Westpac and the Melbourne Institute released their monthly measure of consumer sentiment for July 2014 earlier this week.
The Consumer Sentiment Index was recorded at 94.9 points in July which was 1.9% higher over the month but -7.1% lower year-on-year.
Following the Federal Budget the Index fell to 92.9 points and since that time it has failed to significantly rebound, rising by just 2.1% to its current level. A reading of 94.9 points indicates that consumers are more pessimistic than optimistic.
Each component of the Consumer Sentiment Index except for time to buy a major household item (125.8 points) is showing higher levels of pessimism than optimism. Consumer sentiment usually falls in May due to the Federal Budget but is quick to rebound, the index remains well below the 99.7 points reading from April.
Overseas arrivals and departures data for May 2014 was released earlier this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Year-on-year, short-term arrivals to Australia were 13.7% higher with 583,600 short-term arrivals.
The 13.7% year-on-year increase is the largest since they were 19.2% higher in June 2004. Over the month there were 754,600 short-term departures which was 3.1% higher year-on-year.
The overseas arrivals and departures data also provides insight into overseas migration trends. By pairing the number of permanent and long term settler arrivals data with the number of permanent and long term departures data we get a proxy for net overseas migration, the latest of which is reported up to December 2013.
Over the 12 months to May 2014 there were 759,600 permanent and long term settler arrivals and 383,320 permanent and long term departures resulting in a net annual long term and permanent arrivals figure of 376,280.
Although this is still very high on an historic basis, the figure is now trending lower, down from its recent peak of 411,160 persons over the year to January 2013. This would seem to indicate that net overseas migration will trend lower over the coming quarters.
Weekly Clearance Rates
[sam id=37 codes=’true’]Auction clearance rates increased over the week with the capital city weighted average clearance rate recorded at 68.9%, rising from 66.6% over the previous week.
There were 1,442 auctions held over the week compared with 1,029 over the same week a year prior however, auction numbers were lower than the 1,991 the previous week. RP Data collected 86% of all auction records.
The major auction markets of Sydney and Melbourne continued to record healthy auction results which were higher than the previous week. Sydney’s clearance rate was 72.4% across 597 reported auctions, the city’s highest auction clearance rate in five weeks.
Melbourne’s auction market recorded a clearance rate of 71.4% across 549 collected auction results. The clearance rate in Melbourne last week was the highest in 18 weeks however, the number of auctions was almost significantly lower than volumes through most of 2014.
Weekly Advertised Listings
Over the four weeks to 6 July, there were 35,925 newly advertised properties listed for sale nationally. New listing numbers have continued to trend lower, which likely to be mostly a seasonal phenomenon.
Nationally, new listings have moved to be -10.2% lower than a year ago, while across the combined capital cities new stock being added to the market is -6.2% lower than at the same time last year.
There are currently 239,430 properties listed for sale across the country. Total listings at a national level were -4.0% lower compared with the same time last year. Across the combined capital cities, total listings remain -8.4% lower than a year ago, highlighting that total stock levels have reduced.