The week that was in property

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released housing finance data for February 2017 earlier this week. 

The data preceded the recent letter from APRA to mortgage lenders however it showed a substantial monthly fall in the value of lending to investors. property market

Over the month there were $32.9 billion in commitments which was -2.7% lower than in January with $20.0 billion to owner occupiers and $12.9 billion to investors.

The value of lending to owner occupiers was -0.5% lower over the month while investor lending fell by -5.9% which was its largest monthly fall since September 2015.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) published its monthly business survey results for March 2017 earlier this week.

The data reported that the Index of business conditions was recorded at 14 points, up from 9 points in February.

The Index of business confidence was recorded at 6 points which was down slightly from 7 points in February 2017.

Business conditions are trending well above long-term average levels while business sentiment has detached from business conditions recently which NAB describes as perplexing. 


Westpac and the Melbourne Institute released the April 2016 consumer sentiment survey index results earlier this week.

According to the data, consumer sentiment was recorded at 99.0 points which was 0.7% lower over the month and the lowest reading for the Index in three months.

The result indicates that consumer pessimism slightly outweighs optimism however, the reading remains at a fairly neutral setting.

In terms of the components of the Index, sentiment relating to family finances over the past year and the coming year rose while sentiment relating to economic conditions over the next year and the next five years fell as did the index of whether it was a good time to buy a major household item.

The ABS also released overseas arrivals and departures data for February 2017 earlier this week.

Based on the data there were 728,400 permanent settler arrivals over the past year, the highest number since July 2014.

At the same time, there were 450,570 permanent and long term departure resulting in net permanent arrivals of 277,830 persons, the highest number since the year to February 2016.


Auctions markets recorded the busiest week so far this year, with more than 3,500 auctions held.

Despite the large number of auctions held, clearance rates held reasonably firm across the combined capitals with 74.8% of collected results showing a positive result. auction

CoreLogic collected results for 90.6% of the capital city auctions held over the past week.

Clearance rates were only slightly lower than the previous week when 75.9% of the 2,657 auctions returned a successful result.

Auction clearance rates have now been above 70 % for nine successive weeks.

Melbourne’s auction clearance rate declined slightly from 79.6% the previous week to 79.3% last week while auction volumes increased from 1,143 to 1,488.

In Sydney, clearance rates were also lower last week than over the previous week, falling to 77.7% from 78.0%.

Sydney auction volumes were higher over the week increasing to 1,436 from 1,104.

Outside of the major auction markets, clearance rates declined in most markets.


Note that sales listings are based on a rolling 28 day count of unique properties that have been advertised for sale

The number of new and total residential properties advertised for sale has continued to fall over the past week in the lead-up to Easter this week.

Over the 28 days to April 9, there were 41,256 newly advertised residential properties for sale nationally and 103,399 across the combined capital cities.australia

The number of newly advertised properties for sale is higher relative to last year both nationally (+1.0%) and across the combined capital city markets (+2.8%).

Across the individual capital cities, Melbourne (-0.3%), Brisbane (-8.3%), Perth (-0.2%) and Darwin (-9.8%) each had fewer newly advertised properties for sale compared to a year ago.

In terms of the total number of properties advertised for sale there were 225,051 nationally over the past 28 days and 103,399 across the combined capital cities.

Total property advertisements are -5.7% lower year-on-year nationally and -1.7% lower across the combined capital cities.

Brisbane (+0.6%) and Adelaide (+3.0%) are currently the only capital cities with more stock for sale than 12 months ago.

Encouragingly both Perth and Darwin, where dwelling values continue to fall, are seeing fewer new and total listings which, if it continues, should help to slow the rate of decline which is being assisted by the large volume of stock available for sale.


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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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