The week kicks-off on Tuesday when the Roy Morgan-ANZ weekly consumer confidence survey and the Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) quarterly home prices data are both released. 
The ABS releases its publication “Residential Property Price Indexes” each quarter. The data is relatively “old”, focusing on the three-month period to June 30. Apart from home prices, there is other data covering the average value of homes and changes in the number of homes in each state. Annual Australian home price growth is the weakest in six years. 

And the minutes of the last Reserve Bank Board meeting are released. Each meeting a special issue or topic is discussed. And that discussion can prove useful in gauging member views on interest rate sensitivities. Commentary on the housing market will also be keenly observed.

On Wednesday, the Department of Jobs and Small Business releases the August skilled internet job vacancies data. Vacancies are up by 4.7% over the year to July, led by 
 Western Australia (up 16.3%) and Tasmania (up 13.6%).

On Thursday the ABS releases population data and detailed labour market figures. The Reserve Bank releases its quarterly Bulletin. And Commonwealth Bank releases the Business Sales Indicator – a measure of economy-wide spending.

Australia’s population is growing at a 1.6% annual rate – one of the fastest growth rates in the developed world. And the ABS labour market data will include the latest estimates of industry job creation.

What about the US?

Most
attention will be on US housing data releases in the week prior to the all-important US Federal Reserve meeting on September 25-26, where interest rates are expected to lift.

On Tuesday, the US National Association of Home Builders releases its September survey, together with the regular weekly data on chain store sales. The monthly index of builder sentiment fell one point to 67 points in August, the lowest level in eleven months and down from highs of 74 points in December. Mortgage applications to purchase a home have been falling as interest rates have lifted. Buyer traffic dropped two points to 49 points in August, the only component of the index in negative territory (below 50 points).

On Wednesday in the US, housing starts and building permits are issued for August. Despite rising building costs, property prices and mortgage rates, housing demand is supported by the strong labour market, lower taxes and improved finances. Around 175,000 homes were approved, but not yet started in July, the most since February 2008. And single-family permits in the South were the highest since July 2007. Economists tip starts to lift by 5.2% in September. Building permits are forecast to increase by 0.8% for the month.

On Thursday, US existing home sales, the influential Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing gauge, weekly claims for unemployment insurance and the US Conference Board leading economic index are all issued.

Existing home sales fell for a fourth straight month in July – the longest stretch of monthly declines since 2013. Supply constraints continue to drag on overall sales and push up home prices. The lower inventory and high prices on available inventory are crimping affordability, especially for first home buyers. The median house price increased 4.5% from a year ago to US$269,600 in July.

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index increased by 0.6% in July after increasing 0.5% in June. Another 0.5% lift is forecast by economists in August, signalling a sustained pace of economic expansion in the near term.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending September 1 decreased by 10,000 to 203,000 – the lowest level of 
claims since December 6, 1969. The US unemployment rate is near 18-year lows at 3.9%.