ABS stats update – June

posted in: Research | 1

For many people, making sense of property statistics can be quite a confusing endeavour. Almost confusing as to why Paul Gallen wasn’t sent to the sin bin during State of Origin Game One. Well the good news is that the REIQ is here to help and here is our latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) update.

The non-First Home Buyer (non-FHB) segment of the Queensland property market remained steady during April 2013, falling by only 0.4 per cent to 9,029 dwellings financed. However this is in fact a better than expected result, as historically there is usually about a 15 per cent decrease in activity between March and April. And compared to April 2012, non-FHB dwellings financed were up by about 26 per cent.

While first home buyer activity hasn’t been much to write home about recently, this segment dropped by 3.2 per cent to 930 dwellings financed, still below long-term averages, but at least activity didn’t fall as much during April as it normally does. Investor estimates were steady, up 1.1 per cent to approximately 4,237 dwellings financed over the same period, once again in opposition to seasonal trends.

The graph above takes a look at the first four months of owner-occupier housing finance for 2012 and 2013. Two interesting points to take from this:

  1. Looking at the numbers above the red columns, we can see that the Non-FHB segment is doing quite well compared to the same corresponding month last year; and
  2. Despite this, looking at the numbers above the green columns, total owner-occupier activity is not reaching its ‘full potential’ due to the drop-off in first home buyer activity, represented by the blue columns.

While we’ve left out in-depth analysis of investor activity in this particular update, preliminary sales showed that house sales in Queensland during the March quarter 2013 were about seven per cent lower than for the same period in 2012. As mentioned in last months’ blog, the Queensland property market tends to slow down during the June quarter, though we’re curious to find out given the results for April if the non-first home buyer segment will continue to punch on during the months of May and June.

Ryan Connors is the REIQ’s research analyst