye on your emails as 2020-2021 committee positions will soon be open for nominations.

UDIA WA Committees assist in leading the planning, implementation and delivery of the Institute’s policy and advocacy agenda; and actively identify and address strategic opportunities and challenges faced by the urban development industry.

Nominations will soon be accepted from UDIA WA members for the following Standing Committees:

  • Environment
  • Housing Diversity
  • Industry Diversity
  • Infrastructure
  • Land Use Planning
  • Outlook
  • Urban Water

For further information about UDIA committees, click here.