Urban Development Index: March Quarter Edition

UDIA released the March 2018 Urban Development Index to members on Tuesday.  This quarter’s figures reinforce forecasts of growth in 2018, with continued positive market sentiment and increased sales volumes for the second consecutive quarter.

According to the data, the number of new lots sold is up 1.6% for the quarter but still down a significant 16% for the year.  The average price of new land is up 4.9% for the year to $234,928 and construction activity is up 37% for the quarter.

Look out for the UDIA Land Report lift out in The West Australian and Sunday Times this weekend for a full wrap of UDIA’s March statistics along with a range of information on the current WA land market.

UDIA Members can login and download the full UDI report here.

Federal budget update

UDIA’s National office undertook to follow up on two key issues following the release of the federal budget last Tuesday.  We are pleased to provide the following updates:

Deductions for expenses associated with holding Vacant land

UDIA has been advised by the Federal Government that the new vacant land measures schedule to come into effect from 1 July 2019, will only apply as a tax integrity measure for those seeking to secure a deduction, but with no intention of using the land for a commercial gain. Importantly, this means it will not apply to land where the owner is conducting a business, including for development and primary production.

We have been assured that there is no intention to target businesses that legitimately seek to hold and develop land for commercial purposes.

UDIA will closely monitor the legislation as it is drafted and presented to the Parliament to ensure the law matches the intent and there are no unintended consequences for members.

Infrastructure spend

UDIA raised concerns that the measures outlined in the Federal Budget may not have been entirely new funding. We can confirm that the funding is a continuation of the $75 billion commitment over 10 years that was announced by the Federal Government last year.

While this is not ‘new’ money the ongoing significant commitment to vital infrastructure remains welcome.  UDIA National will continue to discuss, with government and opposition, the potential for federal infrastructure funding to leverage more consistent planning at state and local level.

New WAPC Chairman shares insights and priorities

UDIA was pleased to host new WAPC Chairman David Caddy at our recent Outlook Sundowner.  David provided a comprehensive rundown on his role and priorities moving forward.  He said that he is intent on ensuring WAPC is well-positioned to support government priorities and agendas, with a focus on strategic planning and reform.  David also wants to build on accessibility and open channels of communication for better community outcomes.

Importantly, David advised that the planning priorities for the WAPC include the roll out of METRONET; improved strategic planning; implementing Perth and Peel@3.5 million; the establishment of Infrastructure WA; new technology; as well as education and awareness in terms of transparency, consultation and communication.

In terms of planning reform, the Green Paper from the independent review of the State’s planning system being undertaken by Evan Jones is currently being finalised.

More pictures from the event can be viewed here.

Thanks to the support of our 2018 Outlook Partners Cedar Woods WA; Now Living; Pritchard Francis; and Winning Commercial.

UDIA P&P@3.5m Subregional Frameworks special advisory committee

Following the release of the Perth and Peel @3.5million frameworks, UDIA established a Special Advisory Committee to undertake a detailed examination of the frameworks.  The first Committee meeting was held this week with a number of issues concerning the frameworks discussed including the lack of rationale for areas included/excluded; the need for a review/appeal process; and local government implementation of the frameworks.

UDIA will highlight these issues to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the WAPC Chairman, requesting that the WAPC’s response to these challenges be provided at UDIA’s forthcoming industry breakfast on the 25 July themed Sub-Regional Frameworks & Structure Plans; Delivering On The Ground.

Urban Development Advisory Committee annual meeting

Senior representatives from UDIA met with Water Corporation representatives at the annual UDAC-UDIA breakfast earlier this week. A range of items were discussed including the developer constructed assets review that is well underway.  Water Corporation advises that the report is expected for release in January 2019.

Other items for discussion included the status of the developers manual, which is not expected to result in any major changes; decentralised non-potable scheme investigations; the Water Corporation Capital Investment Program which is visible to industry via Netview and SLIP; and the Water Corporation’s trial of in-house design for greenfield headworks infrastructure aimed to increase efficiency.

UDIA appreciates the Corporation taking the time to listen to industry concerns and sharing insights into their responses to the issues and challenges faced.

EnviroDevelopment certifies its 150th project

EnviroDevelopment has firmly been established as an industry leading tool, with the 150th project certified under EnviroDevelopment nationally announced yesterday. As EnviroDevelopment continues to grow, more land developers are prioritising sustainability, both to attract the sustainability-minded buyer as well as reap the benefits of industry recognition.

