Strata Community Association NSW 2023: Opening the Doors to Innovation

The recently concluded Strata Community Association (SCA) NSW Convention 2023 has challenged professionals to think differently. With the aim to maximise strata potential, SCA NSW focused on innovation, allowing the participants to learn from the experts who have unlocked the hidden capacity of their industry.

This year, they put a spotlight on challenges affecting strata specialists and the directions they can take from there. The speakers and leaders shared their insights about the strata industry, innovation, the Australian housing market, and more.

The Growth of NSW’s Strata Community

The event highlighted challenges faced by strata specialists and explored various insights into industry dynamics, innovation, and the Australian housing market.

SCA NSW President shared his insights into current strata community plan registrations in NSW, revealing substantial figures that signified an anticipated surge in strata title lot users across key regions – particularly from 2021 to 2046, the predicted growth of users of strata title lots will increase by 80% in the Sydney Metro, 60% in Wollongong – Illawarra, and 50% in Newcastle – Maitland. There is an expected demand of 750,000 lots in the next 25 years, and the NSW government requires 30,000 strata lots developed per annum.

How Innovation Combats Issues

Meanwhile, the Strata and Property Services Commissioner delivered his keynote speech about innovation, and some of the issues he touched on were ineffectiveness and failure to adequately address disputes.

He addressed six elements for successful innovation that can combat these challenges and other issues. These are:
1. Problem-Solving
2. User centricity
3. Value creation
4. Accessibility
5. Continuous improvement
6. Ethical considerations

He also mentioned that the SPSC will do their duty to further improve end-to-end strata reform, customer experience innovation, resilience and sustainability, and insurance and insurability.

Updates on the Residential Real Estate

CoreLogic, on the other hand, discussed the current state of the housing market. In general, residential real estate underpins Australia’s wealth. While the Australian housing market is in recovery, some challenges still need addressing.

There might be a continuous rate hiking cycle, which is yet to impact households fully. Also, the overall economic conditions are weak, and the labour markets are loose. As for housing, it remains too expensive for many.

He remains hopeful saying there is a growing expectation that the rate hiking cycle has peaked, or at least, close to peaking, before trending downwards. Inflation has reduced, and migration rates are above average.

The housing outlook remains uncertain. Overall, some may come out of the recovery trend. Changed values could trend lower again amid high interest rates and stretched household balance sheets.

Good News from the OBC

NSW Building Commissioner mentioned that there have been 53% schemes registered in 2023—higher than the 39% in 2021. These numbers indicate the number of serious building defects has decreased and the impact of regulations is trending more progressively. The Office of the Building Commissioner (OBC) first targeted waterproofing as a major defect and eventually saw a reduction from 20% in 2019 to 4% in 2023.

Because of these impacts, the Building Commissioner stated that banks and insurers are profiling NSW as the best state to purchase property in Australia, while developers in NSW are garnering increased trust due to heightened regulation.

In NSW’s dynamic construction landscape, the Building Commission is driving unprecedented changes. By 2028, their vision is to mandate latent defect warranty insurance from the get-go for all schemes, providing owners greater protection.

Setting an ambitious goal of 25,000 new apartment projects by 2025, the Commission maintains a three-year lead in regulations over other states. Expanding into Class 1 dwellings in 2024, their focus areas include early intervention to reduce disputes, better oversight before occupation certificates, and streamlined communication channels.

The OBC noted some of the key areas they should work on. One of these is developer and builder responsiveness since there appear to be significant discrepancies in how they respond to serious defects. There should be increased accountability before occupation certificates are issued. Using lawyers to retain statutory warranties should remain a default and maintaining good communication is a must.

The SCA NSW 2023 undoubtedly gave immeasurable insights and knowledge to strata professionals. Every detail from the industry experts will help them open doors to innovation, staying true to the essence of this event. With high hopes, we’re expecting the NSW strata community and industry will reach greater heights.

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