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Inside track: Property & Real Estate

09 February 2021

#Property, Planning & Development

Inside track: Property & Real Estate

In the media

‘Post-recession rush’ predicted for Australia’s commercial property
According to Colliers International, as a growing number of workers return to their offices, vendors and investors are expected to review acquisitions, with demand for office assets expected to soar during what’s usually a relatively quiet period (29 January 2021).  More...

To return to the office or not: How your choice could change the shape of our cities
Australian cities are at a critical juncture, with changing demands and expectations from workers and inner-city residents in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis set to dictate what our urban landscapes look like for generations to come, planning experts say (21 January 2021).  More...

Transforming social housing through innovation
Australia has an unprecedented, multi-billion-dollar opportunity to make a step forward, by forging a similarly holistic, tenant-centric and data-focused approach to social housing (28 January 2021).  More...

HomeBuilder leads to spike in material and labour costs, stinging home buyers
HomeBuilder has provided a shot in the arm to the housing sector, with households taking on record levels of debt to fuel the nation’s economic recovery. But increased demand has already pushed up the price of materials and labour, squeezing the budgets of home buyers and renovators (28 January 2021).  More...

Capital city house prices hit new peaks
Australian house prices hit record highs along the east coast, marking the steepest increase in four years and rounding out a year of unprecedented events and price predictions (28 January 2021).  More...

Competitive advantage’: Call for curbs as property sector ramps up political donations
The property industry has ramped up its political donations to a fresh peak that takes its total funding to $54.2 million over the past two decades, finds new analysis that calls for curbs on the way big companies buy influence (27 January 2021).  More...

Renters abandoned capital cities in 2020
Renters abandoned Australian capital cities in favour of regional locations last year, according to Corelogic’s quarterly rental report. Annual figures show Australians opted for space and lifestyle outside of city centres with regional areas outperforming the major cities (27 January 2021).  More...

Heatwaves may render parts of Sydney unliveable in decades
With Australia's largest city facing 50-degree-plus summers, experts say its suburbs must be radically redesigned and rebuilt in order to remain liveable (26 January 2021).  More...

Rents recovering from COVID impact
According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia, the December 2020 quarter CPI figures show that the rental market is recovering from the impact of the COVID pandemic (27 January 2021).  More...

Rental eviction moratoriums should be revisited by National Cabinet
The REIA President, Adrian Kelly has said with rental evictions ending in some states and unemployment at 6.6 per cent it is time for all the Covid-19 rental eviction moratoriums to be removed so that some normality for both tenants and property owners can resume in 2021 (22 January 2021).  More...

'An eyesore': Residents furious as approval given to increase height of Western Sydney towers
The concept plan for two 15-storey apartment buildings at Wentworth Point means they will be almost double in height compared to neighbouring buildings (22 January 2021).  More...

PCA: HomeBuilder the workhorse of economic recovery
The success of the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder grants program demonstrates the power of residential construction in supporting jobs and driving economic activity. According to new figures from Treasury, more than 75,000 households have applied for the HomeBuilder grant with around 80 per cent of these for new construction (20 January 2021).  More...

New app streamlines application process for Green Star rating
Green Building Council of Australia announces the launch of the first phase of Green Star Online, a new platform that allows projects to easily apply for a Green Star rating (19 January 2021).  More...

'Highly problematic for public trust': Australian political donations revealed
Mining and gas companies ramped up their spending on political parties in recent years to outstrip property developers and other big donors (18 January 2021).  More...

Victoria

Melbourne unit prices exceed expectations
Melbourne unit prices reached new highs after an “almost non-existent” holiday slowdown, leading what could be a record year for apartments nationally (28 January 2021).  More...

Melbourne’s south-east fueled by $120m lendlease deal
Property demand in Melbourne’s southeast is showing no signs of slowing with the number of new estate launches jumping from seven to 16 in the past two years (27 January 2021).  More...

New rental standards to help tenants and landlords
The Andrews Labor Government is taking another step towards making renting fairer for all Victorians, with new rules to ensure every rental property meets basic standards. These regulations come into effect on 29 March and are part of the more than 130 rental reforms the Labor Government is introducing to residential tenancies (25 January 2021).  More...

