The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the June 2016 quarter National Accounts earlier this week.
The data showed that over the quarter, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% to take it 3.3% higher over the year.
The 3.3% annual change in GDP is the fastest rate of growth since June 2012.
While GDP rose by 0.5% over the quarter, GDP per capita increased by 0.2% to be 2.0% higher over the year and nominal GDP increased by 1.3% over the quarter to be 3.4% higher over the past year.
The national accounts also showed that the terms of trade rose for the first time in 10 quarters, increasing by 2.4% over the quarter.
Household disposable incomes increased by 0.6% over the quarter to be 2.3% higher over the year which was the fastest rate of growth since June 2012.
Finally, the household savings ratio was recorded at 8.0% in June and was unchanged over the quarter.
The Reserve Bank (RBA) held their September board meeting earlier this week which was the last with Governor Glenn Stevens at the helm.
At the meeting the (RBA) board decided to keep official interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5%.
In relation to the housing market the statement noted that ‘Supervisory measures have strengthened lending standards in the housing market.
Separately, a number of lenders are also taking a more cautious attitude to lending in certain segments.
The best available information suggests that dwelling prices overall have risen moderately over the past year and growth in lending for housing purposes has slowed.
Considerable supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years, particularly in the eastern capital cities.’
Other key takeaways from their statement were:
• Several advanced economies have recorded improved conditions over the past year, but conditions have become more difficult for a number of emerging market economies.
• Commodity prices are above recent lows, but this follows very substantial declines over the past couple of years. Australia’s terms of trade remain much lower than they had been in recent years.
• Inflation remains quite low. Given very subdued growth in labour costs and very low cost pressures elsewhere in the world, this is expected to remain the case for some time.
Over the week ending September 4, there were 1,899 capital city auctions with CoreLogic collecting results for 1,723 auctions, accounting for almost 91% of all auctions held.
The final clearance rate was recorded at 77.1%, which was the highest national clearance rate since June 2015.
While clearance rates were higher, auction volumes were lower than the 2,153 over the previous week.
Last week, across Melbourne, 830 auctions were held with a clearance rate of 79.3%.
Melbourne’s clearance rate was the highest since late June 2015 while volumes were well down from 1,060 the previous week.
Sydney’s auction clearance rate was recorded at 80.7% across 747 auctions compared to a clearance rate of 78.5% across 788 auctions the previous week.
Melbourne has now recorded 9 successive weeks of clearance rates above 70% while Sydney clearance rates have been above 75% for 6 consecutive 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 were -3.1% lower on a national basis and the total volume of stock on the market was -0.5% lower.
Across the combined capital cities, trends are slightly different with new listings -5.8% lower relative to last year, while total listings are 5.4% higher.
On a city-by-city basis, Brisbane (+6.2%), Perth (+11.1%) and Canberra (+12.2%) are the only capital cities with a higher number of new listings relative to last year.
In terms of the total stock available for sale, Melbourne (-0.1%), Hobart (-27.1%) and Canberra (-8.2%) are the only capital cities to have fewer total properties for sale than a year ago.
The number of new and total properties listed for sale has continued to trend higher over recent weeks as listings ramp-up as we head into Spring.
Despite the recent lift in new listings, they remain well below levels from a year ago in Sydney and Melbourne.
Low supply of stock for sale in Sydney and Melbourne continues to be a key driver of the persistent value growth and it will be interesting to see as stock increases whether the current strength is able to be maintained.