The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released Lending Finance data for August 2015 following the release of Housing Finance data late last week.
The Lending Finance data provides insight into investment mortgage lending at a state level which has shown a sharp slowdown since May of this year.
The slowdown post May has coincided with changes to lending policies from most major lenders specifically relating to investment mortgage lending.
In June and July many major lenders increased the interest rate on investor mortgages in a concerted effort to slow the strong rate of growth in investor mortgage demand and remain within APRA guidelines of less than 10% growth in their investment lending.
It’s still early but the changes seem to be cooling demand from this segment of the market
The proportion of new lending to investors has dropped across all states, for example in NSW it accounted for 62.5% of all lending in May which has fallen to 54.9%.
At the same time, owner occupier demand has ticked up, so it appears banks are looking to grow this segment of lending as they pull-back in the investment space.
Westpac and the Melbourne Institute released the October 2015 results of their monthly consumer sentiment survey earlier this week.
The Consumer Sentiment Index was recorded at 97.8 points over the month which represented a 4.2% increase over the month.
Of course, since the last results the Prime Minister has changed and it seems that this has helped improve sentiment.
The release by Westpac noted that they would have expected a stronger bounce from the leadership change and the Index has remained more pessimistic than optimistic over 18 of the past 20 months.
The ABS also released June quarter data on Building Activity earlier this week
Data on the number of dwelling commencements shows that there were 28,046 houses and 24,482 unit dwellings which started construction over the June quarter.
Both house and unit commencements were down over the quarter falling by -2.9% and -4.9% respectively.
Year-on-year commencements have increased by 0.1% for houses and by 33.7% for units.
Looking at completions, there were 29,147 houses and 19,370 units completed over the quarter.
House completions rose by 4.3% over the quarter and by 17.4% year-on-year.
Unit completions fell -3.1% over the quarter however, they are 16.5% higher over the year.
Both commencements and completions remain at near record high levels and with a higher proportion of units being built, the heightened level of construction activity will continue to provide economic stimulus over the coming years.
Over the week ending October 4, CoreLogic RP Data captured 2,713 auction results, accounting for 90% of all auctions held across the capital cities.
The final auction clearance rate over the past week was recorded at 69.5%, up from 68.2% over the preceding week and higher than the 67.8% clearance rate a year ago.
Melbourne’s clearance rate was 73.4% across 1,300 results, up from 73.1% across 78 results the previous week.
Sydney’s clearance rate was down for the second consecutive week, from 69.9% the previous week to 69.6% last week, the lowest figure since the middle of December last year.
There were 1,197 auctions held across Sydney last week, with 1,053 results captured.
Melbourne has now had a higher rate of auction clearance than Sydney for five consecutive weeks.
The national number of newly advertised properties is -0.5% lower relative to the same period one year ago with 46,658 properties added to the listings pool over the past twenty eight days.
Across the combined capital cities new listings are -0.6% lower than they were at the same time last year.
While new listings are lower than a year ago, Sydney in particular continues to see a large increase in new listings relative to a year ago, up 8.8% while Melbourne is the only other city to have recorded an increase, up 1.3%.
The weaker housing markets of Perth (-18.8%), and Darwin (-16.3%) have seen a sharp decline in new listings.
Total stock levels are now roughly similar to levels a year ago, -0.9% lower nationally and marginally higher (+0.5%) 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 and rising.