The Reserve Bank (RBA) held their monthly board meeting earlier this week, at the meeting the board decided to keep official interest rates on hold once again.
Official interest rates have now been at hold at 2.5% for 13 consecutive months. In their statement following the meeting the RBA once again reiterated that the most prudent course of action is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released building approvals data for July 2014 earlier this week and you can read a lot more about the release at the RP Data Research Blog.
The data showed that dwelling approvals increased by 2.5% over the month and were 9.4% higher year-on-year.
Despite the rise over the month and year, dwelling approvals are -7.8% lower than their most recent peak in January 2014.
Over the past year, there has been a record high 195,227 dwelling approvals nationally which is 19.1% higher than at the same time last year.
The ABS also released the National Accounts for the June 2014 quarter earlier this week. The data showed that gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.5% over the quarter to be 3.1% higher over the year.
On a per capita basis, GDP rose by just 0.1% over the quarter and increased by a much more moderate 1.6% over the year.
With population growth slowing we are likely to see a further slowing of GDP per capita over the coming quarters. The GDP data also showed a very sluggish 1.0% in household disposable incomes over the year.
Further, the household savings ratio remained high in June at 9.4% however, it is much lower than its recent peak of 12.6% in June 2012.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence Index release for this week showed that confidence fell by -0.8% to 112.6 points.
The fall takes the index at it’s long-run average level. ANZ noted that: ‘Consumer Confidence appears to have stabilised around long-run average levels supported by low interest rates and rising house prices.
Alongside the improvement in non-mining investment intentions, it appears that the growth drivers in the non-mining sectors of the economy are broadening.’
Weekly Clearance Rates
Auction clearance rates increased over the last week with the capital city weighted average clearance rate recorded at 72.9%, the highest clearance rate in 26 weeks.
There were 2,034 auctions held over the week compared with 2,000 over the same week a year prior, auction numbers were also up from 1,695 the previous week.
RP Data collected 89% of all auction records. The major auction markets of Sydney and Melbourne continued to record healthy auction results.
Sydney’s clearance rate was 79.9% across 810 reported auctions, which was its highest auction clearance rate in 27 weeks.
Melbourne’s auction market recorded a clearance rate of 73.5% across 846 collected auction results. The clearance rate in Melbourne last week was its highest in 26 weeks.
Capital city auction clearance rates
Week ending August 31, 2014
Weekly Advertised Listings
Over the four weeks to 31 August, there were 34,207 newly advertised properties listed for sale nationally (excluding WA). New listing numbers are slowly trending higher in the lead up to the start of Spring.
Nationally (exc. WA), new listings are -1.9% lower than a year ago, while across the combined capital cities new stock being added to the market is 0.5% higher than at the same time last year.
There are currently 206,123 properties listed for sale across the country (excluding WA). Total listings at a national level were -6.2% lower compared with the same time last year.
Across the combined capital cities, total listings are -11.7% lower than a year ago, highlighting that total stock levels have reduced over the year.
Note that sales listings are based on a rolling monthly count of unique properties that have been advertised for sale.
*We are currently experiencing some issues with the sourcing of our WA listings data. Our data team is looking into this as a matter of priority however, we have moved WA results from this week’s results and will re-issue when they are revised.
Number of homes for sale*
Residential property listings advertised for sale over the four weeks ending 31/08/2014