The Week that was in Property

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released housing finance data for March 2015 earlier this week.

Over the month there was $31.6 billion worth of housing finance commitments.

This figure was comprised of $18.7 billion worth of lending to owner occupiers and $12.9 billion to investors.

Investor lending is rising

Over the month, the value of lending rose 3.5% with a 1.6% rise in owner occupier lending and a 6.4% rise in investment lending.

Year-on-year, lending has risen by 15.4% with a 11.9% rise in owner occupier lending and a 20.9% rise in investment lending.apartment house keys city

The data clearly shows that lending for mortgages was surging in March and with the recent cut to interest rates we may see a further ramp-up in mortgage lending over the coming months.

The ABS also released their wage price index for the March 2015 quarter earlier this week.

Over the quarter, the wage price index increased by 0.5% with private sector wages up 0.5% and public sector wages rising 0.6%.

Over the history of the series there has only been one quarter where wage increases have been lower.

Over the year, the wage price index has increased by 2.3% with private sector wages up 2.3% and public sector wages rising 2.5%.

The 2.3% annual increase in wages is the lowest over the period of the data series.

Wage growth is now sitting in line with the rate of underlying inflation but slightly higher than headline inflation.


The ABS also released overseas arrivals and departures data for November 2014 earlier this week.

There have been problems with the collection of this data and the release has been severely delayed.

Over the 12 months to November 2014 there were 710,240 permanent arrivals which was the lowest since the 12 months to September 2011.

Meanwhile, annual long-term and permanent departures were recorded at 383,900.

Overall there were net permanent arrivals of 326,340 over the year, the lowest since September 2011.

The data indicates that we can expect quarterly net overseas migration data to continue to trend lower over the December 2014 quarter when it becomes available.

capital city auction

Clearance Rates

CoreLogic RP Data tracked 2,426 auctions over the past week, which was slightly lower than the 2,540 auctions the previous week.

auction gavel saleThe weighted average clearance rate across the capital cities was 78.2%; the ninth consecutive week where the combined capitals clearance rate has been above 75%.

The largest auction market, Melbourne, saw 1,072 auctions held last week with a clearance rate of 79.0%, down from 81.7% across 1,139 auctions over the previous week.

In Sydney there were 955 auctions with a clearance rate of 87.6%.

Sydney’s auction clearance rate was slightly higher than the previous week (87.3%) while volumes were also slightly higher (914).

Sydney auction clearance rates have now been above 80% since the Reserve Bank cut official interest rates by 25 basis points at the start of February 2014.

homes for sale

The total number of homes being advertised for sale has fallen slightly over the past week.

Total listings nationally are -0.8% lower than the number from a year ago while capital city listings are -0.6% lower.

Over the past four weeks there have been 42,769 newly advertised properties added to the market which is -5.2% fewer than at the same time one year ago.

A similar trend can be seen across the capital cities where 26,790 new listings hit the market over the past four weeks which is -1.3% lower than at the same time last year.

The number of new listings is lower currently compared to the same time in 2014 in Sydney.

Perth, Hobart and Canberra but higher elsewhere.

Meanwhile, although capital city stock is lower than a year ago, it is being fuelled by a significant decline in listings compared to a year ago in Sydney (-14.4%) along with more moderate decreases in Melbourne (-5.5%), Adelaide (-0.3%) and Hobart (-5.3%).

All other capital cities have a greater number of total listings compared to this time in 2014.

Note that the total number of properties listed for sale in Sydney (18,138) remains lower than each of: Melbourne (29,838), Brisbane (19,113) and Perth (20,581).

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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