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Developers, the City Builders

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There certainly weren’t legions of planners in government offices trying to exert a command and control influence over community choice by wielding an ideological stick in the form of planning policy.

Instead “back in the day” there were a handful of city engineers, and applications for development tended to be approved if they met basic building code and engineering guidelines.

Developers, the City Builders 2

With this absolute minimalist approach to regulatory intervention in urban growth, we created large, efficient cities which somehow got it right.

The roads, railway stations, commercial developments, hospitals and all sorts of community facilities and parklands grew mainly in response to market forces – shaped by consumer demand. Where people wanted to live and in what types of homes they wanted to live in created demand that developers responded to.

Whole suburbs were developed in this way, and housing was affordable. In response to this, other developers identified opportunities for shopping centres, workplaces and other projects. Transport connections were delivered in response to the market driven locational choice of our urban inhabitants, and with them were developed the medical facilities, community facilities, parks and public spaces that also helped shape the character of our urban form.

This largely market driven approach is how most of our major cities were shaped, with the exception of Canberra.

Not only was the vast majority of our current urban form delivered without the benefit of complex regulatory planning, but apparently it was so successful that huge swathes of the community now believe that much of it should be protected from any re-development.

This is a sweet irony: the structures and precincts that were originally created with a quick ‘how about we put it there’ discussion and approved for construction with basic plans in a matter of days (no one had heard of an EIS) are now the subject of fervent protectionist instincts.

These are from among the same sections of the community that talk loudest about the need for even more government planning and development control. They’re actively espousing the conservation of an urban form that reflects a period of minimalist or non-existent planning.

But this same coterie of voices that champions preservation of suburbs, precincts, places and structures created by developers unassisted by the guiding hand of a regulatory planner, also somehow believe that only highly regulated controls over developers can achieve similar outcomes in today’s world.

The community now views developers with suspicion and somehow we now place our trust in the hands of regulatory urban planners and academics, many of whom have never in their life built so much as a Stratco garden shed.

This seems to be a widespread community sentiment which is a great shame because the longer it goes on, the more we are deluding ourselves about how our cities really grow and respond to the needs of their residents.

Will it ever change? No, I think that horse has well and truly bolted. But it could be worth reminding some of the loudest voices in favour of more and more regulatory control of a few home truths. Here are some of my thoughts:

Developers Know The Market Best

You can assemble as many thinkers and urban planners and futurists in a room as you like but the moment someone has to risk their own money on a project, the room clears. Those left are the ones who truly know what a market wants in a particular location and what they’re prepared to pay. They know the costs of delivery, the risk of time delay and the risk of market change. In this way developers are more acutely tuned to real consumer and business community demand. Their views could be more widely sought and respected in terms of what can work and what won’t when it comes to urban planning. Otherwise we create plans which aren’t based on reality and which – for that reason – are difficult to deliver without excessive taxpayer support.

Developers Tend To Be Ahead Of The Trends

There’s nothing like a market driven psychology to keep you on top of trends and to know how fast they’re changing, and in what direction. Regulators on the other hand tend to learn by third party reference, through various conferences, talk fests and media reports. These are often well behind the trend because they’re referencing something someone else has already done. Once again, I’d be more inclined to put my faith in the views of a few developers when it comes to knowing the latest trends than an entire roomful of theorists who aren’t in the business of risking capital. Especially their own.

We Need Developers

The anti-development voices seem to think that taxpayers and governments are the means to improved urban environments and that developers should be highly controlled and their role limited. But without developers and the private capital (not taxpayer dollars) they bring to projects, all the plans in the world will never materialise. It’s the developers who create the houses, the shops, the cinemas, the restaurants, the coffee shops, ‘green star’ offices, industrial workplaces, medical centres, tourism resorts, hotels, theme parks, and other attractions that characterise where we live, work and play.

Today, developers are also increasingly providing schools for our children and public parks, particularly in master-planned estates. They are providing aged care and retirement living for our seniors. Private health organisations are developing new and world class hospitals, operating theatres and health facilities for large cross sections of the community, usually at lower capital cost and greater operational efficiency than traditional government delivery models.

We are surrounded by the results of development and this development was in the main created by developers risking private capital to meet a market opportunity. We are not likewise surrounded by the evidence of unwieldy regulatory planning instruments which impose needless delays, are unduly prescriptive and rarely in tune with community or market need.

