The RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index results for March 2014 were released earlier this week. The results showed that over the month, capital city home values rose by 2.3% with values rising across each capital city. Over the first quarter of the year, home values were 3.5% higher and year-on-year, values were 10.6% higher. Although home values across the combined capital cities are rising, the strong growth conditions are largely confined to the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets where values are 15.6% and 11.6% higher over the year respectively. All other capital cities have recorded annual value growth of less than 5%.
The Reserve Bank held their monthly board meeting earlier this week and decided to keep official interest rates on hold at 2.5%. Official interest rates have now been unchanged for eight months. Relating to the housing sector the minutes noted the following: ‘Monetary policy remains accommodative. Interest rates are very low and savers continue to look for higher returns in response to low rates on safe instruments. Credit growth is slowly picking up. Dwelling prices have increased significantly over the past year. The decline in the exchange rate from its highs a year ago will assist in achieving balanced growth in the economy, but less so than previously as a result of the rise over the past few months. The exchange rate remains high by historical standards.’
Building approvals data for February 2014 was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this week. The data showed that dwelling approvals fell by -5.0% in February 2014 however, the trend is very much that approvals are increasing. Year-on-year, dwelling approvals are 23.2% higher with private sector house approvals increasing by 21.8% and private sector unit approvals up 32.8%. On an annual basis, there were 185,591 dwelling approvals to February 2014 which was the highest number of approvals since February 1995. Over the past year, a record high 44.5% of all dwelling approvals nationally were for units as opposed to houses.
There were 3,039 auctions held across the combined capital cities last week and the weighted average auction clearance rate was recorded at 67.7%, the lowest clearance rate over the past eight weeks. In comparison, over the previous week, there were 2,466 capital city auctions with a clearance rate of 69.4%. Across Melbourne, Australia’s largest auction market, the auction clearance rate was recorded at 66.9% last week, down from 69.4% over the previous week and its lowest clearance rate of the year. The number of properties taken to auction was much higher over the week, increasing from 1,160 the previous week to 1,414 last week. There were 1,163 Sydney properties taken to auction last week, with a clearance rate of 75.9%, down from 76.1% the previous week when 982 auctions were held in the city. RP Data is expecting just over 2,490 auctions over the current week.
Over the four weeks to 30 March, there were 47,805 newly advertised properties listed for sale nationally. The number of newly advertised property listings fell by -3.9% over the week however, they are currently 18.9% higher than at the same time last year. Across the combined capital cities, new listings were -4.9% lower over the week and they were 28.8% higher than a year ago.
There are currently 243,941 properties listed for sale across the country. Total listings at a national level were -0.7% lower over the week and -3.6% lower than they were at the same time last year. Across the combined capital cities, total listings have fallen by -1.2% over the week and they are -8.3% lower than they were at this time a year ago. Capital city listings account for just 42% of all listings nationally.
Number of homes for sale
Residential property listings advertised for sale over the four weeks ending 30/03/2014
Note that sales listings are based on a rolling monthly count of unique properties that have been advertised for sale.
|State||No of new listings||12 mth change (%)||No of total listings||12 mth change (%)||Capital city||No of new listings||12 mth change (%)||No of total listings||12 mth change (%)|