UDIA NATIONAL: $4.5B Housing and Construction Stimulus Pack Core to Economic Revival

A $4.5B housing stimulus fund that prompts homebuyers back into the market and a surge of housing and infrastructure construction serves as the centrepiece of a plan to support Australia’s economic revival.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) today launched a new plan to stimulate economic growth, jobs and wages by boosting housing construction following the economic effects of COVID-19

“Housing and construction is a central pillar of the economy – generating 7.5 percent of the nation’s growth and supporting 750,000 direct and indirect jobs more than any other industry,” said UDIA National President, Simon Basheer.

“With the right mix of targeted incentives, regulatory reform and collaborative action by federal and state governments, the industry is key to super-charging the nation’s economic recovery.

“A deliberate focus on tangible, measurable and implementable initiatives will foster a swifter bounce back and overcome the slowdown in sales volumes, approvals, construction and forward work pipelines.

“Creating a steady pipeline of new housing and the delivery of city shaping infrastructure is both good for short-term activity up and down supply chains, as well as helping with the longer-term task of improving housing affordability.”

The main initiatives are:

  • A housing stimulus fund worth more than $4 billion that includes:

– A ‘Home Starter” incentive for consumers of up to $50,000 dwelling construction that targets 60,000 new starts – at 10,000 per quarter – until the end of 2021

– Prioritising and accelerating infrastructure such as roads, water, sewerage and power that can be delivered within 12 months to support ‘shovel-ready’ housing – with the Commonwealth to table $1 billion to be matched by the states

– A ‘red tape reduction fund’ to reward states and territories that cut major project assessment timeframes in half and kick start new projects

  • Commit to clearing the backlog of projects under assessment via the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, including:

– All projects that entered the assessment regime prior to July 1, 2019, be guaranteed a decision by July 1, 2020

– All projects that entered the assessment regime prior to January 1, 2020, be guaranteed a decision by October 1, 2020; and

– All projects that entered the assessment regime post January 1, 2020, be guaranteed a decision by January 1, 2021.

  • Releasing a second tranche of 10,000 places under the First Home Buyers Deposit Gap Scheme, but exclusively geared towards the purchase and supply of new housing stock
  • Supporting the return of immigration levels to 200,000 for FY2021 and FY2022, subject to health protocols, as a key catalyst to drive demand and broader economic growth.

These initiatives sit alongside a suite of other actions that the Commonwealth and States can advance in partnership to reduce taxes, cut red tape, re-engage foreign capital and lower the cost of housing.

“Australia has been a world leader in both the health response to COVID-19, as well as the task of stabilising the economy.

“Given the current environment, UDIA National believes it is now time to move from the trajectory of economic stabilisation to one of economic recovery with immediate federally led stimulus to re-kick start the housing market for the bounce back in jobs and economic activity,” Mr Basheer said.

ENDS 

Media contact

Christina Efthymiades
Email: media@udia.com.au | Tel: (02) 9715 2880 or 0417 207 107.

 

Download PDF here: Media Release: $4.5B Housing and Construction Stimulus Pack Core to Economic Revival

 

Hunter Region United To Unlock Delays To The Development Industry

The urban development industry has come together as a united front to streamline the interface between the development industry, local councils and the Roads and Maritime arm of Transport for NSW (formerly Roads and Maritime Services or RMS) across the
Hunter region. UDIA NSW, Hunter Joint Organisation and Property Council of Australia met with Paul Toole, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, and Transport for NSW representatives on 21 May 2020 to provide constructive solutions to significant delays which have impacted the development industry.

Recent research has shown there are nearly $8 billion in total capital investment in development projects across the Hunter region, which can be unlocked by more efficient interaction between RMS and the urban development industry.

The projects analysed in relation to the report are spread across industry sectors, vary dramatically in both scale and complexity, represent a portion of those currently under assessment in the region.
• 16 Residential projects
• 12 Commercial projects
• 10 Infrastructure projects
• $7.8 billion total capital investment
• 33,000 construction jobs

The meeting cemented the industry peak bodies into an ongoing reference group overseen by the Minister to provide clear, ongoing engagement between government, government agencies and industry. The reference group will meet in two to three months to assess progress on the organisations 7- Point Plan to unlock development in the Hunter region.