Does this mean there is no role for regulation of urban development? Of course not. Public policy should reflect community opinion in any healthy democracy, and this in turn should shape the future growth, development and redevelopment of our urban landscape. It should encourage and facilitate private capital that aims to meet a community or business need. It should not reflect the minority views of unelected policy makers, nor resist market forces which are clear signals of need and demand, nor treat applications for development with deep seated mistrust and suspicion.

If developers and private development generally managed to create entire cities across Australia with considerable success, unaided by the heavy hand of prescriptive regulation, how is it that we came to this view today that developers are the enemy of efficient urban development? And how is that re-development of areas that are reminders of historically unrestrained development is now opposed in the name of ‘heritage’ conservation?

Maybe it’s explained by the word ‘profit’?  Is it possible that we’ve come to view profit as a dirty word, rather than a sign of something successful? Does it mean that community opinion is more likely to support taxpayer funded developments which consume precious tax dollars (at a loss) as preferable to privately funded developments which actuallycontribute to the community tax pool (by making profits)? If that’s the root of the problem, the problem is much larger than we might care to imagine.

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Opinion

These are the top 3 spots to bag a bargain in Brisbane: Ryder

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These are the top 3 spots to bag a bargain in Brisbane: Ryder

Property analyst Terry Ryder has picked three spots to invest in Brisbane. Picture: Richard Walker.Source:News Corp Australia

WANT to know where to invest in Brisbane that’s both affordable and offers the prospect of price growth? Look no further…

THERE are only three areas in Greater Brisbane that offer affordable real estate with growth potential, according to property analyst Terry Ryder.

The founder of Hotspotting.com.au has identified three precincts where there are plenty of houses well below the median Brisbane house price of around $530,000, close to transport links, shopping and jobs nodes, and with median rental yields in the 5 to 5.5 per cent range.

Here they are:

These are the top 3 spots to bag a bargain in Brisbane: Ryder

Hotspoting.com.au director Terry Ryder at his home in Queensland.Source:News Limited

1. Goodna-Redbank Plains, Ipswich

These suburbs are at the eastern fringe of the Ipswich local government area — the part closest to Brisbane, the motorway and the train line.

They are also close to the Springfield masterplanned community, which has an array of modern facilities, including university campus, hospital and commercial-retail precincts.

“There are numerous big shopping centres and major employment nodes nearby, with the recently announced $5 billion Defence vehicle contract focused on this precinct as a major new jobs creator,” Mr Ryder said.

These are the top 3 spots to bag a bargain in Brisbane: Ryder

Terry Ryder thinks parts of Ipswich would make a good property investment. Picture: Chris McCormack.Source:News Corp Australia

 These are the top 3 spots to bag a bargain in Brisbane: Ryder

Terry Ryder thinks Redbank Plains is a good place to invest in property.Source:News Limited

2. Eagleby-Beenleigh-Woodridge, Logan

Mr Ryder said these older suburbs in Logan had median house prices in the $300,000s and were clustered around the train line and the Pacific Motorway, both of which link central Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

“This is also where there is an impressive shopping offering, including major bulky goods retail, and well-established infrastructure like schools and medical facilities (as well as a surprising number of golf courses).

3. Moreton Bay

The suburbs of Beachmere, Burpengary and Upper Caboolture have experienced double-digit growth in their median house prices in the past year, according to Mr Ryder.

They are all close to major road and rail links, but aren’t as expensive as North Lakes has become.

Even in the Redcliffe Peninsula, where most of the water-focused suburbs are, the median house price is only in the $400,000s.

And the Peninsula now has rail links to central Brisbane, making it an even more appealing prospect.

These are the top 3 spots to bag a bargain in Brisbane: Ryder

The Moreton Bay Rail link has made the area more appealing to property investors, according to Terry Ryder. Picture: Tara Croser.Source:News Corp Australia

Source: moretoninvestor.com.au

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Opinion

Property tax hikes will hit economy hard

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Property tax hikes will hit economy hard

The state government’s planned property tax increases risk wiping the state off the global investment map, warns Chris Mountford,
executive director of Property Council Queensland.Kevin Farmer

THE state government’s planned property tax increases, due to come into effect on July 1, risk wiping the state off the global investment map.
As the government begins work on the State Budget, the Property Council is ramping up efforts to highlight the hidden effects of the tax hikes.

These tax hikes will increase the cost of doing business, damage Queensland’s economic competitiveness and impact on every Queenslander.

With Queensland preparing to leverage the Commonwealth Games to attract new investment opportunities, these tax increases couldn’t come at a worse time.

