The Reserve Bank (RBA) board held their monthly meeting for October earlier this week, at their meeting they decided to keep official interest rates on hold at 2.0% for the fifth consecutive month.
The Statement which accompanied the announcement noted that ‘Further information on economic and financial conditions to be received over the period ahead will inform the Board’s ongoing assessment of the outlook and hence whether the current stance of policy will most effectively foster sustainable growth and inflation consistent with the target.’
This seems to indicate that interest rates are likely to remain on hold for the short-term.
The cash rate futures market is showing a 25 basis point cut to interest rates priced in for March next year.
Relating to the housing market the Statement noted:
‘Credit is recording moderate growth overall, with growth in lending to the housing market broadly steady over recent months.
Dwelling prices continue to rise strongly in Sydney and Melbourne, though trends have been more varied in a number of other cities.
Regulatory measures are helping to contain risks that may arise from the housing market.’
It’s interesting to note that after having been removed over recent months, ‘Melbourne’ has been reinserted into the statement as having seen dwelling prices rise strongly.
CoreLogic figures show Melbourne as outperforming the Sydney housing market over the September quarter, with dwelling values rising 7.4% compared with Sydney’s rate of growth at 4.6% over the quarter.
The Statement also seems to indicate that at this stage the RBA is satisfied with the regulatory changes that have been made and their impact on housing credit growth however, it is still early days.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released overseas arrivals and departures data for August 2015 earlier this week
The data showed that over the 12 months to August 2015 there were 679,990 permanent settler arrivals to Australia, down -6.5% over the year and at its lowest level since March 2011.
While arrivals are lower over the year, permanent and long-term departures were up 2.8% over the year to 394,000 which is a record high level of departures.
As a result, net permanent settler arrivals over the past year were recorded at 285,990 persons, down -16.9% over the year and at their lowest level since January 2011.
Despite the slowdown in permanent overseas arrivals, it is interesting to note that August was a record month for arrivals from China with 2,010 permanent settler arrivals during the month.
Over the week ending October 4, CoreLogic RP Data captured 752 auction results, accounting for more than 86% of all auctions held across the capital cities.
The final auction clearance rate over the past week was recorded at 68.2%, down from 69.7% over the preceding week and higher than the 66.9% clearance rate a year ago.
It is important to note it was a long weekend and both the NRL and AFL Grand Finals were held over the weekend resulting in fewer auctions.
Melbourne’s clearance rate was 73.1% across 78 results, up from 72.7% across 1,121 results the previous week.
Sydney’s clearance rate was down from 71.7% the previous week to 69.9% last week.
There were 583 auctions held across Sydney last week, with 518 results captured.
Melbourne has now had a higher rate of auction clearance than Sydney for four consecutive weeks.
The national number of newly advertised properties is -1.4% lower relative to the same period one year ago with 45,425 properties added to the listings pool over the past twenty eight days.
Across the combined capital cities new listings are -1.5% lower than they were at the same time last year.
While new listings are lower than a year ago, Sydney in particular has seen a large increase in new listings relative to a year ago, up 11.9% while Canberra is the only other city to have recorded an increase, up 3.7%.
The weaker housing markets of Perth (-16.3%), Hobart (-16.0%) and Darwin (-26.9%) have seen a sharp decline in new listings.
Total stock levels are now roughly similar to levels a year ago, -0.7% lower nationally and marginally higher (+0.9%) across the combined capital cities.
Total stock levels in Sydney, Perth and Darwin are now higher than they were a year ago with total listings in Sydney at their highest level since late last year.