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Regional update

February 26, 2019

It has been a busy couple of weeks for government with a number of announcements being made that will impact our industry. 

DesignWA and ‘ApartmentsWA’, the new apartment design policy that replaces part 6 of the R-Codes, was released by Minister Saffioti, providing welcome certainty for industry by ensuring builders and designers have a clear set of guidelines. 

The policy does appear to have some impacts on housing affordability, particularly for small apartment developments and both universal access and energy efficiency requirements have been increased above the requirements set by the Building Code of Australia. HIA will continue to work with policy makers nationally to identify the best settings for these parameters. 

We are looking forward to phase 2 of DesignWA which will include a medium density development guide which we hope will support the changing housing needs of the community and promote housing affordability. 

The Premier also announced that InfrastructureWA would be created to work collaboratively with Government, community and industry to provide long term strategic infrastructure planning. This will allow for the co-ordinated land use and infrastructure planning that is necessary for delivering connected and liveable communities through both greenfield and infill developments.

This all came ahead of HIA issuing our Outlook for Summer 2019. The picture for WA is one where we expect to see the same levels of building activity this year as last, and a recovery in housing starts through 2020 and beyond. The impact of the Banking Royal Commission and the resulting credit squeeze has seen approvals numbers for 2018 to be lower than expected. To find out more, the HIA Outlook covers the detail or you can register to attend the first Economic Outlook Luncheon of the year. We look forward to seeing you there!