This Week in Real Estate – 10th November 2022
Qld Push For Strata Reform
The Strata Community Association has welcomed the passage of significant reforms to Queensland body corporate laws and is urging the State Government to continue the process. SCA General Manager Laura Bos says the reforms will help secure the rights of apartment owners. The changes are aimed at fixing “deficiencies” in legislation and make body corporate governance fairer for all, particularly owners in multi-layer developments with numerous body corporates. According to the amendments to legislation, the aim is to “harmonise” various acts which affect multilayer developments with current body corporate legislation. Bos says the State Government needs to continue its reform push, particularly in relation to management rights. She says under the current rules a body corporate in a new development can become bound to service contracts for up to 25 years. “Urgent changes are needed to the legislation that affects the other 99% (of strata owners) to help ensure community living keeps up with modern expectations,” she says
Gold Coast To Power Up
A Gold Coast developer has revealed plans to build a giant renewable energy and battery facility in an effort to help owners deal with rising power bills. Nifsan, which developed Emerald Lakes, has lodged an application with the Gold Coast City Council to build a solar farm at Nerang. The application is for a 600-panel facility with a 10MWH battery energy storage system, which it says will generate and store enough power to run 650 homes a day. A planning report by Nifsan says the facility would help reduce the “rapidly escalating cost” of living. “The development also gains support from the state planning policy and SEQ Regional Plan which both seek a greater production of renewable energy facilities within the State (including SEQ),” the report says. It will be built on the former golf course of The Villa. Council planning boss Cameron Caldwell has welcomed the concept and says that renewables will become part of the future conversation about evolving energy production environments.
Quote of the Week
“At the moment as things get very tight, many people are looking for a property and there is only a limited number available, which means the incentive that people feel to make a successful application grows.” Tenants’ Union chief executive Leo Patterson Ross
Qld, ACT, Tassie Gain Population
Australians are keen to move to the north with new Census figures showing more people moved to Queensland than any other state. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data shows there was a net gain of more than 100,000 people in Queensland in the five years to 2021. Many of those came from New South Wales, with it recording the biggest net loss of population in Australia of 102,000 people. At the same time Victoria lost about 10,000 people, while Tasmania increased its population by 15,000 and the ACT by 10,000. Those who didn’t move states tended to move to regional areas with 160,000 people leaving Australian capital cities, as working from home became easier and more desirable in recent years. Census program manager Mark Harding says affordability was a big issue. “This data suggests that people are moving for housing suitability and affordability as well as employment opportunities and then settling down later in life,” Harding says.
Shortage Worsens As Approvals Fall
There seems no immediate end in sight to the current housing supply shortage, with Australia Bureau of Statistics figures showing building approvals fell in September. There was a 5.8% drop in the total number of approved dwellings in September compared with the previous month, with the total number of approvals now 13% below the same period last year. The biggest drop in approvals was in South Australia, which was down 19% during the month, followed by Tasmania, down 11%, Western Australia, down 9%, NSW, down 9% and Queensland down 6%. Victoria was the only state to record an increase, with its approvals up 3.4% in September. There was also a drop in the number of homeowners carrying out alterations and additions, with that work down by 2.9% during September. Ryan Wells of Westpac says the figures show that approvals are starting to more broadly weaken and that increasing building costs, labour shortages and supply issues are having an impact on the housing market.