Westpac and the Melbourne Institute released the results of their consumer confidence surveys for July 2013 earlier this week.
Although the Consumer Sentiment Index tends to be quite volatile on a month-to-month basis, the index was virtually unchanged over the month, falling from 102.2 points in June to 102.1 points in July.
Over the past six months, the average read on consumer sentiment has been 104.3 points which is 7.6% higher than in July 2013.
Based on these six month average figures, all of the sub-sets of the index have shown an improvement over the year however, respondents remained more pessimistic than optimistic about their family finances over the past year and their expectations for economic conditions over the next five years.
Late last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released dwelling approvals data for May 2013. Over the month, dwelling approvals fell by -1.1% with private sector house approvals rising 2.5% and the volatile private sector unit approvals falling by -9.7%.
Year-on-year, total approvals are -3.2% lower with private sector house approvals up 11.7% which is offset by a -24.5% fall in unit approvals.
[sam id=31 codes=’true’] On an annual basis, there were 0.4% more house approvals over the 12 months to May 2013 than there were over the previous year and 18.1% more units approved.
Overseas arrivals and departures data for May 2013 was released earlier this week by the ABS. The data highlights that the population surge to Australia continues with 305,410 net long-term and permanent overseas arrivals over the past 12 months.
This rate of permanent and long-term arrivals is the highest since the 12 months to November 2009 (312,430). The latest national demographic statistics available are up to December 2012.
Based on the ongoing increases to net long-term and permanent arrivals, we would anticipate further increases to net overseas migration over the coming quarter which will in-turn likely result in an even faster rate of national population growth.
National Auction Clearance Rates
The weighted average auction clearance rate over the past week was recorded at 65.1%, down from 66.9% the previous week. The major auction markets of Melbourne and Sydney continued to record a strong rate of successful auctions.
Melbourne’s clearance rate over the week was 65.8% across 453 auctions, down from 71.1% over the previous week across 719 auctions. The auction clearance rate last week was the lowest since early April 2013.
In Sydney, auction clearance rates were recorded at 74.1% last week across 369 auctions compared to a 69.1% clearance rate across 594 auctions the previous week. RP Data is currently anticipating 904 capital city auctions over the current week.
Advertised Stock on the Market
The number of listings fell slightly last week across the Australian housing market. Nationally, total listings are -11.1% lower than at the same time last year with 243,925 properties currently advertised for sale.
Across the capital cities there are 114,697 properties listed for sale which is -10.4% lower than at the same time last year.
The number of newly advertised properties is quite low due to seasonal factors however, they are slightly higher than at the same time last year in the capital cities. Nationally there were -5.3% fewer new listings with a total of 36,449 listings.
Across the combined capital cities, listings were 1.3% higher than at the same time a year ago.