 

Quotes Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW Hunter Chapter Chair, Geoffrey Rock:

The Urban Development Industry of Australia (UDIA) NSW has been actively concerned by delays caused by the RMS which have been impacting the ability to progress development projects.

“UDIA NSW has had numerous meetings with government and government agencies over the years on this issue. The current situation is costing our region jobs and investment opportunities as well as negatively impacting housing affordability. We see this group as being able to deliver some quick wins as well as long-term, sustainable ‘whole of government’ solutions to remove the delays,” said UDIA NSW Hunter Chapter Chair Geoffrey Rock.

“Improved productivity is on the national, state and local agenda and these unnecessary and lengthy hold ups are the antithesis of a productive economy. The Hunter region is bleeding jobs right now and we need swift action to guarantee future employment, investment and housing in the Hunter,” said Mr Rock.

“Based on our recent engagement with Transport for NSW and Minister Toole, we are optimistic that with the Minister’s support and the involvement of Transport’s senior executive we can finally get on the right course,” said Mr Rock.

UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann:
“All across NSW we are looking for ways to provide economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 environment. This means more jobs on the ground for our regional cities and future-proofing our supply pipeline,” said UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann.

“NSW Government is working towards planning reform this year and one of the key details of UDIA NSW’s submission to the Productivity Commission featured four recommendations on improving the referral process between government and agencies,” said Mr Mann.

“With nearly $8 billion and 33,000 jobs waiting to be unlocked in the Hunter, it is imperative for the government to take swift, decisive action on these delays and proactively identify opportunities for getting investment moving across NSW,” said Mr Mann.

ENDS 

Media Contact: Mia Kwok media@udiansw.com.au

Download PDF: 22.05.2020 Media Release UDIA NSW – Hunter Region united on RMS Delays

Read the article in the Newcastle Herald here.

 

IPART Review Misses Chance To Lower House Prices

Leading development industry body, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW is calling for an independent review of the cost of infrastructure works in West Dapto, after the release of the final IPART report on the West Dapto Contributions Plan.

Contributions in West Dapto have risen from $30,000 per lot in 2017, to $45,000 now.  Wollongong City Council proposes to increase this to $52,950 from 1 July.

While the IPART review has recommended a small 3.9% reduction in costs, developers are still being asked to pay for almost $1 billion for infrastructure in West Dapto. They will pay more than $50,000 per lot, which makes West Dapto one of the most expensive places to develop housing in NSW.  Infrastructure contributions would make up about 13.6% of the price of a new lot in West Dapto.  That’s almost a third higher than in Western Sydney.

What’s more, these charges are inevitably passed on in the price of a new home.

“West Dapto is at risk of becoming out of reach of the next generation of homebuyers. The whole release area is burdened by overly high contributions rates, and it is time for an independent review of costs,” said Regional Manager Keiran Thomas.

In its submissions to Council and IPART, UDIA NSW identified potential savings of $200 million (a saving of more than 20%) through more efficient road and bridge designs.  Unfortunately, these potential savings have been ignored.  It is now up to the NSW Government to listen to the industry’s call for a review.  An Independent Review of the cost of works should be commissioned by the Planning Minister within 12 months as part of the next steps for signing off on the West Dapto Contributions Plan.

IPART has also suggested contribution rates be split in different parts of West Dapto, which would mean houses in Stage 5 (Yallah Marshall Mount) would pay around $33,000 and houses in Stages 1-4 would pay around $58,000.

“Depending which end of Marshall Mount Road you’re on, you could be paying $25,000 more in contributions than your neighbour down the road.

With the long-term impacts of COVID-19, West Dapto could have been an opportunity to boost economic recovery in the Illawarra region through a double delivery of more construction jobs and more housing supply.

“Following coronavirus, more people are looking for affordable housing products and the rising ability to work from home could position the Illawarra as an attractive opportunity for first home buyers.”

“Developers are going to be facing increasing difficulty to get financing and pre-sales for new projects. The West Dapto area needs the support from government to lower costs so the industry can deliver much-needed housing at an affordable price.

