The Profile for Residential Building Approvals by Type and Geography

October 2015

While there are signs that the monthly level of approvals nationally has reached a peak, the level in 2015 calendar year is still likely to be higher than in 2014.
In 2015 thus far, approvals for high density dwellings – flats or units in four or more storey buildings – have been the key driver of total growth.
Detached house approvals have remained steady for nearly two years, tracking at around 9,500 per month.
Approvals for semi-detached, row or terrace houses and townhouses have also performed relatively strongly in 2015, with Victoria a key market for this form of housing.

HIA Approvals by region type October 2015

Stirling apartment planning changes

Apartment developers in the City of Stirling will be restricted to areas close to railway stations or activity centres, after changes to the city’s planning scheme were approved.

The City of Stirling moved in 2012 to change its planning regulations to not allow multiple dwelling development in areas coded R40 or below that weren’t located within an 800 metre radius of activity centres or railway stations.

The move was in response to reforms to the R-Codes scheme in 2010, which the city said had a massive impact on infill development in the City of Stirling.
Mayor Giovanni Italiano said the changes, approved recently by Planning Minister John Day, would ensure development would occur in areas flagged by the city as appropriate for higher density.

“This will mean a more considered approach to the future growth of our city,” he said. “Increased residential density is a good thing for Perth, and we all agree it has to happen. However, it needs to be in the right areas where the growth can be accommodated.”

Mr Italiano said the city would now focus on creating opportunities for developers for increased density along transport corridors.
“Our goal is to encourage high quality, Higher density developments in carefully planned activity centres and corridors that are supported by sufficient public transport and high quality open spaces within easy reach of the residents living in apartments,” he said. “Now that this amendment has been gazetted, it’s a win for the current and future residents of these areas.”

21 October 2015

Housing affordability crisis: Funding boost for WA planning research

INNOVATIVE ways to deliver affordable housing options will be explored thanks to a new partnership between the State Government and the University of Western Australia.
Under two memorandums of understanding with UWA’s renowned Australian Urban Design Research Centre, the Housing Authority will provide $250,000 in research and development funding over two years.
Housing Minister Colin Holt said the money would be the catalyst for important research and development projects investigating affordable infill developments and modular building technology.
“Urban sprawl and housing affordability are two of the biggest challenges facing the Government and urban planners today,” he said.
Researchers will look at planning, design and delivery of higher density housing and affordable options.
The Government has delivered more than 20,000 new affordable housing opportunities since launching its Affordable Housing Strategy in 2010
In July, the State Government committed to a new target of 30,000 affordable homes by 2020.

International Accounting Firm Deloitte Defends Negative Gearing

International accounting firm Deloitte has weighed into the debate over the taxation system surrounding property investment and ownership in Australia.

In their second Shedding light on the debate: Mythbusting tax reform report, Deloitte has defended negative gearing as being no different to the other methods used by people to reduce their tax burdens.

“Negative gearing is seen as a loophole, with the rich making out like bandits from it,” the report said.

“Yet the ability to deduct expenses incurred in earning revenue is an accepted principle of our tax system – and most other tax systems too….It is standard practice to allow taxpayers to claim a deduction for a real economic loss that they incur to earn their income.”

While the report is supportive of negative gearing, it does blow a hole in one of the arguments used by supporters of the arrangement, who claim its removal would results in rents increasing.

“While negative gearing isn’t evil, nor would ditching it have a big impact on rents over the longer term. Tax settings can only change housing rents if they sustainably change the supply or demand for homes…As long as investors are making their properties available for rent, then there will be little overall change in the number of homes available to live in (supply) or the number of people looking for a place to live (demand).”

The Property Council of Australia welcomed Deloitte's report, with chief executive Ken Morrison saying it proves many of the criticisms of negative gearing are nothing but myths.

“As the report shows, pointing to negative gearing as the primary driver for higher house prices is wrong."
27 Oct 2015

R-codes Apartment Planning

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