The Week That Was in Property

Late last week following the release of quarterly Finance and Wealth data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Reserve Bank (RBA) released their selected ratios for household finances for the June 2015 quarter.

Despite some significant revisions from previous quarters, the data showed that the ratio of household debt to disposable income (185.9%) and the ratio of housing debt to disposable income (132.8%) both rose to new record highs.

The ABS has released building approvals data for August 2015

Over the month there were 18,701 dwelling approvals which was the lowest monthly number of approvals since November 2014.

Splitting the results into houses and units there were 9,882 houses and 8,819 units approved for construction during the month.

aus map

House approvals increased by 4.4% over the month while there was a sharp drop in the more volatile unit approvals, down -16.9%.

Compared to August last year house approvals have increased by 2.2% and unit approvals are 8.4% higher.

Dwelling approvals reached a record high of 20,215 approvals in March of this year and at this point it looks unlikely that they will eclipse those heights again through the current phase.

Private sector credit data for August 2015

RBA  data showed that total credit increased by 0.6% over the month to be 6.3% higher over the past 12 months, which also represented the highest annual rate of growth since December 2008.

Valuation-2 loan calculator house propertyThe 6.3% annual rise in credit was comprised of a 7.5% rise in housing credit, a 0.7% increase in personal credit and a 5.3% increase in business credit.

Housing credit is rising at its fastest annual pace since September 2010.

Housing credit is comprised of both owner occupier and investor credit.

Owner occupier credit rose by 0.6% over the month and investor credit rose by 0.7%.
Owner occupier credit recorded its largest monthly rise since December 2010.

On the other hand, growth in credit to investors is slowing, having fallen from 1.0% in June to 0.6% in July and 0.7% in August.

On an annual basis, owner occupier credit rose 5.6% and investor credit by 10.7%.

It is clear that as limits have been enacted on lending to investors many financial institutions are focusing on growing their mortgage book for owner occupiers.

Over the week ending September 27, CoreLogic RP Data captured 2,579 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 69.7%, down from 69.9% over the preceding week and lower than the 70.9% clearance rate a year ago.

Melbourne’s auction clearance rate fell over the week while clearance rates rose in Sydney

Melbourne’s clearance rate was 72.7% across 1,121 results, down from 73.7% across 1,127 results the previous week.

property investors

Sydney’s clearance rate was up from 70.7% the previous week to 71.7% last week.

There were 1,200 auctions held across Sydney last week, with 1,079 results captured.

While Sydney had consistently had the strongest auction market all year, Melbourne has had a stronger clearance rate over each of the past 3 weeks.

The national number of newly advertised properties increased by 4.1% relative to the same period one year ago to reach 45,857 properties added to the listings pool over the past twenty eight days.

New listings are now at their highest level since late March of this year

Across the combined capital cities new listings are 4.5% higher than they were at the same time last year.

homes for sale 1 oct

Sydney in particular has seen the largest increase in new listings relative to a year ago, up 16.0%.

New listings are also higher than a year ago in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.

Meanwhile new listings are lower than a year ago in Perth, Hobart and Darwin where housing market conditions tend to be softer.

Total stock levels are now roughly similar to levels a year ago, -0.6% lower nationally and marginally higher (+1.2%) across the combined capital cities.

Total stock levels in Sydney, Perth and Darwin are now higher than they were a year ago with total listings in Sydney at their highest level since late last year.


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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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