Developers prep for Melbourne’s newest suburb Pakenham East
The three developers will soon be able to submit applications following approval of the precinct structure plan and infrastructure contributions plans. Pakenham East is one of six major greenfield development sites fast-tracked by the Victorian Planning Authority in response to the pandemic (20 January 2021).  More...

Recycling boom spells jobs for Victoria
The Morrison and Andrews Governments are turbo-charging Victoria’s recycling infrastructure, with a major investment that will double the state’s domestic glass recycling capacity, increase its plastic recycling by 40 per cent and create 350 jobs (18 January 2021).  More...

NSW

Homebuilder – a testament to the job creation power of the property construction sector – lessons for NSW
NSW saw a significantly lower take-up of Homebuilder than other States (given the relative size of the populations of the States and Territories). This was because early on the thresholds were too low, and the performance on planning approvals has been appalling since 2019 (20 January 2021).  More...

EPA’s draft Construction Noise Guideline to drive reduced impact on community
New guidelines are being introduced to reduce construction noise impacts on the community and require increased community transparency and consultation prior to projects kicking off (18 January 2021).  More...

Queensland

Keylin, Kinstone Secure Final Piece of Coomera Town Centre
Work will soon begin on a master plan for the final remaining piece of Coomera’s town centre with the purchase of a significant parcel of land on Foxwell Road (27 January 2021).  More...

Home solar and batteries “the norm” in new Brisbane property developments
Two residential developments being built in suburban Brisbane will feature “futuristic” new homes fitted out with rooftop solar, battery storage and heat pump hot water systems, a standard the Queensland government hopes will become “the norm” in the state as it aims for net-zero emissions by 2050 (25 January 2021).  More...

Qld Government-led residential developments go 100 per cent solar and battery
Two new Queensland Government-led residential developments in Carseldine and Oxley are leading the nation with 100 per cent solar and battery neighbourhoods, saving homebuyers thousands of dollars in electricity (23 January 2021).  More...

Brisbane's Victoria Bridge closes to general traffic, now set to become 'green' bridge
The days for Brisbane's Victoria Bridge as a general vehicular bridge are over, with the council closing it to all general traffic from 8:00pm on Sunday 24 January 2021 to make way for the new Brisbane Metro bus network (25 January 2021).  More...

'Pretty terrifying' Southport can be reborn like Fortitude Valley or New Farm
There is a push within the City of Gold Coast to revitalise Southport, similar to what happened in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley and New Farm (22 January 2021).  More...

Demolition proposal for New Farm cottage heads to court
The potential demolition of a pre-1911 New Farm cottage has gone to court over a dispute on whether the tear-down should be subject to community input or assessed purely against planning codes (22 January 2021).  More...

MIRVAC to redevelop Government site at 200 Turbot
The State Government has announced that Mirvac is the successful proponent for the proposed $670 million redevelopment of 200 Turbot Street (21 January 2021).  More...

Brisbane CBD set for billion-dollar boost
The Queensland Government are working on several redevelopments that will really change the face of Brisbane and bring many jobs to our city.  More...

46-storey tower proposed behind Brisbane Synagogue
The tower, a proposal by the synagogue owners and the owners of two neighbouring lots, would see a new commercial tower on Mary Street (21 January 2021).  More...

Passive subtropical architecture takes off with BVN-designed Brisbane tower
Brisbane could get another building that “breathes”, with plans lodged with the city’s council for a six-star Green Star commercial tower in the CBD. The BVN-designed tower will be accessed from a state heritage-listed synagogue, which will be retained and revitalised (19 January 2021).  More...

The Star breaks ground on $400m Broadbeach tower
The Star Entertainment Group is set to break ground on a 63-storey mixed use residential and hotel tower at its $2 billion master planned site at Broadbeach Island on the Gold Coast (21 January 2021).  More...

Burleigh's high-rise boom 'not sensible progress', residents say
Burleigh residents are worried the village-style atmosphere of their popular Gold Coast suburb will be lost with 10 high-rise buildings in the works (20 January 2021).  More...

