Pulse were recently invited to speak at the Delivering Density in our Backyards breakfast hosted by the HIA. Amanda Gauci represented Pulse as one of the guest speakers and panel where she shared her experiences in developing low rise developments and her thoughts on the challenges faced by the industry and the opportunities ahead.
As some of you are no doubt aware, the state government has communicated its support for density due to the impact of urban sprawl in our city. Perth is now trending towards smaller household sizes and a desire for affordable housing which is close to good amenities. This is an exciting time for WA as home buyers are starting to have housing diversity choices in established suburban areas.
Unfortunately delivering low rise density is not without it’s challenges. Our experience over the years has highlighted some disconnects with planning at state level, a local government level and implementation into the community.
One of our biggest challenges in delivering low-rise developments over the past 5 years has been the lack of consistency across local governments and within local governments. And the delays and added costs this leads to.
“We find ourselves in a rapidly changing landscape with significant and regular planning changes. Unfortunately, we have some leaders in local government and members of the community who continue the negative dialogue regardless of how good or bad the built form is,” Amanda explained.
A prime example of this is one particular street (in one particular local govt), same block size and despite us wanting to replicate a popular design we had to amend it significantly each time even though all applications were assessed under the same version of the codes.
“We believe the Perth market is gradually letting go of its obsession with double brick, especially younger buyers,” Amanda commented. “The next phase will be achieving economies of scale with some of the alternative construction methods particularly in the cost-conscious economy we find ourselves in,” Amanda added.
While the property market conditions remain tough it seems smaller dwelling types still have a long way to go in Perth given a low percentage of our population live in apartments compared with other capital cities.
WA is renowned for being an innovative and resilient state, we have some amazing talent and construction businesses. “No doubt the housing industry will continue to think creatively in terms of delivering diverse housing options to the WA market and I encourage government to support us to do so,” Amanda said in closing.