The week that was in property

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

According to the data there were $32.3 billion worth of housing finance commitments over the month of May which was 1.0% higher over the month but now -4.6% lower than its $33.8 billion peak in August 2015.   6359744_l

There were $20.5 billion worth of housing finance commitments to owner occupiers and $11.7 billion in commitments to investors over the month.

The value of owner occupier housing finance commitments fell by -0.6% over the month and is now 4.9% lower than its December 2015 peak of $21.6 billion.

Investor housing finance commitments were 3.9% higher over the month but are -18.2% lower than their peak of $14.4 billion in April 2015.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index for July 2016 was released earlier this week.

The Index was recorded at 99.1 points, indicating that sentiment fell by -3.0% over the month.  

It also indicates that consumer sentiment is currently slightly more pessimistic than optimistic for the first time in three months.

The only two sub-categories of the Index which were more optimistic than pessimistic were family finances over the next year and time to buy a major household item. 

The ABS released building activity data for the March 2016 quarter earlier this week.  

Dwelling commencement data shows that over the quarter there were 59,684 commencements which was a record high over a quarter.

Meanwhile, dwelling completions data showed that there were 45,619 dwellings completed over the March 2016 quarter.

While this was slightly lower than over the previous quarter, there have been 192,010 completions over the 12 months to March 2016.

The completions data shows that there is a substantial pipeline of housing stock currently under construction which will come to completion over the coming years.

Meanwhile, completions have eased a little from their peak in June 2015 however, they remain at historically high levels.



Over the week ending July 10 there were 1,399 capital city auctions with CoreLogic collecting results for 1,262 auctions, accounting for just over 90% of all auctions held.

The final clearance rate was recorded at 70.6% up from 67.0% over the previous week and the highest clearance rate in 15 weeks.

Last week, across Melbourne, 619 auctions were held with a clearance rate of 71.8%.

Melbourne auction volumes increased from 270 the previous week while the previous week’s clearance rate was lower at 66.7%.

Sydney’s auction clearance rate was recorded at 76.5% across 512 auctions with the clearance rate down from 78.4% across 365 auctions over the previous week.

Sydney’s auction clearance rate has been above 70% for 12 consecutive weeks while last week was the first time Melbourne’s clearance rate was above 70% for five weeks.


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 -16.0% lower on a national basis and the total volume of stock on the market is -1.2% lower.

Across the combined capital cities, new listings are -16.9% lower relative to last year, while total listings are 4.7% higher.  58327095_l

On a city-by-city basis, Canberra (+4.1%) is the only capital city where new listings are now higher than they were a year ago.

In terms of the total stock available for sale, Hobart (-34.6%) and Canberra (-13.2%) are the only capital cities to have fewer total properties for sale than a year ago.

New listings are at their lowest level in 25 weeks nationally and have increased slightly over the week across the combined capital cities.

Total listings are at their lowest level in 25 weeks nationally and at their lowest level in 22 weeks across the combined capital cities.

Over the coming weeks we would expect fewer new listings as we head further into the seasonally quieter winter months.

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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