Iwan Sunito 113
Iwan Sunito 113

Crown Group’s Iwan Sunito talks sustainability, Build to Rent and migration increases at today’s UDIA National Congress

Sydney has much to do to catch up on high-density sustainable apartment development in relation to our Global City peers when it comes to apartment design and precinct placemaking developer Crown Group Chairman and CEO Iwan Sunito told the UDIA National Congress today.

“The outcome from last Saturday’s Federal Election sent a clear and resounding message from voters that there needs to be a far greater focus on positive green, sustainable outcomes for the environment across all areas of government and business including property development,” Mr Sunito said.

“Australia’s housing accommodation needs are changing. There is a growing need for Build to Rent but not as we know it. There is a need for multi-family, multi-generational accommodation. There’s a demand for more and varied services like activities to bring the community within the building together and concierge services,” he said.

Labour costs represent 36 per cent of running costs of Build to Rent in the US while in Australia this cost is estimated at 45 per cent.

Mr Sunito suggested by sharing services with an associated hotel, costs are better managed down in tandem with retail and other facilities.

A push to cut tax by industry/ Is there a better way?

Talking about recent attempts by the property industry to reduce land taxes has been difficult for government at the state level to accommodate.

However, Mr Sunito suggests this is a potential solution whereby GST, which is charged on inputs into the building and construction process, could be deferred until the Build to Rent building is finally sold and deferred GST is charged at the point of sale.

Thereby, this model allows government, albeit over time, to collect the GST tax for distribution to the states.

“Currently, GST remains a major impediment to the Build to Rent business model,” he said.

“Build to Rent should be regarded as ‘Build-To-Sell’ with GST initially deferred,” he said.

Business Council of Australia (BCA) calls for sharp increase in the migration intake over the next two years

Addressing migration, Mr Sunito concurred with the Business Council of Australia’s stance, calling on the Albanese Government to increase the cap of migrants to the country to help in Australia’s economic recovery.

“Migration fell during the pandemic and is currently capped at 160,000. The BCA wants to increase the cap to 220,000 places in 2022-23 and 2024, and then revert to 190,000. I would urge our new Federal Government to meet with business and unions to agree on quotas.”