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The Urban Developer Summit Recap

Written by Killian Jeffrey

Hello to all the regular readers of our Hudson reports, I thought I would hop on here and introduce myself as well as take this opportunity to fill you all in on my recent venture down to Sydney for The Urban Developer summit.

What I do?

As a property analyst at Hudson Financial Planning, my primary role is to meticulously evaluate properties, suburbs, and development groups with a goal of identifying growth opportunities to assist in educating our clients. This is done through utilising comprehensive market research and the analysis of relevant trends/data.

At Hudson Financial Planning, our commitment to delivering exceptional service and tailored investment solutions drives me to continuously refine my analytical skills and stay ahead of industry trends. By diligently researching and analysing the property market, I strive to present our clients with well-informed insights and opportunities that can enhance their financial portfolios and ultimately contribute to their long-term wealth creation goals.

What is The Urban Developer?

The Urban Developer is internationally recognised as Australia’s largest, most engaged, and fastest-growing community of property developers and urban development professionals. Their vision encompasses the development of an integrated platform which combines media, events, education, and products to connect, inform, and inspire individuals and organisations involved in shaping cities worldwide.

With a mission to drive positive change, The Urban Developer seeks to influence the creation of sustainable, intelligent, and equitable communities globally, aiming to enhance the quality of life for urban dwellers.

As a prominent figure in the property blogging world, they leverage their influence to foster meaningful discussions, provide valuable insights, and promote innovative solutions, all in pursuit of a brighter future for cities and their inhabitants.

What happened at the summit?

The summit encompassed a number of industry leading speakers providing insight into the situation we are facing in the current real estate/ development market. With many highlighting their future forecasts for where they see the trends heading and showcasing the ever-growing world of tech being incorporated in the property industry.

Core Logic – Current Market Analysis

The day started off with a talk by Eliza Owen – head of residential research at Core Logic. Eliza highlighted the current market trends of Sydney and highlighted that we’re moving through another interesting phase at the moment. She said that via the research at Core Logic, they have found some of their more expensive dwelling markets across Sydney to have had about 5% capital growth in the past quarter. Now mind you, these are coming off relatively strong declines because expensive markets also see some steep downswings. But suggested this is another sign that we’re moving into the next phase of the cycle.

At the moment there is an undeniable mismatch between supply and demand, resulting from high levels of migration and a kind of constrained construction pipeline; coupling this with higher unemployment also being a risk this year (that will affect mortgage serviceability) it would suggest there will be more for sales and additional supply coming to market which would put downward pressure on prices. Eliza also hinted at rents being a fairly safe bet as in recent times we’ve seen an immense surge in demand for rental properties, with constraints in pipelines for construction, the reopening of international borders, and welcoming back migration, only adding to the upwards pressure seen in the market.

To finalise Eliza’s talks on the Sydney rental market, Core Logic have found Sydney rent values to be up 13% against the previous year. Tying within this, we’ve to seen virtually a freefall in the rental vacancy rate – currently sitting at 1.2% compared to the 4.5% seen at the onset of the pandemic.

Max Cap Group – Non-bank Commercial Lender

Next up we had a discussion by David Oudshoorn the NSW Director at Max Cap Group – Australia’s leading non-bank commercial real estate lender. David provided an in-depth analysis on the funding options available in current day to property developers, highlighting potential positives associated, along with their potential deterrents. Max Cap’s history lies in being industry leaders with extensive experience within real estate, investment management, consumer credit, private equity, and investment banking.

This conversation was primarily focused on alternative funding options for developers in Sydney’s residential real estate market, offering an alternative to traditional big banks. The presentation aimed to provide insights into the growing trend of seeking non-traditional sources of financing and the advantages these can offer to developers. With the objective being to empower and equip developers with knowledge to assist them to make informed decisions on funding for their emerging projects, whilst emphasising the benefits and feasibility of diversifying financing approaches.

Overall, I believe the talk was aimed to expand developers’ perspectives and encourage the consideration of alternative funding options for emerging projects.

Mitchell Brandtman – Construction Cost Forecast; Implications For Property Developers.

Following on after David, Tass Assarapin, a partner at Mitchell Brandtman, took the stage to share valuable insights into the crucial role of quantity surveying in assessing project feasibility. Tass was able to shed light on the challenges posed for developers due to the dynamic economic environment we are seeing at the moment, particularly in terms of fluctuating material availability and prices. He highlighted the fundamental importance of accurately evaluating project costs amid such uncertain times. Tass’s presentation highlighted the significance of staying updated on market trends and leveraging professional insights to mitigate risks and optimise project outcomes.

Willow Tree Planning – Present and Future Prospects of Town Planning

Andrew, the director of Willow Tree Planning, conducted a presentation that delve into the present and future prospects for town planning of residential development in Sydney as well as greater New South Wales (NSW). Throughout he provided a comprehensive analysis of market conditions, examining factors such as demand, supply, and pricing trends. Andrew also discussed the evolving landscape of planning regulations and their impact on residential development projects. Furthermore, he highlighted emerging trends in the industry that are shaping the future of town planning. Andrew’s expertise and exploration of these key aspects provided valuable insights for attendees, enabling them to navigate the complexities of residential development and make informed decisions for their projects.

Archistar – Artificial Intelligence in the Property Space

During her summit speech, Anycie Barakat, the head of generative design at Archistar, highlighted the company’s mission to empower professionals in the built environment with advanced technology and data-driven insights. Archistar’s software offers features such as the Snaploader for efficient property analysis through image uploads, AI virtual tours for immersive design exploration, and virtual design capabilities for optimising and visualising building designs.

Anycie emphasised the significance of Archistar’s software in the current landscape, as it streamlines workflows, improves design efficiency, and helps mitigate risks. The software’s unique tools and algorithms enable professionals to identify nearby precedents and properties with high development potential, providing valuable insights for informed investment decisions. Archistar’s mission aligns with the evolving needs of the industry, equipping professionals with the necessary tools and insights to thrive in a competitive market.

With Archistar’s software, professionals can make more informed investment decisions, visualise design concepts effectively, and streamline their workflows, ultimately driving greater efficiency and success in the built environment. Anycie’s speech underscored the pivotal role of Archistar in revolutionising the industry by harnessing advanced technology and data-driven approaches to support professionals in their endeavors.

Pro Core – Construction Management Software

During the Presentation from Pro Core, Antony Nash, a Solutions Engineer at Procore Technologies, shared valuable strategies aimed towards safeguarding against unexpected expenses, timeline setbacks, and frequent disputes arising in construction projects. He discussed proactive measures that can be taken to mitigate risks and ensure smoother project execution. Antony emphasised the importance of effective cost management, diligent project planning, and clear communication among project stakeholders. He also highlighted the role of technology in streamlining processes, facilitating real-time collaboration, and enhancing project visibility. By implementing these strategies, construction professionals can proactively address potential challenges, minimise disruptions, and enhance overall project success.


The Urban Developer Summit was a highly informative conference, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated. It was a valuable experience to be among industry leaders and gain insights into the latest trends and developments. I look forward to sharing more updates and insights with you after future conferences. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of such a rewarding event.


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