Economy

Retail sales rise 0.4% during August: Midday Roundup

Patrick Stafford /

Total retail sales rose by 0.4% during August on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figure rose to $21.92 billion during the entire month, following a 0.1% increase during July.

The figures were higher than expected, and give more support to the notion the Reserve Bank will keep interest rates steady at this afternoon’s meeting.

Property prices rise 1.6% during September

Home values in capital cities rose by 1.6% during September, according to the latest results from RP Data.

The RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index showed significant improvements in Sydney and Melbourne, which recorded increases of 2% in each city.

The median price in Sydney was $588,000, with Melbourne also recording a median price of $525,000.

“We haven’t seen market conditions this strong since April 2009 for Sydney and May 2010 for Melbourne,” RP Data research director and analyst Tim Lawless said in a statement.

“Any debate about unsustainable growth in housing markets should be very much focused on Sydney and Melbourne.

“Most other capital city housing markets are in fact showing only a modest growth trend.”

New home sales rise during August

New home sales rose during August, according to the latest figures from the Housing Industry Association.

The figures show new home sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 3.4%, after a 4.7% decline in July. The overall rise was built on a 5.8% increase in detached house sales, although multi-unit sales fell by 11.2%.

“Strong increases were evident in New South Wales and Western Australia, areas we expect will drive continued recovery in the coming months, as well as South Australia,” HIA chief economist Harley Dale said in a statement.

“There is clear upward momentum in both new home sales and building approvals for detached houses in 2013, which is being countered to an extent by a significant downward trend for multi-units.”

Shares rise on weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning following weak offshore leads, with investors increasingly concerned over the imminent shutdown of the United States government.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 1.5 points or 0% to 5220.4 at 11.45 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 128 points or 0.8% to 15,129.7.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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