Court finds 17-bedroom house with water meters for each room not just a family home
The owner of a 17-bedroom waterfront mansion, which was operating as an illegal boarding house, has been ordered to make structural changes after failing to convince a judge it was just another family home (20 January 2021).  More...

Brookfield wins approval for 1000th Portside apartment
Brookfield Residential Properties is getting ready to notch up its 1,000th apartment at Northshore Hamilton after gaining approval for a 19-level tower on Brisbane River (20 January 2021).  More...

Significant redesign’ of triple tower Portside project
Wentworth Equities is planning to build a triple tower development connecting to Portside Hamilton, undertaking a significant redesign on the vacant site (19 January 2021).  More...

Architectural institute gives Brisbane CBD red mark over green space
The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects has called for a rethink on how public spaces are managed and developed (18 January 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

REIA News - January 2021
In this issue: Top 5 for 2021; Top 5 for Christmas and January.  More...

Productivity Commission: Report on Government Services 2021
The annual Report on Government Services provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia (January).  More...

In Practice and Courts

Commonwealth

API: Exposure Draft open for comment – Valuations of Rural and Agribusiness Properties
The API Standards Steering Committee has approved an updated version of the Technical Information Paper – ANZVTIP 9 Valuations of Rural and Agribusiness Properties to be released as an Exposure Draft for consultation and feedback. The Exposure Draft has been updated based on Member feedback in both Australia and New Zealand. The API encourages comment and feedback by no later than 5 March2021 to standards@api.org.au (20 January 2021).  More...

API Member Alert: Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct
The Code of Professional Conduct has been renamed and reclassified as the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Rules are mandatory for all Members and effective from 28 February 2021.  More...

API Reminder: 2021-2026 APIV New Scheme Survey
With the APIV Scheme due to expire on 31 August 2021, the API is currently in the process of preparing an application for a new APIV Scheme to commence on 1 September 2021 for a further period of five years.  More...

GBCA: Green Star: A year in focus
Our Green Star: A year in focus report outlines Green Star’s highlights and achievements for the financial year. This year we certified 456 projects; the most ratings issued in a single year (21 January 2021).  More...

GBCA: Green Star certification 2021 dates for your project
The guidelines below (based on typical time frames), specify the deadlines you’ll need to meet in order to have your project certified in time for key milestones (January 2021).  More...

NABERS Reminder: Auditors, supervisors, and trainers panel announced
Congratulations to the new Panel Selection for NABERS Auditors, Supervisors, and Trainers, for October 2019-October 2022. Find the full list here.

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2021

Changes coming to Commercial and Retail COVID-19 legislation on 1 January 2021
The new Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020 will repeal and remake, with amendments, the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation (No 2) 2020.

Victoria

Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Roadmap and webpage now available
DELWP Planning have recently released the document Environmentally sustainable development of buildings and subdivisions: A roadmap for Victoria’s planning system which outlines the Victorian government’s agenda for supporting ESD through Victoria’s planning system. The release of the roadmap is accompanied by a new ESD webpage which will act as a source of information and resources relating to ESD in Victoria’s planning system (28 January 2021).

New Environment Protection Act postponed to July 2021
The legislation has been postponed and is intended to commence on 1 July 2021. On that basis, EPA will continue to regulate under the Environment Protection Act 1970, including all existing subordinate legislation (Regulations and statutory policies including state environment protection policies and waste management policies) until the new commencement date.  More...

NSW

NSW Revenue: Land Tax Build to Rent
The NSW Government is introducing a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a new Housing Diversity SEPP to provide more housing options, greater surety for renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery.

New Required Dealings declared
On 21 December 2020 the Registrar General declared twenty-nine dealings to be a Required Dealing, moving closer toward 100 per cent electronic lodgment in NSW. A full list of the proposed Required Dealings has been published on our website, on the Schedule of eDealings page.
Following the 90 day notice period, all Required Dealings must be lodged electronically through an ELNO. This means that from 22 March 2021, these dealings will only be available for electronic lodgment.
These changes are made under Conveyancing Rule 8.8, which mandates the electronic lodgment of dealings from 1 July 2020.  More..

