Monday, 8 February 2010

Australian Property Market (Alternate Data) – February 2010 Update

The Brisbane and Australian Eight Cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin & Canberra) House Price Index published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) catalogue 6416.0 suits my requirement to track Australian house prices as part of my retirement investing strategy. It however seems to have two flaws. Firstly the housing data is only published quarterly and secondly this housing data is then published over a month after the quarter ends.

I’m therefore looking for something that helps me keep my finger on the pulse a little more. Certainly monthly figures are desirable. I am going to therefore use housing data published by RPData and in particular I will monitor the Brisbane and Logan City numbers.

The ABS published their quarterly data to December 2009 on Monday. This chance only comes every 3 months and so it is interesting to compare the ABS data with the alternate monthly dataset that I am using from RPData which is shown in the above chart. The ABS shows that for the quarter to December 2009 Brisbane prices have risen by 3.8% with a year on year increase of 10.9%. Remember the ABS reports median prices for detached properties only.

In contrast from RPData I am using what are called recent median house sale prices so I would expect similar data. For Brisbane the data shows increases for the quarter to December 2009 of 5.9% which is significantly different to the ABS. Year on year the increase is 7.1% which is also significantly different to the ABS. If anybody can explain the big difference I would be very interested to know.

Also looking at Logan City the quarter reveals increases of 3.5% while year on year increases have been 7%.

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