If you would like to find out more about EnviroDevelopment certified projects in WA or how your project might participate in the program, please visit our website here.

Growth in solar sector

Two major announcements in the solar panel sector were made this week.  Here in WA, the first solar power purchasing agreement (PPA) was launched at Amble Estate in Girrawheen. Developed by Yolk Property Group and Infinite Energy, in collaboration with the Department of Communities and Ventura Home Group, the PPA will be implemented via a pilot program and is the first PPA to be rolled out at a green title residential development in WA.

The PPA will see Infinite Energy take full ownership and maintenance of the solar system on each house. Residents then purchase daytime electricity generated by the solar system at a rate equating to 40% less than the Synergy A1 tariff. Any extra electricity the resident uses over and above what their solar system has produced is taken from the grid.

More information here.

On the solar theme, California has recently voted to implement compulsory standards so that all new homes will require solar power. The building code will be approved in mid-2019 and will apply to all houses, low-rise condos and apartment towers receiving building permits after January 2020.

More information here.

The Precincts: Expressions of Interest now open

The multi-award winning Department of Communities is inviting Expressions of Interest to deliver some of the largest urban infill built-form development opportunities the State has ever seen, in Joondalup and Bentley.

Click here to find out more.

Visit Tenders WA to download the project document (Ref: EOI HOU201803558).​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Planning for Bushfire Prone Areas

UDIA has made a submission on behalf of members in relation to the draft Planning for Bushfire Prone Areas Fact Sheet: Local Planning Strategy Bushfire Assessment Requirements. UDIA supports the initiative, however we have suggested that it should be expanded to include bushfire assessments for structure plans, subdivision and development proposals.

We also advised that it is important the fact sheet and any future fact sheets are fully consistent with the statutory requirements set out in the State Planning Policy and local planning scheme regulations.

The full UDIA submission can be found here.

UDIA Submission: Draft Position Statement: Housing on Lots less than 100m2

UDIA has commended the Department of Planning for the introduction of a position paper which recognises the successful delivery of housing on lots smaller than 80m² in the eastern states, and offers a good starting point to achieving the same in Western Australia.

Whilst welcoming the position statement, UDIA raised a number of concerns regarding its content which should be improved to enhance and ensure the delivery of the outcomes that the position statement is seeking to achieve.  Our main concern is that the statement is overly prescriptive and inflexible.

You can read our full submission here.

Seeking industry feedback

UDIA will be making submissions on behalf of members on the following issues and welcomes your feedback for inclusion:

  • Use of Monitored Natural Attenuation for groundwater clean-up. More information here. Forward comment to UDIA by 8 June 2018.
  • Draft Industry Regulation Guide to Licensing. More information here. Forward comments to UDIA by 20 July, 2018.
  • Discussion Paper: Controlled Waste Review. More information here. Forward comments to UDIA by 8 June, 2018.

All comments and feedback can be emailed to policy@udiawa.com.au .

Reforms to plumbing regulation in Western Australia

The Building and Energy Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has released a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS) to seek public comment on the final round of reforms arising from the recommendations of the 2013/14 review of plumbing regulation in Western Australia.

The closing date for the receipt of comment on the CRIS is 31 July 2018.

More information can be found here.

Award nominations now open!

Nominations are now open for the 2018 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence.  The awards program recognises innovation and best practice in the development industry as judged by an independent panel of experts.

With several new categories this year, the awards promise to be a showcase of a broad and diverse range of projects across the state.

For more information, visit: https://www.udiawa.com.au/buyers/awards-for-excellence/

Young Development Professional and Women in Leadership Awards open

This year, the UDIA Young Development Professional Award sponsored by Stockland will be announced at the Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner on Saturday 15 September. For over a decade, this award has celebrated and encouraged the future leaders of our industry.

For more information download the nomination kit here.

The prestigious Women in Leadership Award sponsored by Frasers Property will also be awarded on at the gala dinner.  This award recognises outstanding women working at mid to senior levels within the WA development industry.

For more information download the nomination kit here.

City of Wanneroo policy updates

The City of Wanneroo has advised of two policies that are currently out for public comment.

The Draft Local Planning Policy 4.23: Design Review sets out the design review process to provide independent expert advice to the City’s Council and Administration on larger scale residential developments.  Comments on the draft can be lodged on or before the 26 June 2018.

The amended Local Planning Policy 4.20: Split Coded Areas is available for public comment until 26 June 2018.  The LPP aims to improve the design outcomes for development proposals within the split code areas.

More information on both policies can be found here.