Election campaign costings, released in the days prior to the November 2017 state election, revealed the government’s intention to introduce new land tax thresholds for aggregated land holdings with an unimproved value above $10 million.

Individuals, companies and trusts who are within this new threshold will be subjected to a 25% increase in the rate of land tax from July 1.

The government has also committed to increasing the stamp duty surcharge on foreign buyers of residential property from 3% to 7%.

The end result of this decision will be higher business rents, higher costs for new homes and damage to Queensland’s reputation as an investment destination.

Businesses who lease premises from larger landlords can expect additional rental and occupancy costs.

New homebuyers can expect an additional $800-$1000 added to the cost of purchasing a new home.

We once were able to lure investment from interstate and overseas with attractive tax rates, but we now find ourselves uncompetitive with our southern neighbours.

The Property Council is calling for the government to abandon the tax increases and commit to review and modernise Queensland’s property tax framework.

Our current land tax thresholds haven’t been changed in a decade, leading to significant bracket creep as property values have increased dramatically.

We need a simpler, fairer and more attractive property tax system to unlock investment and create jobs.

An all-encompassing review of Queensland’s outdated thresholds and property tax rates needs to be undertaken to put Queensland back on the investment map.

Chris Mountford is executive director of Property Council Queensland.

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Opinion

Ipswich house prices on the rise

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Ipswich house prices on the rise

This is according to the latest analysis by RiskWise Property Research which found despite below-average property price growth over the past three months, Ipswich is an attractive destination to home buyers and investors who seek affordable housing. Over the medium to long-term the region is projected to deliver solid returns.

The research house CEO, Doron Peleg, said this would be driven by very affordable dwelling options and ongoing population growth, in particular, by high levels of interstate migration from Sydney and Melbourne.

The $5 billion contract for 211 high-tech armoured vehicles will result in a new multimillion-dollar Centre of Excellence at Redbank and defence jobs for 40 years.

Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the contract would create more than 330 permanent jobs from the outset, build significant opportunities for local businesses and provide associated work with ongoing delivery and maintenance of the vehicles.

“Defence directly contributed to more than 7000 jobs and almost $800 million to the Ipswich economy in 2016-17. But this contract will mean jobs for the next 30 to 40 years, for the life of the contract,” Cr Antoniolli said.

Mr Peleg said with the Queensland Government also allocating $868 million towards infrastructure and road projects in July last year, it was likely to trigger a construction boom which would grow local employment and hence demand for housing.

He said the Ipswich area, which was just 40km west of the Brisbane metropolitan area, enjoyed a stable property market offering both affordability, with a median house price of $371,000, and excellent access to the growing local business areas.

“The Ipswich area did deliver a slightly below average price growth relative to the Greater Brisbane and Australian benchmarks over the past five years,” Mr Peleg said.

“This is likely a result of its geographic distance from central Brisbane and the coastline, where most of the housing demand is centred.

“But that bodes well for those looking for affordability and the area has a house price-to-income ratio of 5.2 which is well below that of Brisbane and the rest of Australia.

“Also, lending restrictions and the potential recommendations of the Banking Royal Commission that are likely to result in lower borrowing capacity, are likely to increase the demand for Ipswich property.”

Mr Peleg said the region had a high median rental return of 5.2 per cent for houses and 5.8 for units which surpassed both the Greater Brisbane and Australian medians and could be attributed to the “very low” median property price combined with the ongoing demand for rental properties across Ipswich.

He expected them to remain at a consistent level over the short to medium-term.

“However, it is worth noting that units, with an extremely affordable median price of $280,000, do carry a higher level of risk, particularly in the short-term due to high additional supply levels,” he said.

“The Ipswich area delivered lower capital growth for units than for houses over the past five years. We believe given the high supply levels expected over the next 24 months, it is likely the area will continue its poor price growth trajectory.”

Another 2,683 new units will be added to the local property market over the next 24 months which is an increase of 39.1 per cent to the existing supply and sits well above the number for Greater Brisbane.

Mr Peleg said this level of supply should be treated with “high caution” and was likely to slow the market for units over the short to medium term.

Visit www.riskwiseproperty.com.au

RiskWise Property Research was formed in 2016 with the goal of providing property risk advise and research services to help its clients make informed purchasing decisions.

Its goal is to provide private investors, home buyers, property professionals and institutional clients with detailed risk information to support smarter decision making. Its vision is to be a global leader in property risk rating and research helping its clients to achieve deeper risk insights so they can make smarter property investment decisions.

Source: www.miragenews.com

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