ABS property stats update

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As the research analyst at the REIQ I’ve noticed there’s been a lack of numbers and elaborate graphs in this blog as of late. So let’s quickly put an end to this nonsense, with a good dose of statistics fresh from the ABS.

November 2012 saw Queensland non-first home buyer and investor figures increase for the second straight month, up 9 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively. Over the month, there were 8,162 owner-occupied dwellings financed by Non-First Home Buyers – a level not seen since March 2010.

Our estimates of investor numbers totalled 4,262 dwellings financed over the month of November, driven by a 20.8 per cent increase in the dollar amount loaned to individuals intending to purchase dwellings for rent or resale purposes.  Both are promising results, given a 3.25 per cent cash rate environment at the time and tight rental vacancy rates across the State.

On the other hand, first home buyers (FHBs) in Queensland were down a significant 33 per cent from the month before, totalling 1,417 dwellings financed for November. If you recall, mid-October saw the stoppage of the initial $7,000 First Home Owners Grant, which has been succeeded by the $15,000 First Home Owner Construction Grant (FHOCG). However before we get hysterical over monthly percentage changes, combining those two months together shows that on average activity is still comparable with the previous six months (at just over 1,700 FHBs a month).

The REIQ were initially wary of the FHOCG and while there were never going to be any immediate results, there doesn’t appear to be any positive shift in the proportion of new dwellings to overall dwellings financed as yet (at about 14 per cent for November).

The next six months is going to be a real test of how the overall effectiveness of this policy change has been. Briefly looking at dwelling construction, 6,676 Queensland dwellings were commenced in the September quarter 2012, down 12 per cent from a well-performing June quarter.

2013 is shaping up to be an important year for the Queensland property market overall. Will dwelling investment rise to counteract the slowdown in mining activity as some have predicted? Stay tuned to this blog to find out.

By Ryan Connors, Research Analyst, REIQ