Earlier this week the Reserve Bank released the minutes of their March board meeting.
At the meeting they decided to keep official interest rates on hold at 2.0%.
Official interest rates shifted from 2.25% to 2% in May of last year and have been on hold ever since.
The key takeout’s from the minutes were:
- There had been ongoing indications of a rebalancing of activity towards the non-mining sectors of the economy.
- Mining investment had fallen further in the December quarter as more large projects reached completion.
- Household demand had continued to be supported by low interest rates and above-average employment growth. Consumption
growth was expected to have been close to its average over 2015 and in early 2016.
- While growth in dwelling investment had been strong over 2015, there were indications that it would gradually moderate over the
course of this year. The level of building approvals had declined over 2015, but remained high. Conditions in the established housing
market had eased since late 2015. Housing price growth in Sydney and Melbourne was lower than in September last year.
Meanwhile, housing credit growth overall had remained around 7½ per cent, after having risen through to the middle of 2015.
- The unemployment rate rose to 6 per cent in January, from around 5¾ per cent in November and December, and employment had
declined slightly. Nevertheless, conditions in the labour market had clearly improved since early 2015. Employment growth had been
above average, the unemployment rate had declined by a little more than ¼ percentage point and the participation rate had been on
an upward trend.
Overall, the minutes suggest that interest rates are comfortably on hold.
The stronger than expected GDP reading last week which showed the Australian economy grew by 3.0% over the 2015 calendar year supports a steady interest rate setting as well.
Over the week ending March 13, 2016 there were 1,488 auctions held across the capital cities with CoreLogic collecting 1,328 results, accounting for more than 89% of all auctions held.
The final auction clearance rate for the week fell from 68.6% the previous week to 64.9% with the number of auctions last week lower than the 2,304 auctions the previous week due to long weekends in a number of states including Victoria.
Last week, across Melbourne, the largest capital city auction market, 420 auctions were held with a clearance rate of 68.6%, which was down from a 68.6% clearance rate across 1,236 auctions the previous week.
Sydney’s clearance rate increased over the week to 71.2% from 68.7% over the previous week.
It will be interesting to see what if any rebound there is for clearance rates in Melbourne this week.
Sydney, Perth and Canberra were the only capital cities in which auction clearance rates increased over the week
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 18.7% higher on a national basis and the total volume of stock on the market is 8.0% higher than a year ago.
In fact, new listings are at their highest level since April 2011 and total property listings are now at their highest level since December 2012.
Across the combined capital cities, new listings are 12.0% higher relative to last year, while total listings are 12.7% higher.
Capital city new listings are at their highest level since November 2014 and total capital city listings are at their highest level since December 2012. On a city by city basis, Sydney (-5.6%),
Hobart (-7.5%) and Canberra (-5.6%) are the only capital cities where new listings are lower than a year ago.
In terms of the total stock available for sale, only Hobart (-16.6%) and Canberra (-4.6%) have fewer total properties for sale than a year ago.