1. Recovery Dear “Amazed not Really”, thanks for posting your comment here. Don’t worry, you are not alone – not everyone agrees with me (just ask my wife). But the facts can’t be ignored – momentum for a recovery in the market is building. The signs are there, and this week, those signs are looking good! New data shows that the amount of stock on the market in Brisbane fell by almost 12% in July. Perth, Sydney and Darwin also saw falls of 16%, 10% and 29% respectively. And figures released by SQM Research confirm a national drop in the levels of residential stock of almost 5%, representing around 370,000 properties. As SQM Research points out, some stock decrease during the winter period is to be expected, but falls of this magnitude across all capitals except for Hobart are…..let’s just call it, “quietly major”. There are always doubters, Amazed, but the fact that Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Sydney all have fewer listings in the market compared with this time last year, is a pretty good indicator that the market is turning. Read on for more good news, if you dare. 2. Housing & employment positives Commsec reports this week on improvements in housing activity. Housing finance commitments rose in June – home lending was up by 2.4% while investment loans rose by almost 5%. The average home loan across Australia stood at $295,500 for four consecutive months since bottoming out in February – a further indication that prices have bottomed. And, for those of you who have heard us use the C-word before (that’s C for Confidence), Commsec reiterates that with these positives in place – a lack of new residential construction that has led to pent-up demand and migration levels at 3 ½ year lows, demand for new and existing homes should lift. All that is missing, they say, is confidence! We could not agree more. But let’s not stop there….employment rose by 14,000 in July and unemployment eased from an upwardly revised 5.3% to 5.2%. The bulk of the job gains were in Queensland (+6,200), followed by NSW (+3,300), SA (+2,100), and Tas (+900). Some jobs did fall – WA (-4,200) and Vic (-3,800). NT was flat. But all up, an extra 99,000 workers now have jobs compared to the start of this year, and that, according to CommSec, means more latent spending power. However, in the current environment, more are likely to be saving rather than spending, but as confidence improves, activity levels will pick up.