The week that was in Property

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released housing finance data for February 2016 earlier this week.

The data showed that over the month there was $32.8 billion in housing finance commitments which was an increase of 2.6%.  43054682_l

Although the value of housing finance commitments increased over the month, they were -2.7% lower than the record high of $33.7 billion in August 2015.

The $32.8 billion worth of commitments in February 2016 was comprised of $20.9 billion worth of commitments to owner occupiers and $11.9 billion to investors.

Owner occupier commitments rose by 1.7% over the month while investor commitments increased 4.1%.

Although both sectors of lending were higher over the month, owner occupier housing finance commitments are -3.1% below their December 2015 peak of $21.6 billion and investment commitments are -16.2% lower than their $14.2 billion peak in April 2015.

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) released their Annual Report for 2014-15 late last week.

The Report showed that over the year there were 36,841 approvals for residential investment with a total value of $60.75 billion.

The number of approvals increased by 59.8% over the past year and is up 277.2% over the past three years.

In dollar terms, the overall value of overseas investment increased by 75.0% over the past year and is 208.4% higher over the past three years.

The data also shows that China, the United States of America, Singapore, Japan and Canada are the top 5 sources of foreign investment in Australia.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) released its monthly Business Survey results for March 2016 earlier this week.

The index of business conditions was recorded at 12 points, its highest reading since October 2013.

Meanwhile, the index of business confidence was recorded at 6 points which was its highest reading since September 2015.

The NAB reported that the results suggest that there are signs the non-mining recovery is becoming more broad-based.

Westpac and the Melbourne Institute released their monthly Consumer Sentiment Index for April 2016 earlier this week.

The Index was recorded at 95.1 points, down from 99.1 points in March 2016.

In fact, the latest reading is the lowest since September 2015 and the first time since October 2015 that the Index has been below 100 points for consecutive months.

The sub-index of time to buy a major household item was the only sub-index to rise over the month.


Over the week ending April 10 there were 1,831 capital city auctions with CoreLogic collecting results for 1,666 auctions, accounting for 91% of all auctions.

The final clearance rate was recorded at 67.1% which is up from the previous week when it was recorded at 66.1%.

The number of auctions increased from 1,582 over the previous week.

Last week, across Melbourne, typically the largest capital city auction market, 803 auctions were held with a clearance rate of 73.2%.

Melbourne’s clearance rate had increased from 69.2% over the previous week and was at its highest level in 6 weeks.

Sydney’s auction clearance rate was recorded at 67.1% across 678 auctions compared to a clearance rate of 69.8% across 664 auctions the previous week.

Last week’s auction clearance rate in Sydney was the cities lowest clearance rate so far this year.

Across the remaining regions, clearance rates rose in Tasmania and Canberra but fell elsewhere.

Note that sales listings are based on a rolling 28 day count of unique properties that have been advertised for sale.

Relative to the same period last year, the number of new listings over the past twenty eight days is -1.4% lower on a national basis and the total volume of stock on t47513500_lhe market is -2.0% lower.

Across the combined capital cities, new listings are -0.2% lower relative to last year, while total listings are 4.6% higher. 

On a city by city basis, only Melbourne (+2.9%), Brisbane (+8.0%) and Canberra (+12.8%) are seeing a higher number of new listings than a year ago suggesting vendors remain more confident in these markets.

In terms of the total stock available for sale, only Melbourne (-6.2%) and Hobart (-24.8%) have fewer total properties for sale than a year ago.

Nationally, new listings are at their lowest level in 11 weeks while total listings have increased over the week.

Across the capital cities, new listings are at their highest level in three weeks while total listings have increased over the week.

Want more of this type of information?

Tim Lawless


Tim heads up the Core Logic RP Data research and analytics team, analysing real estate markets, demographics and economic trends across Australia. Visit

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