The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its selected living costs indexes for December 2013 earlier this week.
The data indicates that the cost of living for pensioner and beneficiary households has increased by 2.4% over the year compared to: employee households (1.3%), age pensioner households (2.5%), other government transfer recipient households (2.5%) and self-funded retiree households (2.6%).
Keep in mind that inflation over the year to December 2013 was recorded at 2.7% which indicates that the cost of living for all household types has increased at a rate lower than headline inflation.
National Australia Bank (NAB) released the results of their Monthly Business Survey for December 2013 earlier this week. The index of business conditions increased from a reading of -3 in November 2013 to +4 in December which was its highest reading in more than two and a half years.
Despite the increase in the index, it still indicates a marginally sub-trend level of business activity. The index of business confidence was unchanged over the month with a reading of +6 which is in-line with the long-run average. Business confidence is also now positive across all industries.[sam id=34 codes=’true’]
The RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index results for January 2013 will be released next week and based on the daily figures it looks as if the residential housing market will show further capital gains, however the preliminary results show some variance across the major capitals.
Across the five major capital cities, home values have increased by 1.2% over the first 29 days of the month with value growth recorded across each of the major capital cities except for Perth.
Weekly Advertised Listings
Over the four weeks to 26 January, there were 30,829 newly advertised properties listed for sale nationally. The number of newly advertised property listings increased by 31.6% over the week as market participants move out of the festive season slow down.
Despite the steep rise, new listings are currently -6.8% lower than at the same time last year. Across the combined capital cities, new listings were 42.2% higher over the week although they were -4.5% lower than they were a year ago.
There are currently 232,105 properties listed for sale across the country. Total listings at a national level were 3.5% higher over the week but -5.4% lower than they were at the same time last year.
Across the combined capital cities, total listings have increased by 5.4% over the week and they are -13.4% lower than they were at this time a year ago. Capital city listings account for just 39% of all listings nationally.