Opinion piece by UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck published in The West Australian

Australians’ insatiable appetite for building a new home has been reinforced with more than 23,000 Australians registering their interest in the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder program.

Land sales offices across Perth have been flooded with inquiries by those looking to take advantage of the far less prescriptive State-based Building Bonus.

Cue the criticism of fuelling urban sprawl as hundreds look to take advantage of what could be a one-off opportunity to own their own home.

The stimulus measures for the residential construction and development industry have the key aim of supporting the broader economic recovery and keeping people in jobs. It will certainly do that.

But the key word is “choice”. If you want to live in an apartment, a townhouse, a villa or a larger family home, you should have options that suit your needs and your budget.

Whether it is building a house in a master-planned community or purchasing an apartment or townhouse off-the-plan, buyers will need to make an informed and individual choice.

Our coastline and stunning waterways attract many to call Perth home, and we have seen a development pattern that reflects this.

The infrastructure investment in rail and roads to service future growth requires strategic and thoughtful planning, alongside a robust population strategy and planning framework.

A significant amount of local infrastructure servicing new areas is delivered and paid for by developers. As more people choose the infill lifestyle, ageing infrastructure is coming under pressure and needs refinement, investment and strategic planning.

The soon-to-be-released State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper is an opportunity for us all consider how we support a liveable, connected and sustainable city in decades to come. Because after the pandemic, the world is waking up to the safety, security and natural beauty of Perth, so we better be ready.