Housing supply and affordability are the primary focus of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) State Budget Submission this year.

“A supply crisis like what we are seeing now, will put further upward pressure on house prices and impact Perth and the regions relative affordability,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Housing supply in particular has been impacted by the construction boom that was ignited in 2020 by the State and Federal housing stimulus measures.

High levels of demand, chronic rental shortages combined with skills and materials shortages are all adding up to Perth and the regions facing a housing supply crisis.

“The development industry has played a critical role in the state’s economic resilience and performance during the pandemic and our State Budget Submission outlines how we can continue to support economic success as we learn to ‘live with Covid’,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“There are four immediate measures that UDIA WA is recommending should be included in the State Budget in order to create capacity in the housing supply pipeline,” Ms Steinbeck said.
The four immediate measures to address housing supply according to UDIA WA are:

  1. Extending the current ‘off the plan’ duty rebate scheme across the forward estimates in order to support more built form development.  This would also help support the State Government’s infill housing agenda.
  2. Facilitate more Build to Rent projects in WA by introducing land tax exemptions and encouraging the Federal Government to amend MIT and GST settings
  3. Increase Keystart purchase price cap to $550,000 to facilitate greater uptake of infill properties in the middle ring of Perth
  4. Commit funding to introduce a state-based version of the NRAS scheme

In the longer term, UDIA WA continues to advocate for a full review of property-based taxes, including Land Tax and Stamp Duty.

“The State Government has proven that they are willing to make the hard decisions throughout this pandemic,” Ms Steinbeck said. “Major tax reform takes long term commitment which I think the McGowan Government is in a prime position to undertake given the strong support they have now.”

“It is widely accepted that Stamp Duty is a barrier to people moving homes and ‘right sizing’ for their needs,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Other recommendations that UDIA WA makes in the submission all combine to address broader issues of housing affordability and longer-term sustainable development.

The Institute is calling for a workforce attraction strategy so that critical industries such as the construction sector can fill skills gaps effectively.

Another key area is environmental approvals, with layers of local, state and Federal government regulation and requirements often contradicting each other and leading to a lack of a clear pathway for projects to follow.

“UDIA WA has continuously called for the introduction of a strategic environmental assessment framework for Perth and Peel,” Ms Steinbeck said. “This work was shelved at the beginning of COVID over two years ago, it’s time to dust it off and work with industry to fund this critical enabler of housing supply”.

Within limited urban zoned land and increasing environmental constraints, developers need certainty on where they can progress projects in a timely manner.  This is not about avoiding environmental obligations, this is about creating certainty of process and ensuring the best outcomes for the environment and for communities,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Download the UDIA WA State Budget Submission here.

Gemma Osiejak

Executive Manager Communications & Marketing
P: 0421 506 819
E: gosiejak@udiawa.com.au