Latest Land Sales figures released

UDIA has released the March Quarter Urban Development Index to members that shows lot sales have declined close to 8 per cent over the quarter and 15 per cent year on year.

Prices have remained relatively steady, with the average price of land up 1 per cent for the quarter to $223,478, a 6 per cent decline year on year.

UDIA members can download the UDI publication using their member login details here.

The UDI data is now also available online via the UDIA Urbis interactive dashboard.  You require a separate login to access the dashboard. Three logins per member organisation are available. Contact to request access.

Land Report now online

UDIA’s latest land market data was exclusively launched in the Land Report lift out featured in The West Australian and Sunday Times last weekend.

The Land Report also features extensive sales information and advice for purchasers and a range of articles on the current market trends.

You can view the publication here.

APRA considers loosening mortgage rules

UDIA welcomed news yesterday that the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is considering reducing the 7% servicing benchmark rate.

APRA is proposing to remove current guidance that ADIs should assess whether borrowers can afford their repayment obligations using a minimum interest rate of at least 7 per cent. Instead, ADIs would be permitted to review and set their own minimum interest rate floor for use in serviceability assessments.

APRA has also proposed that ADIs’ serviceability assessments incorporate an interest rate buffer of 2.5 per cent.

UDIA believes that the current rules have been severely impacting on people’s ability to get a loan and this has meant, for WA in particular, the market is struggling to recover. The state government also pinpointed the issue when they released the recent budget and the Treasurer wrote to APRA asking them to reconsider the benchmark.

This is particularly important as our rental market is tightening considerably, with vacancy rates down to just 2.5%.

More information here.

Rates cut more likely

In a recent presentation to the Economic Society of Australia, the RBA Governor Philip Lowe has provided the biggest indication yet that the RBA is seriously considering a rate cut in June.

“A lower cash rate would support employment growth and bring forward the time when inflation is consistent with the target. Given this assessment, at our meeting in two weeks’ time, we will consider the case for lower interest rates,” Mr Lowe stated.

The likelihood of a rate cut, along with the outcome of the federal election and APRA’s consideration of looser mortgage conditions are all very positive signs for the market moving forward as buyer confidence is likely to improve.

More information on the Governor’s speech here.

Draft policy on telecommunications infrastructure released

The state government has released a draft Fibre Ready Telecommunications Infrastructure Position Statement for public comment that will make it a condition for developers to provide telecommunications infrastructure to new lots at the subdivision stage.

It will provide guidance on greenfield and infill subdivision and development applications of land for residential, commercial and industrial purposes.

UDIA supports the policy, given our members are already providing the required infrastructure in their projects.

Draft policy here.

UDIA Multi-Agency Reference Group

With the support of the State’s Environmental approval agencies, UDIA hosted the first meeting of its Multi-Environmental Agency Reference Group this week.

Representatives from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; Planning Lands and Heritage; Fire and Emergency Services; the WA Local Government Association; and UDIA representatives met to discuss the Groups terms of reference and key priority areas.

UDIA greatly appreciates the efforts taken by the Government agencies to engage with UDIA and we look forward to working with these agencies to deliver effective environmental outcomes.

Infrastructure WA Board – EOI

The McGowan Government is calling for expressions of interest to join the Infrastructure WA board, to provide independent advice to Government on the State’s long-term, job-creating infrastructure priorities.

The EOI seeks high calibre applicants with excellent leadership qualities and significant experience in infrastructure policy, planning, strategy, funding, financing and/or delivery.

The board of up to 10 members will comprise both public and private sector representatives.

As the governing body of Infrastructure WA, the board will advise Government on the State’s infrastructure needs and priorities, and ensure maximum value from every dollar spent by government agencies on major proposals.

Expressions of interest are being sought until May 31, 2019.  For more information, visit here.

Westport briefing for members

UDIA was pleased to co host a member briefing by Westport Taskforce Independent Chair Nicole Lockwood this morning.

Nicole provided a comprehensive rundown on the taskforce’s progress to date toward developing a strategy to accommodate Perth’s freight demand for the next 50 years and beyond. The strategy is focused on the ports at Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury, the roads and rail that deliver the freight, and the intermodal terminals required.

The taskforce is considering several different options using a range of criteria across economic; environmental; governance and operations; land use; and social factors all with a key focus on economic growth.

Investigations also include maximising the use of industrial land surrounding the port precincts; boosting industries such as tourism, lithium/ energy minerals, defence and food manufacturing; redevelopment of land for alternative purposes in Fremantle; and securing transport corridors.

