Portfolio shake up

Premier Mark McGowan announced some minor changes to Ministerial portfolios today with several changes relevant to the property industry.

The Lands portfolio has been moved from Minister Saffioti’s remit across to Treasurer Ben Wyatt. Ports has also been removed from Saffioti’s responsibility to sit with Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

The Premier said in his statement that Minister Rita Saffioti’s portfolio responsibility will sharpen, to focus on the crucial job of delivering METRONET and implementing planning reform across the State.

The Energy portfolio is now with Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.

The full list of portfolios and the Premier’s statement can be seen here.

Minister Tinley open to changes in eligibility thresholds for Keystart

UDIA WA CEO, President and Councillors met with Minister Tinley on Tuesday to discuss the challenges our industry is facing due to subdued market conditions and the increasing difficulty consumers are facing accessing finance. Whilst the announcement last week of the expansion to the loan book is welcome, first home buyers that fall outside the current income limits are finding it near on impossible to get finance through the banks.

The Minister is open to considering expanding the income thresholds to allow more first home buyers to access Keystart. We were advised there is no appetite to provide a stimulus to the sector using additional revenue received from the GST. The UDIA is continuing to collaborate with other industry bodies around other mechanisms for market stimulation.

UDIA participates in DWER consultation

UDIA participated in a third Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) Regulatory Services Stakeholder Reference Group meeting this week along with a range of stakeholders including Chamber of Minerals and Energy, WALGA, CCIWA and relevant government departments.

A range of items were on the agenda for discussion including regulatory capability and reform, draft compliance and clearing compliance, compliance on offsets, licensing, condition setting and status of documents out for comment, being finalised or published.

Planning liveable cities 

A new report released by Infrastructure Australia asserts that it is possible to grow Australian cities and retain their liveability and unique character. However, we need to be smarter about how we plan for it.

Planning Liveable Cities recommends substantial planning, funding, and governance reforms to ensure Australia’s governments are appropriately coordinating the delivery of new housing in growing cities with the additional infrastructure and services needed to support it.

Planning Liveable Cities proposes a ‘place-based’ approach to infrastructure planning. This approach is built on collaboration across levels of government and with industry, and a vision of infrastructure needs through the lens of outcomes for a place and community, rather than outcomes for a single project.

Based on a review of Australia’s five largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide – the paper finds there are six challenges common to all of these cities when sequencing infrastructure and housing and makes nine recommendations.

Read the full report here.

UDIA members and guests get into the Christmas spirit!

Our Christmas luncheon on Friday afternoon at Crown Perth was a huge success, with guests enjoying entertainment from comedian Paul Martell as well as juggling and fire eating extraordinaire Marty Coffey.

The fun at the luncheon continued at the official after party, where guests arrived via the player’s entrance for Optus Stadium and were welcomed into the Victory Lounge to continue the festive celebrations.

UDIA partnered with charity Youth Futures on the day, with guests encouraged to donate to assist young people experiencing homelessness.  The text line remains open for UDIA members wishing to contribute to such a fantastic cause in the lead up to Christmas. Simply text the word ‘MERRY’ to 0437 371 371 and you will be sent a link to complete the donation.

More information about Youth Futures is available here.

A huge thank you to our event sponsors Douglas Partners and MNG for supporting such a great event!

Pictures from the event can be viewed here.

Westport update released

The Westport Taskforce released a progress report today entitled Westport: What we have found so far, which provides an overview of the consultation and other work that has been undertaken in the process of planning for a future Outer Harbour at Kwinana.

The report focuses on two strategic questions, including what problems are being solved and what opportunities are being captured?; and where do new port facilities need to be located in Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury?

The Westport Taskforce’s approach complies with Infrastructure Australia’s rigorous assessment process, meaning it can form part of a future assessment process should the opportunity arise for Commonwealth funding towards a future freight solution.

The taskforce’s work will culminate in a preferred network solution covering port, road, rail and intermodal facilities across Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury at the end of next year.

Feedback on the report can be provided here until January 21, 2019.

UDIA releases Urban Intelligence Report

The figures in this month’s Urban Intelligence Report reflect some bright spots, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.4 (in original terms) down 30 basis points over the year. This adjustment occurred in conjunction with a 2% lift in the number of employed persons.

There are also signs the rental market is tightening with Perth’s median rent up 2.9% for the year and vacancy rates down to 3.9%. This activity is likely to have a flow on effect to the broader property market as demand continues to grow.

The Urban Intelligence Report provides a comprehensive rundown on all relevant economic and property data on a monthly basis, available to UDIA members only. Download the full report here.

We want your feedback!

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

Local Government Act Review, submissions closing 31 March, 2019. More information here.

DWER Review of thresholds for uncontaminated fill – Consultation paper (available here). Submissions close Friday 18 January, 2019.

Draft SPP 2.4 Basic Raw Materials (available here). Submissions close Friday 25 January, 2019.

Melbourne and Sydney housing markets continue to fall

Residential property prices nationally fell 1.5 per cent in the September quarter 2018, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Melbourne property prices recorded the third consecutive quarter of falls (-2.6 per cent) and the first annual price fall (-1.5 per cent) since the September quarter 2012, while Sydney property prices continued to fall (-1.9 per cent) in the September quarter 2018.

The Perth market is starting to stabilise somewhat, experiencing a minor 0.6 per cent decrease in the Residential Property Price Index for the quarter. This equated to a Perth 0.5 per cent in prices for the year.

More information here.

Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre’s latest economic commentary 

BCEC’s latest quarterly report shows that the WA economy has returned to positive growth, with the mining sector a major contributor to WA’s recovery. The report states that in terms of the domestic economy, consumer confidence in WA remains weak, with the retail and construction sectors continuing to feel the pain.

Read the full report here.

UDIA National Congress – visit the Gold Coast in 2019

A professional development experience like no other, the UDIA National Congress will expose you to insights of international industry leaders. Join us from 26-28 March 2019 at The Star on the Gold Coast.

More information here.