This made me smile, with Queensland residential sales reported as hitting a record "all-time four year high". From the Urban Developer:
"Queensland Annual Residential Sales are currently sitting at an all time four-year high. The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has now revealed that in 2014, $51 billion of residential property was traded in Queensland.
As reported by Property Observer, the increase in residential sales has been consistent over the past four years, marking a very good time in Queensland’s market for homeowners and first time buyers.
Adding further excitement to the figures is that there has been a substantial increase in the number of suburbs in Queensland where every vendor involved in a sale has made a profit.
REIQ Chief Executive, Antonia Mercorella said profit-making sales were highest in Brisbane, the Western Darling Downs, Coombungee, Caravonica and Mermaid Beach.
There has also been an increase in property transactions upwards of $1 million. REIQ reveals that properties worth more than $1 million constituted the greatest portion of the market in the final quarter.
These results indicate that now is a great time for buyers, developers, owners and agents in the Queensland property market."
While a "four-year all-time high" may be a slight touch of hyberbole, what is certainly the case that transaction levels in inner Brisbane are picking up.
This is clearly visible on the ground. And where sales volumes pick up, prices tend to follow.
Steady growth underway in Brisbane
The Queensland figures are also a little skewed - given the truly desperate state of some regional Queensland markets, Brisbane is doing a little better than the statewide figures suggest.
If we blank out the noise generated by the other capital cities in the chart below, we can see that since hitting their most recent trough in June 2012, Brisbane dwelling prices have recorded 10 consecutive quarters of steady dwelling price growth totalling 13 percent.
Media medians excitement
There is clearly some excitement in the Brisbane media at the prospect of rising prices after a meagre few years of price growth.
Television outlets are certainly falling over themselves and each other to report the next "property boom" story.
Tonight Channel 10 were excitedly reporting that Brisbane's median house price had breached $600,000 for the first time ever on the REIQ's measures.
This may be true, but there has certainly been no boom phase to date in this cycle.
As the above chart shows dwelling prices have increased by 17.7 percent in the past 6 years, which is compounding annual growth of ~2.75 percent.
However, in inner ring Brisbane it does seem to me that activity is hotting up as also implied by the REIQ data.
I was perhaps disproportionately aggrieved by the ABS decision to postpone its Overseas Arrivals and Departures release today.
But fear not, in the morning I will be back to rattle through the latest figures, with the next round of Housing Finance data for January 2015 next up.