Housing finance keeps ticking up

From the ABS today:

Nothing too dramatic today but housing finance continued to tick upwards through April confirming the ongoing housing market recovery.

Total dwelling commitments +1.2% in April and a clear trend for the year:

Graph: Value of dwelling commitments, Total dwellings

And the number of dwelling commitments are moving almost in lockstep:

Graph: No. of dwelling commitments, Owner occupied housing

Purchase of new dwellings and construction moving up which is heartening to see (Western Australia is leading the way here). After all, it's construction we want to see picking up to boost the economy and construction needs people to buy new dwellings.

Commitments up 17.9% since last year - not too shabby at all. 

Graph: Purchase of new dwellings

As for the so-called "striking" first homebuyers, I've been suggesting for a while now that these numbers will pick up - and FHB commitments picked up by 5% in April.

Don't forget though that in some states the FHB grants shift towards favouring newly-constructed dwellings (Victoria, also Tassie and the ACT) so this will distort the markets in these states.

Investor finance was up again, and is now up 18% year-on-year. Here's investment housing heading back towards the boomtime levels:


There's an awful lot of ordinary commentary available if you want to track it down. The trends above are clear enough, but it is true that some of Australia's property markets remain weak.

Such is the nature of property market recoveries.

The obvious observation to make is that the recovery is very much multi-speed and some markets are doing an awful lot better than others.

Overall though, we've seen finance in a clear uptrend over recent months so monetary policy is doing its thing. 

Source: ABS


Moderate bounce for stocks today +0.4%.

And the Aussie dollar crumbles to a 32 month low of 93.38 cents, as I suspected it might.

AUD forecasts are being lowered all the over the place, in some cases to 85 cents, which would be healthy for the Australian economy.

Keep an eye out for that Labour Force data, for if it is weak (and I suspect that the yo-yo figures we are getting from the ABS mean that this is possible - if not likely) we could be in for an Aussie dollar death spiral.

If you're worried about your overseas holiday getting more expensive, you can hedge you know...


That's all from me today as I am yachting across to Atauro Island from East Timor's capital city of Dili. Tough gig, but there you go..

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