What’s happening in the Institute?

Read about the ACT Division's latest activity, including the upcoming AGM, working with the government, and recent award winners

National API Annual General Meeting – in Canberra

The National API AGM will be held in Canberra (Bradman Stand, Manuka Oval, Manuka Circle, Griffith) at 4.15pm on Thursday, 29 May, 2014.

Your attendance at this meeting is suggested. You will have recently received in the mail a Notice of Annual General Meeting and papers relating to three motions relating to the future of the API. The three motions being:

1. Prepare a five-year strategic plan & alternatives for the structure of API

2. Governance & structural review

3. That an amendment is made to the Constitution of the API by inserting a new clause (4.13.3) relating to the auditing and provision of annual financial statements to members

The ACT Division requests you to support motions 1 & 2 only. ACT members should either attend the meeting or submit their proxy votes.

Working with the ACT Government

The API is assisting the ACT Government’s Directorate of Economic Development with its strategic plan for land release of greenfield and infill development sites. The planned release of land over the next decade is important in managing the supply of land releases of government-owned sites and to give the property market greater certainty for purchasers, builders and owners of other development sites across the ACT.

The ACT Government has several property-related initiatives ranging from the Molonglo Valley to development along the proposed light rail and the City to Lake project.

The API believes it plays a vital role in assisting the ACT Government work through the strategic issues of its land release plans.

Closure of Australian Valuation Office

The Australian Valuation Office (AVO) is being closed down by the Federal Government. A national government valuation service, the AVO has more than 100 valuers including 16 working from the Canberra office. These valuers will be changing employment over the coming months. The AVO will cease from 30 June, 2014.

If you have a requirement for valuers please contact Cathy Sirel, Executive Officer – API (ACT) or Ross Stevens, AVO Regional Manager ACT & NSW (02 6216 8898).

Life Fellowship awarded

At the API Industry Forum in March, Paul Powderly proudly presented to Marcia Bowden Life Fellowship for her outstanding contribution to the API. Marcia has contributed to the API for more than 30 years including being National President in 2006-07. Marcia is only the fourth person to receive such recognition in the ACT.

Career advisors’ information forum

Career advisors have been invited to an information forum on Thursday 19 June to outline the various career options within the property industry. The information forum will also outline the tertiary education options available to facilitate a rewarding career for students within the property industry.

API (ACT) Excellence in Property Awards - 2013

Another Excellence in Property Award was held on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 with three awards given.

The was awarded to Capital Airport Group for the development of Canberra Airport’s New Terminal. Canberra Airport was also named Australian Airport of the Year for 2013 by the Airports Association in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the airport industry.

The Village Building Co. Property Industry Award was awarded to Graeme Swinton, St. George Bank, Head of Premium Corporate and Property Finance ACT for his involvement in the property profession for over thirty years.

The ACT Building & Construction Industry Training Authority Young Achiever of the Year Award was awarded to Louise Morris, Canberra director for Morris Property Group.

The Certificate of Commendation for the ACT Building & Construction Industry Training Authority Young Achiever of the Year Award was awarded to Martin Elliott.

Appreciation is given to Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers, Village Building Company and the ACT Building and Construction Industry Training Authority for sponsorship of these awards.

Residential Advisory Committee

The recent meeting in February 2014 was mostly positive, with a common theme being the lack of shovel-ready land and the market being driven by a lack of supply rather than demand.

The Economic Development Directorate provided an update on economic trends and land building activity in the ACT. Some keys findings included:

    Updated population forecasts reflect a long term population growth rate of 1.5%
  • Unemployment is rising and trend employment growth has hit zero
  • ASP job listings are low with just 15 job vacancies at present compared with average of 330 per month in recent years
  • All homes listing of properties for sale are down
  • Rental listings are constant
  • Average property price spike likely to reflect the settlement of new apartments during the period and new properties in Molonglo
  • Dwelling approvals are increasing driven by unit approvals
  • The greenfield land pipeline is reasonably healthy with 15,009 dwelling sites

The Land Development Agency provided an update on recent and future land sales:

  • Multi-unit sites sold at Franklin, Lawson, Greenway, Ngunnawal, Watson, Coombs and Kingston
  • Future releases include four mixed use sites at Campbell providing 528 dwellings, commercial sites at Coombs for the local centre and Section 19 Kingston for a supermarket and up to 150 dwellings and the first release in Moncrieff of up to 500 single sites.

Commercial Advisory Group

The API also has representation on the ACT Commercial Advisory Group. The last meeting was February 2014, with feedback including softening rents in the industrial sector, particularly in less prominent locations.

  • Two sites sold at Hume with land still available “over the counter”
  • High office vacancy rate of 12.9% for the Canberra region and 10.6% in Civic; gross supply of 75,700 sqm, withdrawals of 5896 sqm and a net absorption of 42,484 sqm over the last six months
  • The ACT chief minister recently announced amendments to the Lease Variation Charge, commencement and completion time frames.

For any additional information, please contact the ACT Divisional Council.