Message from Stuart McKnight, General Manager - WA

The hangover from the resource boom is officially over and confidence is front page news in Western Australia. Driven by a positive turn-around in the economic statistics and ribbon-cutting on major projects (such as Optus Stadium), sentiment is the best it’s been in years. Over the past 12 months the fundamentals have all improved, with growth in population, employment (full-time and part-time), wages, exports, dwelling approvals and non-residential approvals. Unemployment is falling as the number of job vacancies has increased across the board, but particularly in key leading sectors: technicians, trades workers, professionals and machinery operators. WA’s resource companies have had a bumper profit season, demonstrating the rewards of their capital investments which have effectively reduced iron ore production costs to the lowest in the world.

The residential property sector is reporting an uplift in sales activity and values and canny developers are back into acquisition mode. The commercial sector is reporting falling office vacancy rates, although the relatively low vacancy rates for premium and A grades demonstrates the sustained value of quality stock.

Perth CBD is transforming through both public and private investment. The MacroPlan team is proud to have worked on major CBD projects that will open over the next two months: Yagan Square for the MRA, and Hibernian Place (the 368-room Westin Hotel precinct) for developer, BGC. And there are still many more to come over the next 12 months.

Beyond the CBD, MacroPlan has been working on a range of major retail, residential, tourism and education projects that are committed or under construction and will transform activity centres. Connecting those nodes will be the next challenge and MacroPlan has been working to help lay the planning and economic groundwork for passenger and light rail developments as part of a wider transformation of mobility.

MacroPlan is advising its clients to use this time to prepare for the next phase of growth and to examine the how they can be the ‘disrupters’ rather than the ‘disrupted’. On that topic, Executive Chairman, Brian Haratsis’ new book Autropolis: The Diverse Mobility Revolution is a must-read for everyone in our industry. Autropolis outlines the impact that autonomous vehicles will have, not only on the way we move about, but also where we live, how we shop, property values and employment opportunities.

If you’re stretched for time, you can watch a series of short videos presented by Brian, where he dives into detail on some of the key points in the book. Alternatively, get in touch if you would like a presentation to your team. Grab your copy of the book here (available in hardcopy of PDF).

We’re looking forward to the rest of 2018 as we see the benefits of our past hard work pay off and continue to help our clients take new projects from vision to reality.

Stuart McKnight, General Manager – WA 08 9225 7200