Weekly RP Data house price analysis

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Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. “there are now signs that the housing market, at the national level, has stabilised”

    Melbourne has a little way to go yet.

    • Hobart is always neglected too.
      I think I should start up a property index and leave Sydney out.

  2. Can someone explain to me why releasing house price data on a weekly basis in a country obsessed with residential real estate is a good idea…

    a bit like handing out free tinnies at an AA meeting

    • That’s exactly what it’s like.

      Wouldn’t want people to forget about real estate and start putting their money somewhere else..

  3. Leith I am surprised someone as astute as you is attempting interpret noisy short-term data in this way. By the same logic, you would have to say it had stabilised in March.

      • Depends on what you mean by “for now”.

        If you mean “for this month” I don’t think that really adds anything of value.

        If you mean longer that that, I don’t think it’s justified by a month of data points.

    • Could be. But I’ll await further data before proclaiming it so.

      For instance, I want to know whether housing finance commitments have recovered after the recent cuts in interest rates.

      Either way, there’s minimal upside nationally and still lots of downside risks.

      • The June lending figures will be up, but not back to double figure growth, nowhere near it.

        You are wise to be skeptical of sustained growth, but some growth until Xmas is not out of the question especially if we get another cut.

        I just can’t see it going through 2013 though. The RBA can’t cut forever, and I doubt that will cut without a good reason.

  4. Good time for the white shoe brigade to flaunt these figures and state that the downturn is over. Gee I would be buying an investment property which yields 2 – 3% pa. Alot more pain to come in this area.

      • Are there any figures on how many investors are making money ?

        Would be interesting to compare the proportions and also if there is any impact on these figures with interest rate reductions.

  5. So because the Dow was up 0.26% last night so a recovery is here? These spruikers are insane.

      • Ask people if they got the price they wanted and the main response is no. What we never see in property is that indicitive price that they believe (a figure plucked out of the air in vain) it is worth.

        Further talk to a home lender in a bank and see how busy they are. As i work in one (not in lending) the response is slow.

        I still get people come to me and state that property doubles every ten years. My response is either – does it? or no. I go on to say if investment was that easy, why isnt everyone buying property?

    • This is reporting based on last week’s sales, so it’s not exactly influenced by last night’s upwards blip of the dow.

    • Yeah I just meant that a short-term bounce obviously doesn’t mean a recovery is here, anymore than a rise in the DOW means that the world economy is ok again. But we all think this don’t we.

      I figure that the FHOG deadline is helping Melbourne as people are racing to get in before the end of June. July will probably be a bad month though, especially if this coming summit fails again. Or will rumors of QE3 work again?

  6. My parents and my wifes parents are both baby boomers who have recently entered retirement. Both parties have started offloading real estate investments with a plan to release one property per year (for taxation reasons).

    I wonder how many of Australia’s 1.1 million investors are baby boomers and will be selling up regardless of profits or losses.

    • If there is residual lending against any of those, will the bank release the equity to your parents? In NZ a some people unloaded a portion of their properties 18 moths ago, and found that just because the ones they sold had ‘made a profit’ ( the earlier purchases!) the bank held some or all of the proceeds to boost the LVR of the remaining properties that still had lending against them.

      • Janet, the loans were probably cross collateralised – in which case the bank can ask for whatever they please to reduce the debts to whatever level they deem appropriate.

        If your parents are elderley, they would have to reduce debts so that repayments could repay the debt within their working life.

        Banks won’t take the sale of property as a foolproof exit strategy anymore. The laws might be a little different in NZ, but I suspect that they will be much the same.

        • Quite right, Peter! Many people just assume that if they sell-up one of several properties, they automatically get the proceeds. That, as you note, may or may not happen depending upon the circumstances. It does come as a rude shock to those who think they can pick-and-choose what equity they can get their hands on, though!

  7. innocent bystanderMEMBER

    I find RP data just noise. doesn’t seem to relate to what I see here in Perth.
    the reasons for it? I dunno. there are many trees in the property forest.

    just cause thaey are using maths doesn’t make their work science.

  8. its interesting that Melbourne’s clearance rate is lower now than a few months back, yet a few months ago property was dropping whereas now prices are rising. the devil is in the detail I guess – this stabilisation is a concerning development if it is occurring. I think Aus will be an interest rate driven market until such time as the wheels fall off (which I am hoping is this time!!). Whatever the result, we can all be confident that decent growth will not occur in the next 10 years, so saving and renting is the smart option.

  9. Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

    OK ib, don’t keep us hanging – what is your experience and expectation in Perth!

  10. ceteris paribus

    Personal Opinion: I think it is more than a bit naughty of MB to put a “Premium Content” on this weekly regular.

    Yes, it is a truly loved weekly MB feature and is, no doubt a potent “sign up” incentive.

    But let’s face it, it is an aggregation of the work of someone who, whether for good or bad, gets a very hard time from bloggers here.

    I don’t claim to be free from sin and to put it euphemistically, be inconsistent more than I would wish to admit.

    But dear editors, on this feature the title “premium content” shows “more front than Myers”.

    • I think it’s a bit rich to be claiming that this index, a collaborative piece of work between RP Data & Rismark is an aggregation of the work from a single individual.

          • ceteris paribus

            Thanks BB, I will try to make my point less ambiguously.

            My primary point is that while the reporting of the work of others is totally legitimate, calling it “premium content” is very, very, cheeky to say the least. By its own words, MB talks (rightly) about the need for registration for “premium content” because a lot of work/time goes into the preparation of these repoprts. The article in question, you would agree, is a short summary reporting of the very detailed research of others.

            Secondarily, a key driver of the index has been Chris Joye, whose work, whether with or without justification, attracts a fair amount of criticism here. Certainly more than a little irony here.

            In this instance, I believe “front” is fair comment. We are not talking enquiry into journalitic standards.

          • CP – the “premium” bit is free – just an email address. LVO goes to a lot of trouble to record the daily moves, collate them into weekly and monthly reports, and uses this data to build his models and analysis of Australian property prices.

            Again, all of which has been free for almost 18 months on MB (and many more before that on his separate blog).

            You have to suffer the indignation of seeing 2 ads when you open this blog……and occasionally typing in your email address.

            Not a bad price, particularly if you were contemplating buying Melbourne property recently. Or don’t want to read the MSM “journalistic standards”.

  11. Expect a stabilisation or modest increase in VIC and NSW based on the changes to first home grants.

    After 1 Oct 2012, expect prices to start falling.

    Of course all bets are off if something bad happens with Europe, or the US fiscal cliff, or the Japanese debt, or the Chinese provincial debt…

  12. ceteris paribus


    You are way overeacting to things I haven’t even said, let alone believe.

      • ceteris paribus

        Fair comment TP. Emails sometimes lack a lot of cues.

        For the record, I believe MB is great value and a steal. I respect UE’s work greatly- even thougth we have had a couple of disagreement over minor positions. And I do like the dialogue.

  13. Retrenchments continue in lower,middle and upper mgmt everywhere?
    Call me crazy but if property holds over the next 12 months, I’ll go he.

  14. I think the increases in Melbourne are due too people being scared into buying their 1st home before the bonus ends June 30. July – august will tell a better tale.