Queensland

PCA: Land Tax Relief extended
As part of its COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review the Queensland Government has announced a 25 per cent land tax rebate is available for eligible properties for the 2020-21 assessment year. The due dates for applications for the land tax rebate are: 2019-20, applications close on 31 October 2020 and 2020-21, applications close on 26 February 2021.

Reminder: Modernised body corporate regulations to start in March 2021
The Queensland Government has finalised a modernised set of corporate regulations to take effect from 1 March 2021 which will streamline and modernise body corporate procedures, reduce body corporate costs and enhance protections for unit owners.  More...

DES Prosecution bulletins 2021
A selection of the department’s enforcement actions are summarised in prosecution bulletins outlining the facts and outcomes of finalised prosecutions.
Prosecution bulletin no 2/2021 (PDF, 179KB)
Prosecution bulletin no 1/2021 (PDF, 178KB)

Gold Coast Coastal Adaptation Plan
The City of the Gold Coast has released its draft Coastal Adaptation Plan for feedback. The plan outlines a long-term strategy for how the Gold Coast responds to the impact of climate change. Community engagement runs from 19 January to 19 February 2021. To read the draft plan or to provide feedback, please click here.

Support for the Gold Coast’s Express DA service
The City of the Gold Coast has announced a range of incentives to support the property industry. The City of Gold Coast is introducing a new fast track service, called Express Development Application. Express DA will commence on the 27 October 2020 and replace the existing RiskSmart service. As part of the City’s economic support during COVID-19, the City is offering a 50 per cent discount on Express DAs for 12 months (from 27 October 2020 to 27 October 2021).  More...

Rockhampton Regional Council expands development incentives policy
Rockhampton Regional Council has expanded its development incentives policy to include multi-residential unit developments within close proximity to the CBD. The policy will apply to DA’s lodged between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021.  More...

25 local government areas to receive new land valuations in 2021
Landowners in 25 Queensland local government areas will receive new land valuations in March 2021. The 2021 valuation program will involve approximately 261,000 properties, representing approximately 59 per cent of the total land area of Queensland.  More...

Planning support during COVID-19
The Queensland Government has further extended the COVID-19 applicable event provisions in the Planning Act 2016. The emergency changes to the Planning Act 2016 and the Economic Development Queensland Act 2012 are now a permanent part of our planning framework, providing flexibility to respond to not only COVID-19, but also to floods, bushfires, cyclones and other disasters. The effect of these powers is temporary and only applies for the duration of the declared event. These provisions commence when the Minister for Planning declares that there is an event, such as a public health emergency or a natural disaster that will affect state interests.  More...

Safer Buildings program enters final stage
The QBCC is administering the three-part Safer Buildings program to understand the extent of combustible cladding use in Queensland’s private buildings. The Safer Buildings program has advanced considerably with Part 3 of the combustible cladding checklist now underway. The deadline for building owners to finalise the Part 3 assessment is 3 May 2021.  More...

Build-to-Rent Update - Approved Projects
The Queensland Government has approved two Brisbane-based affordable housing projects by developers. .It is anticipated construction will commence mid-2021 following the finalisation of designs for the projects, with operations expected to commence in 2023.  More...

Current Processes: Expanded the Pilot Project 2021
Two new tender processes:
Expressions of Interest are being sought from proponents capable of delivering a Build-to-Rent development with an affordable housing component on the State-owned site of the former Childrens Court, 50 Quay Street. Further information regarding this process is located on the QTender website. Submissions close 9 April 2021.
Expressions of Interest are also being sought from proponents capable of delivering a Build-to-Rent development with an affordable housing component on a privately-owned inner Brisbane site. Further information regarding this process can be found on the QTender website. Submissions close 7 May 2021.

Consultations

CopperString Project – draft environmental impact statement Closes 12 February 2021.

Inland Rail – Calvert to Kagaru project – draft environmental impact statement Closes 8 March 2021.

