The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released housing finance data for September 2014 earlier this week, reports RPData in the latest Industry Market Wrap.
Over the month there were a record high $23.7 billion worth of housing finance commitments.
The total value of housing finance commitments was 2.3% higher over the month with owner occupier refinances up 1.8%, owner occupier non refinances (or new loans) up 1.8% and investment finance commitments up 3.7%.
Year-on-year the value of housing finance commitments is 13.4% higher with owner occupier refinances up 13.7%, owner occupier new loans up 3.4% and investment loans 25.4% higher.
The rise in investment lending has been significant over the past year, increasing from $9.5 billion to $11.9 billion. Investors now account for a record high 41.4% of housing finance commitments and a record high 50.3% if refinances are excluded.
In September 2014 there were 6,338 housing finance commitments to first home buyers.
Owner occupier first home buyer commitments continue to account for a small proportion of owner occupier commitments, just 12.0% of commitments in September 2014.
Although the proportion of first home buyer finance commitments is low, they increased by 4.7% over the month and are only slightly lower (-0.2%) year-on-year.
Westpac and the Melbourne Institute released their Consumer Sentiment Index results for November earlier this week.
The index was recorded at 96.6 points over the month and although that was a 1.9% monthly rise it was the ninth consecutive month that consumers have been more pessimistic than optimistic.
The only sub-category that was in pessimistic territory was the index for time to buy a major household item.
The ABS released its quarterly wage price index results for September 2014 earlier this week.
The data showed that wage growth remains sluggish, remaining at its lowest annual rate on record (2.6%).
Over the year, private sector wages are 2.5% higher while public sector wages are 2.7% higher.
Weekly Clearance Rates
RP Data recorded 2,475 auctions results across the previous week which accounts for 84% of all auctions held.
The weighted average auction clearance rate remained below the 70% mark for the sixth week running last week and at its lowest level in 22 weeks, recorded at 63.5%. At the same time last year the weighted average clearance rate was slightly higher at 68.3%.
Auction volumes are higher than at the same level as one year ago; last week RP Data was monitoring 2,942 auctions across the capital cities, which was 15%, higher than a year ago.
The largest auction markets continued to record the highest clearance rates.
Sydney’s auction market saw a success rate of 68.1% across 1,259 auctions, which was it’s lowest clearance rate in 22 weeks, and Melbourne recorded a clearance rate of 65.5% across 1,139 auctions, also its lowest clearance rate in 22 weeks.
Capital city auction clearance rates
Week ending November 9, 2014
Weekly Advertised Listings
Over the four weeks to the 9th of November, there were 53,781 newly advertised properties added the national market; the highest number of new listings since late April in 2011.
New listing numbers are higher than at the same time a year ago (+3.8%) nationally, but across the capital cities vendors seem to be more confident, with the number of newly advertised properties up 6.8% compared with last year.
The largest rise in newly advertised stock numbers can be seen in Brisbane, where new listings are 18.2% higher than a year ago, and in Adelaide where new listing numbers are 10.7% higher.
There has been a reduction in new listing numbers compared with a year ago in Hobart (-2.9%) and Canberra (-11.3%).
Total advertised stock levels have been consistently rising during the Spring season and are now at their highest level since late last year.
Nationally there are 254,772 homes being advertised for sale (-1.9% lower than a year ago) and across the capital cities there are 111,683 listings (-3.7% compared with last year).
Note that sales listings are based on a rolling monthly count of unique properties that have been advertised for sale.
Number of homes for sale
Residential property listings advertised for sale over the four weeks ending 9/11/2014