Economic focus on house prices, car sales

Home prices have risen 22 per cent in 2021 - their strongest annual growth rate in 32 years.
Home prices have risen 22 per cent in 2021 - their strongest annual growth rate in 32 years.

The economic events diary will get off to a slow start in the first week of the new year, with major trade and jobs figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics only slated later this month.

Data of interest this week will provide some insight on the state of the housing market, how job advertisements are faring and motor vehicle sales.

On Tuesday, the highly regarded CoreLogic home value index will be released, with some expectation house prices rose further in December.

Home prices are up 22.2 per cent over the year - their strongest annual growth rate in 32 years. However prices only rose 1.3 per cent in November, a 10-month low.

On Wednesday, ANZ will release its monthly job advertisements report for December, a pointer to future employment growth. Ads rose 7.4 per cent in November to a 13-year high and are up 52.5 per cent from a year ago.

On Thursday, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases the December numbers for new vehicle sales.

They will be watched with interest, because they come at a time when Australia's new car market continues to battle supply issues, with sales falling 15 per cent in November.

But the sector remains on track to retail more than one million vehicles for 2021, a significant improvement on the previous year.

Meanwhile, Australian shares look set to start a shortened trading week down after Wall Street finished lower on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59.78 points, or 0.16 per cent to end at 36,338.3 points, while the S&P 500 lost 12.55 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 4,766.18 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 96.59 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 15,644.97.

Australian share futures were down 88 points, or 1.18 per cent, at 7347 on Friday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Friday's shortened New Year's Eve session 68.8 points, or 0.92 per cent, lower at 7444.6 points. It still finished with bumper gains of 13 per cent over the the year.

The local market will remain shut on Monday.

Australian Associated Press