Policy & Advocacy Monthly Newsletter – March 2020

2 Mar 2020

, News

Policy Update

Affordable Housing

Opinion Piece by CEO Danni Hunter, printed in the Herald Sun 28.02.2020

In an opinion piece printed in Friday’s Herald Sun, UDIA Victoria has called on the State Government to better work with the urban development industry in the establishment of a workable affordable housing delivery strategy. 

You can read the opinion piece here, and read an accompanying news article here, which refers to a toolkit we have put to State Government, proposing a suite of measures that should replace the current inconsistent, uncertain and unworkable way affordable housing is being sought from our industry by councils and State Government.

UDIA Victoria has been working very hard to determine a practical and effective affordable housing toolkit approach that reduces the likelihood of governments placing an over-reliance on industry to fund the current affordable housing shortage. We have resolved it’s in the best interests of our members to propose a way forward that minimises any detrimental impact for industry or to housing supply and affordability more broadly, whilst also achieving the objectives of Government.

You can read our position in detail which was submitted in late 2019 to the Victorian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Affordable Housing here.

You can also find out more by watching this short video.

2020 Pre-Budget Submission

UDIA Victoria has submitted its annual pre-budget submission to the State Government. Using research from the UDIA Victoria Residential Development Index (RDI) to put the housing demand and supply gap in context – the RDI estimates a housing shortfall of almost 7,000 new dwellings in FY19, projected to increase in FY2020 – we have made a strong case for government to work better with industry to bridge the housing gap.


  • Recommendation: Review and adjust fiscal policy applied to residential development, including:
    • reinstate the stamp duty concession for investors purchasing dwellings off-the-plan;
    • remove the foreign purchaser stamp duty surcharge;
    • review Land Tax Rates to ensure they are equitable; and
    • exclude new dwellings from the Vacant Residential Land Tax where they have not sold or failed to settle.
  • Recommendation: Implement key proposed improvements from the Building and Planning Approvals Systems Review, including: 
    • Move to online planning permit processing and tracking;
    • Reduce response times for referrals;
    • Streamline compliance with permit conditions;
    • Reduce timelines for electricity connections; and
    • Simplify the infrastructure contributions system across government agencies.
  • Recommendation: Implement a whole-of-government approach to delivering affordable housing.

Click here to access the 2020 UDIA Victoria Pre-Budget Submission.

Infrastructure Contributions in Greenfield Areas 

UDIA Victoria has worked hard over a long period of time on behalf of members, to engage with government as they refine and improve the Infrastructure Contribution Plan system for our greenfield development areas. We believe that the work done to date is sound, though we have made important submissions that would vary the recommendations to deliver important improvements.

Click here to access our latest submission re: ICPs for Greenfield Development settings.

New Laws: Disclosure of Material Facts When Selling Land

New laws have come in that specify vendors and agents cannot knowingly conceal any material facts about a property when selling land. Material facts include the existence of flammable cladding or asbestos. 

Click here to read more.

Urban IQ: December 2019 Quarter

According to the latest UDIA Victoria and RPM Urban IQ report, Melbourne’s residential property market has experienced a rebound in both demand and prices through the second half of 2019.

There have been several contributing factors, including a boost to borrowing capacity. Also contributing is that APRA is allowing the serviceability test for loan applicants to change from a flat 7.25% to a 2.5% buffer above the prevailing interest rate, encouraging buyers into the property market.

The subsequent escalation in prices, underpinned by the rebound in sentiment, has resulted in both the median house price and median unit price reach a new peak in the December quarter of 2019. However, land prices have continued to decline, as the recovery in the greenfield new home market generally lags that for established dwellings in the inner and middle ring suburbs.

Read the full Urban IQ report in English (Member only access)

Read the full Urban IQ report in Mandarin (Member only access)

The Urban IQ Property Market reports are produced for UDIA Victoria by RPM Real Estate Group.
The reports provide a quarterly update on the Victorian residential market including economic activity, prices, finance, building, sentiment and affordability metrics. 

UDIA National Update

UDIA National CEO, Connie Kirk

UDIA National News