Get Hooked on Data

Don’t let property data baffle you. If you don’t understand data collection or interpretation, the best thing to do is ask an expert. Tim Lawless, RP Data National Research Director, answers agents’ questions.

As it takes two to three months for each Valuer General to release the recent sales around Australia, how is it that RP Data can get hold of this information much sooner?

The time lag in receiving data from the respective Valuer General departments within each state creates a great deal of frustration for everyone in the industry. Without timely transaction data it becomes difficult to provide recent comparable sales, analyse value movements and gauge the depth of the property market in terms of sales volumes and housing values.

RP Data works with the industry to collect around 60 per cent of property transactions before they are delivered by the Valuer General’s office. This more timely data is aggregated from a variety of sources including industry professionals, who input the data via the rpdata.com platform, from RP Data’s call centre and from strategic partnerships with real estate groups around the country.

What does the Market Activity Index aim to do and how can I use it?
The Market Activity Index is created based on the amount of reporting activity being undertaken on the rpdata.com Professional system. Comparative Market Appraisal (CMA) reports are generally undertaken by real estate agents as part of their pre-listing presentation to a prospective vendor.

With a market share across the industry of 75 to 80 percent, the number of CMA reports being generated on the rpdata.com platform provides one of the best indicators of the number of new listings about to enter the market. Our analysis shows that, on average, CMA reports convert to actual property listings within about 30 days of the report being generated.

I’d like to expand my property knowledge and give myself the winning edge when it comes to securing clients. What type of reports can I purchase at a suburb by suburb level? Having access to RP Data’s core professional services, including ‘On the Market’ provides a wide range of benefits to our clients including access to Comparative Market Appraisal (CMA) reports, suburb profiles that show property prices, rental rates and demographics over time, market statistics and the marketing history of properties being advertised for sale.

Additional reports that real estate professionals may take advantage of include products released specifically by RP Data’s Research Unit. These include products such as

  • Market Snapshots – customised two page research reports that provide a complete overview of a specific region and are often used as research based marketing documents by developers and real estate agents.
  • Custom mapping solutions – RP Data owns one of the largest spatial data sets in the country and our analysts are experts at building display maps that assist with anything from outlining catchment areas to providing detailed large scale display maps of particular areas.
  • Suburb Scorecard (Professional Edition) – suburb by suburb statistics for every suburb around Australia including median prices and rental rates, average selling time and levels of vendor discounting, indicative rental yields, gross sales values etc.
  • Key note presentations – RP Data’s Cameron Kusher and myself have a vast amount of presentation experience all around Australia and we are available to provide key note presentations on any topic that relates to property markets around the country.

Do you think the prospect of further interest rate rises will halt new housing development, which therefore would worsen the supply problem and put more pressure on property prices?

We are currently seeing around 14,000 new homes approved for construction each month which is actually a vast improvement from January 2009 when there were only 9,400 new dwellings approved for construction. The improved figures come from a very low base however. The rate of new dwelling approvals is much lower than what is required based on our strong rate of population growth and replacement of existing dwellings which is estimated to be a requirement for around 17,400 new homes each month.

With such strong demand for new housing and an ongoing undersupply together with improving consumer and business confidence, it is reasonable to expect that the building industry will lift their game and start producing more housing stock. The strategic imperative is to deliver stock to the market that is aligned with consumer demand. That means a focus on developing affordable and well located housing stock.

Of course rising interest rates are going to create a barrier for some buyers, particularly first home buyers and low income families. We need to keep in mind that mortgage rates remain slightly lower than the decade average. The most important factor for prospective home buyers looking to purchase a home is to ensure they have budgeted appropriately for higher interest rates and they have not stretched themselves too thinly to purchase a home that might be outside of their affordability range.

Show More

Tim Lawless

Tim Lawless is the Research Director at CoreLogic Asia Pacific. Tim has been in the Australian housing market industry for more than 20 years with a focus on research.