Development applications to City of Sydney will need to include energy efficiency and renewable energy targets, in an Australian city first.
The move to require new office buildings, hotels and shopping centres to transition to net-zero emissions was endorsed by council last night and is expected to save investors, businesses and occupants $1.3 billion in energy bills.
“Commercial office space, hotels and apartment buildings contribute 68 percent of total emissions in the city,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said. “If we’re to meet our target of net-zero emissions by 2035, we need the building sector to play its part.
“These new controls, four years in the making, require developers to reduce emissions through increased energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy production and offsite renewable energy procurement.
“They are ambitious but achievable and provide a clear pathway for developers to improve energy performance and transition to net zero buildings.”
Ms Moore said the amendments were designed to provide developers with clarity in the structure and operation of the controls, especially in regards to the refurbishment of existing buildings. Council said they have been created with the support of developers, industry bodies and government agencies. Six developers, including Stockland, Frasers, Lendlease, Mirvac, Dexus and Crown Group wrote to City of Sydney in support of the proposed development standards, council said.
“Working with our major developers and building owners to address the climate crisis could not be more important,” Ms Moore said. “Not only will this program help us reach our target of net-zero emissions by 2035, it will provide energy savings of more than $1.3 billion for investors, businesses and occupants across Greater Sydney.”
Following the devastation of recent flooding, experts are urging government intervention to drive the cessation of building in areas at risk.
RMIT expert says a conflation of factors is making the property market hard than ever to predict
A leading property academic has described navigating the current Australian housing market ‘like steering a ship through a thick fog while trying to avoid obstacles’.
Lecturer in RMIT’s School of Property Construction and Project Management Dr Woon-Weng Wong said the combination of consecutive interest rate rises aimed at combating high inflation, higher property prices during the pandemic and cost of living pressures such as the end of the fuel excise that occurred this week made it increasingly difficult for those looking to enter or upgrade to find the right path.
“Property prices grew by approximately 25 percent over the pandemic so it’s unsurprising that much of that growth ultimately proved unsustainable and the market is now correcting itself,” Dr Wong says. “Despite the recent softening, the market is still significantly above its long-term trend and there are substantial headwinds in the coming months. Headline inflation is still red hot, and the central bank won’t back down until it reins in these spiralling prices.”
This should be enough to give anyone considering entering the market pause, he says.
“While falling house prices may seem like an ideal situation for those looking to buy, once the high interest rates, taxes and other expenses are considered, the true costs of owning the property are much higher,” Dr Wong says.
“People also must consider time lags in the rate hikes, which many are yet to feel to brunt of. It can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months before an initial change in interest rates eventually flows on to the rest of the economy, so current mortgage holders and prospective home buyers need to take this into account.”