– ENDS –

Media contact: Keiran Thomas 0435 243 182 or Mia Kwok 0435 361 697

Email: media@udiansw.com.au

UDIA NSW Southern Regional Manager Keiran Thomas is available for interview.

 

Download PDF version 19.05.2020 UDIA MEDIA RELEASE West Dapto IPART

Read in the Illawarra Mercury

Watch on WIN News Illawarra 

Submit your articles to Urban Icon

Urban Icon provides our members with the latest updates in policy, research and technology from across the development sector. A curated selection of thought leadership and in-depth research on trends in planning, urban development and government policy.

FAQs:

Do you have any editorial guidelines?
Please note our editorial guidelines for the article itself:

– No advertorial (primary purpose cannot be to promote your company/organisation)
– Informative and compelling tone
– Use clear, engaging language. Minimise jargon where possible to convey your message
– Include links to sources
– Word count: 800-1200 words for features. (500-750 for news/updates.)

Do I need to submit a pitch? I already have an article ready.

Just give us a heads up if you’re working on an article. We ask for pitches to ensure Urban Icon has a variety of content and formats in each edition, and to make sure the content is in line with the interests of our readers. We’d hate for you to write a story that has already been covered in detail in the current edition.

What should I include in the pitch?

– We only need a few sentences explaining the angle of your article. What do you want to write about and why do you think this topic is interesting/new/different?
– It helps to include the format of the article. For example, you may wish to produce a feature article, news/update, Q&A, opinion piece, etc.
– If you are conducting interviews for your article or Q&A, please list the people you are planning to interview.

If you would like to send us your pitch via a short email and then we can confirm with you to either proceed to writing the article, or we will provide further feedback.

Read past editions here. Reading past editions is a great way to understand Urban Icon magazine and what kind of articles we accept.

We do not accept advertorial content. For advertising enquiries please contact Anthony Nicolaou: anicolaou@udiansw.com.au.

 

*Submitting an article or pitch does not guarantee publication. Preference will be given to UDIA members.

UDIA NSW – URBIS Greenfield Development Activity Survey 

UDIA NSW has partnered with Urbis to develop a quarterly greenfield land survey to provide UDIA members with more timely and accurate information about how the market is performing and a rolling forward outlook for lot supply.  

These survey results will greatly assist UDIA to build an industry vetted evidence base to leverage for critical policy and advocacy messaging to government.  

A key benefit for developers in participating in the survey program is exclusive access to market performance reports & dashboards compiled by Urbis which are not available in other places (sample below) 

The survey requires project scale information to be entered into a user-friendly on-line form  focussed on the most recent quarter’s lot sales results and remaining project lot yields/project capacity,  as well as forward year forecasts of lot releases.  

The lot release forecast data will feed-into Urban Development Programs (UDP) which UDIA is collaborating with the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment for Greater Sydney as well as for the Hunter and Illawarra regions.  

Please note: your individual survey responses will remain confidential to UDIA & shared with Urbis on strict confidentiality terms and will not be provided to third parties.  

This survey program is modelled on the successful greenfield development industry survey program undertaken between UDIA WA and Urbis, which has been running for seven years.  

Your participation in the survey is greatly appreciated and will assist UDIA better represent your interests to government, as well as drive greater levels of growth coordination and infrastructure investment and sequencing.  

To access the survey please click this link: 

 

Sample Dashboard

March Issue | #1 2020

Urban Icon | From the editor

This edition of Urban Icon was due to be launched at the National Congress in March this year. With the cancellation of Congress and the rapid shift into social distancing across the world, we were unable to put the fresh, printed copies in your hands at the time. However, our members worked hard on these articles, so we are delighted to share with you the March edition of Urban Icon, digital-first.

Urban Icon magazine provides critical insights and industry analysis from prominent thought leaders in urban development. This edition contains engaging stories about the rise of the megacity, which I believe will continue an inexorable trajectory through trade and politics, despite our current lockdown. We also share tales about the importance of community and how we crave togetherness in times of strife – these notions are timeless.

I hope you enjoy this edition.

Mia Kwok, Editor, Urban Icon