The Week That Was in Property

Late last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released October data on overseas arrivals and departures.

The data is important because it highlights how the tourism market is going as well as providing up-to-date details of overseas migration.

According to the data there were 675,680 permanent and long-term settler arrivals to Australia over the year to October 2015 which is -5.5% lower over the year.

Annual permanent settler arrivals are currently at their lowest level since August 2008

Over the past year there were 397,450 permanent and long-term settler departures which was 3.6% higher over the year and also a record high.

The data highlights more Australians leaving the country and fewer migrants coming to the country, as a result there were 278,230 net arrivals over the year.

This figure represents an annual fall of -16.1% and the lowest net arrivals since June 2007.property2

While permanent settler arrivals have fallen, short-term arrivals hit a record 7,293,800 over the year which was an increase of 6.5%.

Housing finance data for October 2015 was released earlier this week by the ABS.

The data showed that over the month there was $32.6 billion worth of housing finance commitments which was the lowest by value since May 2015.

The figures consisted of $21.2 billion in commitments by owner occupiers and $11.5 billion in commitments from investors.

The owner occupier figure has increased by 0.4% over the month and 21.2% year-on-year with new loan commitments 0.2% higher over the month and 18.6% higher year-on year and refinance commitments 0.8% higher over the month and 26.9% higher year-on-year.

Investment housing finance commitments have slowed sharply over recent months, falling by -18.9% from their record high in April 2015.

Over the month, investor housing finance commitments accounted for 44.5% of new (excluding refinances) housing finance commitments, its lowest proport ion since July 2013.

Consumer sentiment data for December 2015 was released earlier this week by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute.

The Consumer Sentiment Index fell by -0.8% over the month to 100.8 points.

The index reading above 100 points indicated that despite the monthly fall consumers remained slightly more optimistic than pessimistic.

capital city auc

Over the week ending December 6 2015, CoreLogic RP Data captured 2,961 auction results, accounting for more than 91% of all auctions held across the capital cities.

The final auction clearance rate over the past week was recorded at 57.3%, which is its lowest auction clearance rate since February 2013.

Melbourne’s clearance rate was 63.3% across 1,522 results, its lowest clearance rate since February of this year.

Sydney’s clearance rate was recorded at 52.9% last week across 944 auction results.

Sydney auction clearance rates have fallen for 8 successive weeks and are now at their lowest level since December 2012.

After Sydney’s auction clearance had outperformed Melbourne’s for most of the past 3 years, Sydney has had a lower clearance rate than Melbourne for 13 consecutive weeks.

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The national number of newly advertised properties was -8.4% lower relative to the same period one year ago with 44,541 properties added to the listings pool over the past twenty eight days.


Across the combined capital cities new listings are -6.9% lower than they were at the same time last year.

Adelaide (+0.9%) and Canberra (+19.8%) are the only capital cities where new listings are higher than a year ago while they are unchanged in Melbourne.

The total number of properties available for sale is also lower than a year ago across both the national (-2.5%) and combined capital city (-0.9%) markets.

The capital cities with a higher number of total listings relative to a year ago are: Sydney (+4.4%), Perth (+11.2%), Darwin (+11.1%) and Canberra (+4.8%).

Over the coming weeks as we lead in to Christmas we would expect the number of new listings to continue to trend lower and the total listings to continue to fall as vendors withdraw their properties from the market over the typically quiet sales period.


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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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