Earlier this year, I posted preliminary data from the Real Estate Industry of Victoria (REIV) showing that the overall number of home sales in Metropolitan Melbourne in calendar year 2012 (69,000) was nearly -3,000 less than 2011 and the lowest volume of sales since 1996, when 67,904 homes were sold across metropolitan Melbourne (see below chart).
Yesterday, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) released housing transfers and mortgage data for the month of December, which recorded the lowest number of annual transfers in the series’ 10-year history (see below charts).
In calendar year 2012, 169,559 housing transfers took place across Victoria, which was -3% below the levels recorded in 2011 (175,627) and -13% below the decade average of 195,172 transfers.
Below is a similar chart showing the rolling annual number of housing transfers from December 2002 to December 2012:
While the annual number of transfers has recovered marginally from the low watermark recorded in September 2012 (168,249), they remain highly depressed.
The DSE’s mortgage finance statistics are unique in that they provide data on both mortgage lodgements (i.e. new mortgages) and mortgage discharges (i.e. mortgages repaid in-full). Below is a chart showing both series on a rolling 12-month basis:
And below is the number of net new mortgages created, calculated by subtracting mortgage discharges from mortgage lodgements:
According to the DSE, the number of mortgages lodged in the month of December (13,596) was below the number of discharges (13,782). Similarly, on an annual basis, the number of mortgages discharged (190,306) continued to exceed the number of mortgage lodgements (188,804), meaning that -1,502 mortgages were lost in the State of Victoria in the 12-months to December. This compares to the average of around 12,800 annual net mortgage creations since the series began in 2002.
And below is a similar chart showing that the ratio of mortgages lodged to mortgages discharged:
Between 2003 and 2005, there were around 11 mortgages created for every 10 mortgages discharged. In the 12-months to December 2012, however, the number of mortgages lodged has slipped just below the number of mortgages discharged.