Cameron Kusher from the REA Group (realestate.com.au) published an intriguing article this week, looking at REA’s Weekly Demand Index.
This is a weekly index that looks at the volume of high-intent buyer activity on the realestate.com.au website and app and tracks that activity over time.
The latest data shows that the number of highly-engaged listing interactions on realestate.com.au increased by 0.7 per cent last week. That means serious buyer activity has increased for the past nine weeks and is up 100.8 per cent from its low at that time. The 0.7 per cent weekly increase was the smallest weekly increase any time over the past nine weeks.
One of the likely drivers of such high volumes of serious buyer activity is the fact that there are so few properties listed for sale. With less stock, serious buyers narrow their focus much more and are likely to be more highly engaged with the listings that are on the site.
The data indicates that it isn’t just searched volumes that are climbing; they are also seeing a significant increase in the number of people searching that are in the late stage of their purchase decision.
All states recorded an increase in the volume of high-intent listing interactions last week except for New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, which slid slightly.
On the other side of the fence
Domain.com.au reported that CoreLogic / RP Data showed a slight fall in values for the first time since June 2019, however the combined value of houses and apartments dropped only 0.4 per cent last month to a national median price of $557,818.
Iron Ore to new highs!
In good news for Australia’s iron ore miners, they are set to cash in on surging iron ore prices as Brazil’s Vale has been hit with coronavirus-related troubles.
The Brazilian court ordered Vale to shut down the Conceição, Cauê and Periquito mines at the Itabira complex south-east of the country after 188 workers had tested positive for COVID-19.
The ruling will remain in effect until control measures have been implemented to protect workers from COVID-19.
The mines shutdown will take about 10 per cent of Vale’s iron ore output offline, or about 2.7 million tonnes per month, which equates to about 2 per cent of the global market.
The fear of shrinking supply led to a jump in Chinese iron ore futures on Monday, which according to Nasdaq, was the biggest intraday percentage gain since July last year.
Vale’s Australian rivals – Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group – are all primed to further benefit from the news as fears of a supply crunch push up the price of the vital steelmaking ingredient.
- Fortescue achieved a record iron ore shipment to China during the March quarter, shipping 42.3 million tonnes – a 10 per cent increase on the 38.3 million tonnes shipped in the corresponding prior period.
- BHP also indicated plans to grow its iron ore export capacity in Port Hedland in Western Australia by 14 per cent — from 290 million tonnes per year to potentially 330 million tonnes per year.
- Iron ore was a significant driver of Australia’s exports in March, experiencing a 36 per cent monthly increase and a 47 per cent increase on last year.
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