In Victoria the property industry is already off to a strong start, with the Property Council/ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey reporting positive business sentiment during the March 2016 quarter.
Sentiment within Victoria’s property industry is above the national benchmark, despite an easing in residential construction activity expectations.
This suggests that the strong economic contribution made by housing in 2015 is set to fade, and we may be seeing slower growth in business activity, employment, government revenue, household wealth and consumption.
In 2016, the Andrews State Government will have many opportunities to provide the market with confidence and consistency through sensible policy making. For its part, the Property Council is working hard to bring a number of key policy issues to the forefront of the discussion.
Planning remains high on the Property Council’s agenda. In December 2015, we made a key submission to the State Government for the refresh of the metropolitan planning strategy, Plan Melbourne. Introduced in 2014, Plan Melbourne was presented as the blueprint for the city’s future. An important objective of the document is to ensure that Melbourne can retain the qualities that have made it the world’s most liveable city, as we plan to sustainably accommodate future growth.
The refresh of Plan Melbourne promises to be one of the biggest tasks for the Andrews Government in 2016. The Property Council’s submission highlighted a number of concerns around the Government’s policy recommendations, particularly those dealing with planning Melbourne’s future housing. Currently, around half of Melbourne’s housing stock is being provided in the greenfield areas. One of our key goals is to ensure that the proposed strategies, if implemented, will not have a detrimental impact on the vitality of Victoria’s greenfield industry.
Increased development in Victoria’s established areas is another priority for the Property Council. We are participating in a review of the implementation of the residential zoning reforms, which seek to provide greater clarity about the types of development that can be expected in our suburbs. 18 months after the zoning reform was announced, we believe there are many issues still to be resolved, including:
- The restrictive nature of the zones;
- The implementation of the framework;
- The ability of councils to achieve appropriate outcomes through their application; and,
- The long term implications for Victoria’s standard of living.
Finally, the Property Council will continue to advocate for a regulatory environment that allows the industry to bring affordable and liveable housing stock to the market. In mid-2015 the State Government started a state-wide conversation about apartment design, through a discussion paper which addressed many issues around amenity. Based on consultation with our members, the Property Council’s feedback noted that affordability will be critical to the success of any provisions implemented with respect to apartments.
The outcomes reached through the Plan Melbourne refresh, the review of the implementation of residential zones and the Better Apartments consultation process will have lasting impacts on Victoria’s housing market. In 2016, there will be endless challenges and opportunities that will come with the development of these policies. The State Government must be on the front foot to address Victoria’s needs, and the Property Council will be helping every step of the way.
500 Days in Government
The Property Council’s 500 Days in Government Conference will be held on 16 March 2016 to provide valuable insights into the State Government’s achievements and plans for the future. The Conference will also explore and debate recent and future government activity that is expected to have lasting consequences for Victoria and the wider property industry.
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from key government and industry leaders on:
- Opportunities for investment and infrastructure provision
- Major tendering announcements
- Budgetary and property related policy reform, and,
- The challenges of converting electoral promises into concrete
For more info, visit www.propertycouncil.com.au/vic