House price recovery stalls in October, RP Data figures show: Midday roundup

The recent rise in capital city dwelling prices has stalled, according to the most recent figures from RP Data which show housing prices fell by 1% in October.

This comes despite gains of 1.4% in September and a flat result in August.

The biggest fall was in Melbourne, with a 3.2% decline in unit values resulting in a 6% fall for the entire year. Over the last 12 months, values have fallen 2.4% in Melbourne. 1.4% in Adelaide, 1.1% in Brisbane, 0.8% in Hobart and 0.6% in Canberra.

Darwin has recorded the biggest increase, up 10% over the last 12 months.

RP Data research director Tim Lawless said in a statement the result shows how “delicately balanced the Australian housing market is”.

“Whether the October decline is a blip on the path to a recovering market or a sign of further weakness is yet to be seen.

“Other indicators are suggesting the market has gathered some strength, with auction clearance rates holding firm around the 60% mark across the two major auction markets and owner-occupier housing finance numbers showing steady improvements since February 2012, albeit from a very low base.”

Government introduces pokies legislation

The Federal Government has introduced laws to try and cut down on the spread of poker machine addiction.

Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin announced the bill this morning, saying it was the first time a government had attempted such an endeavour.

“The reforms they deliver will help problem gamblers take control of their addictions, and help their families take back control of their lives,” she said.

The Greens have thrown their support behind the suite of three bills, which require pokies to include a type of commitment system and display warnings about the dangers of gambling.

Shares slightly lower on weak Wall Street lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened slightly lower this morning following a flat lead from Wall Street, as the New York Stock Exchange resumed trading after hurricane Sandy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 35 points or 0.8% to 4481.3 at 12.00 AEST, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10 points or 0.1% to 13,096.

Manufacturing sector contracts in eighth consecutive month

The manufacturing sector has contracted for an eighth consecutive month, according to the latest results from the Australian Industry Group performance of manufacturing index.

The index dropped from 45.2 to 44.1 in October, well below the 50-point level separating expansion from contraction.

“Manufacturers continue to find the going very tough in the face of the strong dollar, weaker demand in export markets and flat conditions across the non-mining sectors of the domestic economy,” AIG chief executive Innes Willox said in a statement. “Particularly in commercial and residential construction, which has strong linkages with domestic manufacturing.”



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