Unit sales volumes hotting up
While this is of course a daft over-simplification at the macro level, one of the lead indicators of dwelling price growth can be a pick-up in volumes.
The New Home Sales data from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) is a reasonably useful data set which acts as a decent bellwether for a number of market trends, including dwelling investment and construction.
New home sales increased by another 2.2 percent in November following a neat rise of 3 percent in October.
The HIA does not believe that this trend will be reversed in December either, with strength in the multi-unit sector in particular set to persist well into 2015.
It is notable that while the uplift through the cycle has been driven by sales of both houses and attached dwellings, the data of late has shifted heavily towards a surge in unit and apartment transactions.
Indeed while detached housing dales dipped by 1.5 percent in November new unit and apartment sales in October and November tracked up to the highest level seen since Q3 2003.
In the month of November 2014 the trend in new detached house sales results were strongest in Queensland, which saw a substantial 16 percent lift.
While this may indicate that low interest rates are biting further and encouraging investors into the housing market, as a general rule buying new or off-the-plan apartments can be a relatively expensive exercise and developer premiums may lead to sub-optimal investment returns.
Which, of course, is a polite way of saying "over-priced".
Generally investors find superior value in established dwelling stock (and properties that have already been built!).