The draft strategy is due for release in late 2019 with a final version set for release at the end of the year.

UDIA is on the taskforce industry reference group. To have your say visit here.

UDIA Annual Golf Classic

It was a magnificent day at Joondalup Resort last Friday for the UDIA Annual Golf Classic sponsored by MGC Civil.

Another sell out event, the competition is always hot for who will take out top prize.

Congratulations to the winning team from Rowe Group, including Sean Fairfoul; Brett Nosworthy; Dawn Nosworthy and Brad Walker.

Second place was the team from Georgiou including Michael Montgomery, Andrew Morris, Toby Taylor and Steve Tennant and taking out third place, Richard Noble including John Atkins, Stuart Barrymore, Ian Hoad and Alex Gregg.

Unfortunately, one team must come last, and this year the team from EPCAD took out the NAGA honours including Ritchie Marcelino, Tiago Martins, Clay Thomas and Gemma Davis.

A big thank you to all our sponsors for this event, we look forward to seeing everyone back again next year!

Site Crime update

A licenced Plumber from Mullaloo has been charged with stealing after building site investigators tracked a stolen hot water unit to his home address.

After discussions with Joondalup Detectives, PACT Site Security investigators installed a number of GPS tracking devices in assets on building sites throughout the northern suburbs.

At 5.55am on 17th May PACT Site Security investigators were alerted to the theft of a hot water unit with a GPS tracking device installed. Installed on a Perception Display Home in Burleigh Drive, Burns Beach it was taken from the site and eventually tracked to a residential address in Mullaloo Drive, Mullaloo.

Read more here.   Report all crime here.

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

Review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (here). Submissions close Friday 31 May, 2019.

Mandatory use of weighbridges to calculate leviable waste (here). Submissions close Wednesday 24 July, 2019.

Energy Transformation Taskforce formed

Energy Minister Bill Johnston has announced the establishment of the Energy Transformation Taskforce, which will implement the McGowan Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy.

Former Horizon Power chairperson Stephen Edwell, will chair the taskforce which will report directly to the Minister for Energy and will be supported by the Energy Transformation Implementation Unit, a new unit within the Department of Treasury.

The taskforce will deliver the Energy Transformation Strategy’s Whole of System Plan to facilitate a more co-ordinated approach for the power system of the future. It will also produce a Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap to guide the integration of solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles into the power system.

For more information, visit

Research to Reality Expo: How can we achieve a zero-carbon future?

Curtin University will host a free public expo, Research Rumble, exploring research and showcasing the regional highlights of the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living achievements on Wednesday 5 June from 11am – 5pm at the Fremantle Town Hall.

The CRCLCL has partnered with Curtin University, industry and other universities across Australia, to develop next-generation, low carbon materials, technologies and tools to help develop sustainable cities.

Expo exhibits and topics include low carbon homes, schools and tourism; urban cooling; local government and urban development achievements; renovate and retrofit guides; renewable energy; and performance monitoring.

More information and to RSVP visit here.  There is also a free tram tour of WGV in White Gum Valley and East Village at Knutsford which you can register for here.

Big data and local activation

Although it will be possible to quantify the benefits of some infrastructure on a basic cost-benefit analysis (for example: calculating if private water or embedded energy infrastructure is more cost effective than using public utilities), other benefits, however, require data to estimate advantages over the medium to long term relative to a benchmark or baseline.

Read the guest blog from Opticomm here.

Labour stats and FHOG activity reported 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the April 2019 Labour Force data reflecting that the unemployment rate for Western Australia fell 38 basis points (bps) month-on-month (MoM) to sit at 6.1% (in original terms and seasonally adjusted), 40bps below levels at the same time last year and 84bps below the national rate of 5.27%. The number of employed persons in WA lifted 0.8% MoM in April to 1.351 million, 0.7% higher than in April 2018.

The state participation rate for WA also increased 23bps over the month to 68.45%, down 51bps year-on-year (YoY) and 243bps higher than the national rate of 66.03%.

According to the Department of Treasury, the number of First Home Owner Grant applications received for new houses and land fell 3.6% from March to April to sit at 427, 15.4% below levels recorded at the same time in 2018.

The total number of FHOG applications for the first four months of 2019 (1,743) was 12.0% below the number recorded over this period in 2018 (1,980), and 26.2% below the five-year average for total applications recorded for this timeframe each year (2,362).