Inland Rail – Border to Gowrie project – draft environmental impact statement Closes 19 April 2021.

Cases

Calmmonth Pty Ltd v AVJennings Properties Limited [2021] QSC 3
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – IMPLIED TERMS – GENERALLY – where a developer undertakes a major residential development in stages – where a consultant to the developer is entitled to be paid a fee on the sale of lots – where the consultant is also entitled to an additional fee if the revenue from the sale of each relevant stage exceeds the estimated revenue for that stage as set out in a consultancy agreement – where the development in fact occurred in different stages to that contemplated by the consultancy agreement – where the express terms of the consultancy agreement do not entitle the consultant to an additional fee in respect of new stages of the development – where the consultant submits that the agreement contains an implied term entitling it to an additional fee if the boundary of a relevant stage changed or an additional stage was added to an overall stage –whether the consultancy agreement contains the implied term contended for
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – FORMATION OF CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS – CONTRACT IMPLIED FROM CONDUCT OF PARTIES – where the parties met to discuss the calculation of fees payable under a consultancy agreement –consultant disputes that an agreement to vary the consultancy agreement was reached at the meeting – where the consultant sent an email following the meeting confirming that an agreement was reached – whether an agreement was reached to vary the consultancy agreement.

West v Secure Funding Pty Ltd [2020] QCA 296
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – SECURITY FOR COSTS – where the respondent is the registered mortgagee and the applicant is the registered owner and mortgagor of the real property – where the respondent was successful in the trial before a jury in its claim to recover possession of the mortgaged property and where the applicant’s counterclaim was dismissed – where the applicant concedes that she was impecunious – where the applicant had not filed the notice of appeal in time and requires an extension of time to appeal – where the applicant had not shown that she has any reasonable prospects on her appeal – whether there should be an order for security as to costs in respect of the application for extension and any appeal.

BPI No 1 Pty Ltd v Valuer-General; BWP Management Ltd v Valuer-General [2021] QLC 2
REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – where appellant objects to valuation – where the site value is the basis of valuation – where there was agreement between the parties the appeal should be allowed – where the Court was asked to decide the correct valuation – where no maintenance valuation was issued by the valuer general and where the valuation was agreed to be incorrect - where the onus was on the appellant to prove on the balance of probabilities that the valuation was in error – selection of sales – whether sales closer in location with different uses are to be preferred over sales with similar uses – whether market and buyer profile sales were to be preferred – whether adjustments were to be made to adjust for market movement over time – whether upper and lower parameters were to be established in the absence of sales evidence – where preferred approach is that with reduced scope for error – where sales with similar use were preferred – where large format retail accepted as asset class – where the approach of the appellant’s valuer was preferred – whether assumptions made by the quantity surveyors are assumed facts – whether the appellant’s valuer could rely on the quantity surveying evidence without investigating the actual site conditions – where evidence of purchaser to be preferred – whether preliminaries, margins, contingencies and professional fees ought to be taken into account – where they should depending on the circumstances of the sale.

Cases to 25 January 2021

Glenfield Grange Estates Pty Ltd v Telford [2021] QCAT 11
REAL PROPERTY – RETIREMENT VILLAGES – where residents required a retirement village scheme operator to purchase their units in the scheme – where the operator sought an extension of time to do that by application to the Tribunal – where seven of the eight residents seeking sale to the operator withdrew from the proceedings in the course of the proceedings – where the respondent as remaining resident seeking sale to the operator independently sold her unit to a third party in the course of the proceedings – where the respondent at a directions hearing asked for compensation if an extension of time was granted – where no order extending time was necessary given the sale of the respondent’s unit to a third party – where there was no response or counter-application filed – whether the claim to compensation independent of counter-application was within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to determine.
Retirement Villages Act 1999 Qld s 21, s 63A, s 63B, s 171A, s 191, s 209, s 210
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2009 Qld r 48, r 50

Legislation

Queensland

Acts

COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020
Commencement
(3)Section 39 and schedule 1 commence on 1 March 2021. Schedule 1 amends the regulation modules under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 it mentions.

Disclaimer
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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