The latest forecasts released by the WA Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) today reflect record high housing starts, however land supply remains a critical issue for Perth and the regions according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA).

“The HIFG is forecasting record numbers of housing starts for the 2020-21 financial year and while they are expecting commencement levels to decline slightly in the following years, housing demand is likely to remain strong,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Consistent with UDIA WA’s expectations, the HIFG report forecasts a five year high of 23,000 dwelling commencements in 2020/21 compared with the previous estimation of 18,500 that was forecast back in November 2020. The report suggests that starts will fall back to around 17,000 – 21,000 in subsequent years.

“The forecast commencements are based on a huge response from new homebuyers to the State and Federal building grants that were made available in 2020 and early 2021,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“While demand is expected to ease now that those stimulus measures have finished, we still expect underlying demand to remain in the coming few years,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“WA’s economy is experiencing strong growth, unemployment rates are very low and with border restrictions likely to ease in the year or so to come, investors are likely to be attracted back into the WA market,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Attracting investment into the WA property market is critical to easing the rental shortage we are currently facing,” Ms Steinbeck said.

A recent housing supply report by UDIA WA noted that without an adequate supply of land for new housing and readily available development sites, housing affordability will be under threat.

“Across the Perth and Peel Region, large parcels of zoned and serviced land with workable development constraints and the capacity to provide a high volume of lots are increasingly difficult to source,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The requisite approvals are becoming less certain, often adding considerable time, risk and therefore cost to the process of delivering new lots and housing to the market,” Ms Steinbeck said.

The limits on land supply are not just in relation to new areas, the state governments infill agenda is also hampered by the complexities involved in getting development off the ground in these types of areas.

“At the moment, simply ramping up infill development to fill the supply gap that is left by limited land in new areas is just not possible,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Addressing longer term housing supply issues along with easing the current skills and materials shortages should be top of the State Government’s agenda according to Ms Steinbeck.

“UDIA WA will be proposing a number of measures in our State Budget submission next week that are squarely aimed at how the government can support the development industry to deliver the homes needed to meet demand and continue to ease the rental crisis,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Our recommendations will include tax incentives for investors and build to rent projects, facilitation of targeted housing supply, infrastructure investment and a population strategy to promote skilled migration,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Government, industry and the community all need to work together to ensure that Perth can remain an affordable and attractive place to live, work and invest,” Ms Steinbeck said.


Gemma Osiejak

Executive Manager Communications & Marketing
P: 0421 506 819