Perth’s mantle as the most affordable capital city in Australia is under threat according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA).

“Today’s report by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) into Housing Affordability in Western Australia reinforces the housing affordability crisis that will further impact WA if the barriers to delivering housing supply are not addressed as a matter of urgency,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

“UDIA WA has been sounding the alarm bells for quite some time,” Ms Steinbeck said. “Current homeowners, renters and potential buyers can all attest to the growing challenges they are facing in Perth and the regions.”

The report by BCEC highlights serious constraints on WA’s housing supply that are causing rental vacancy rates to remain at record lows combined with the added pressures that interest rate rises and construction delays are having on affordability.

Ms Steinbeck will join the panel at the official BCEC report launch event today, where she will further highlight the work that UDIA WA has been undertaking in this space to work collaboratively with governments to address supply issues.

Ms Steinbeck says next week’s State Budget will be a key opportunity to address these critical issues that impact on all West Australians.

“We have already seen positive initiatives announced by the State in the last week that respond to construction workforce challenges, barriers to delivering key infrastructure and further investment in much-needed social housing. We must continue to work together to deliver a steady supply of development ready land to the market so that we can ensure a sustainable housing supply pipeline,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Particular support is needed for the delivery of multi-unit housing stock in both medium and high-density projects to ensure a greater diversity of housing product to the market to suit different household needs,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“To that end, UDIA WA has recommended in our State Budget submission that the McGowan Government make the Off-the -Plan Duty Rebate Scheme permanent and extend it to apartment projects under construction,” Ms Steinbeck said.  “We also want to see the Foreign Buyers Surcharge removed.”

“For apartment projects in particular, developers rely heavily on presales in order to make a project viable,” Ms Steinbeck said.  “These measures will assist in building much needed consumer confidence and attracting investors to this sector of the market.”

Looking at housing supply more broadly, UDIA WA’s Development Ready Pipeline project launched earlier this year highlighted the very real constraints on delivering housing to the market across the Perth and Peel region.  These findings were reinforced by BCEC’s report today.
“Our project found that around one quarter of undeveloped urban zoned in both infill and greenfield areas is fundamentally constrained due to a range of challenges that essentially sterilise that land from future development,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Infrastructure funding and coordination was certainly highlighted in our DRP project as a major constraint on development,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Importantly, issues such as the length of time to obtain environmental and planning approvals in addition to fragmented land ownership are major impediments to development that will also need to be overcome,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We need to ensure that any support to deliver more housing considers supply across the continuum including subsidised private rentals, affordable and key worker accommodation options,” Ms Steinbeck said.

UDIA WA welcomes today’s report from BCEC as yet further evidence of the real need to act now when it comes to securing an affordable housing future for WA.


Gemma Osiejak

Executive Manager Communications & Marketing
P: 0421 506 819