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HtAG Data Dictionary

This data guide covers the most important metrics that you should be taking into account when researching the property market. If you are new to data-driven property investment, we encourage you to follow the hyperlinks on this page. Most metrics have a dedicated post which explains the rationale behind the data with guiding points and examples.

A real estate investor who uses the key performance indicators on this page will be able to make more informed decisions about which markets have better prospects for increased returns and create more wealth for themselves in the long run.

A portion of the essential metrics are in public access with additional visualisations provided for subscribers on the Personal Plan. Upgrade to Personal Plan unlocks algorithmic projections for Capital Growth, Total ROI and Rent Increase metrics with 80% tabular data unmasked. Professional Plan unlocks all tabular data views and provides access to demand/supply charts on all site dashboards. In addition, Professional Plan subscribers enjoy discounts of up to 100% for access to Market Insights reports.

Essential Metrics

All essential metrics are reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.

Typical Price is HtAG’s solution to the shortcomings of the Median Price metric which results in a more accurate representation of home values and price trends at the suburb level.

Rental prices based on a rolling year median and reported independently per week for both houses and units.

Number of property sales recorded online during the calendar month. Resets every month.

Number of properties listed for rent online during the calendar month. Resets every month.

Δ (Delta) is the percent difference of the current price for sales or rentals to the referent value X periods ago. X can be 1M (month), 1Q (quarter), 1Y (year), 3Y (years) etc.

Gross Rental Yield is the value you generate from an investment property represented as a percentage. Derived from Typical Price and Median Rent metrics. Calculated for the current month.

Capital Growth expressed as a CG Low/High range is the percent difference between the future typical price and its current value. Estimated per annum based on 2 year forecast produced by HtAG ML model.

Return on Investment is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. Calculated as a sum of Gross Rental Yield + Capital Growth metrics above.

Projected per annum increase of median rent. Estimated per annum based on 2 year forecast produced by HtAG Statistical model.

Error represented as an average difference between actual values and the forecasted values. Uses the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) formula to measure market volatility and estimate future price growth channel. Calculated and averaged periodically when forecasts are back-tested.

Confidence is a metric that indicates the accuracy of data. It is calculated based on the average monthly sales per suburb.

Relative Composite Score™

When trying to understand the complexities of the real estate market, it can be helpful to create a singular score that represents a collection of different metrics. This not only reduces potential information overload, but also simplifies comparisons between different markets.

Relative Composite Score was designed to automate and simplify the analysis of real estate markets via a proprietary algorithm created by HtAG Analytics. All RCS metrics are reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.

Lower Risk RCS™ is calculated based on more than 80 metrics where higher weighting is assigned to environmental, market and data risk indicators. Higher values indicate lower risk.

Capital Growth RCS™ is calculated based on more than 80 metrics where higher weighting is assigned to indicators that suggest a strong future growth potential such as long-term price projections, IRSAD, Renter to owner ratio etc. Capital Growth RCS™ is specifically designed to identify locations with strong long-term capital growth potential, typically spanning 5 years or more.

Cashflow RCS™ is calculated based on more than 80 metrics where higher weighting is assigned to indicative gross yield, vacancy rate, rental price trend etc.

Overall Relative Composite Score is an average of Capital Growth, Cashflow and Lower Risk scores listed above.

The Relative Composite Score streamlines market evaluation and comparison by automatically considering every metric listed below, along with over 30 other auxiliary metrics, making it easier for users to assess property markets effectively. However, some expert users often choose to delve deeper into the data by researching it manually to gain more profound insights. If you opt to follow this approach, keep in mind the importance of examining these metrics collectively instead of focusing on individual metrics in isolation.

The following sections describe advanced metrics available via site dashboards and downloadable reports from the HtAG Store. Unless otherwise stated, all property market metrics are calculated for the 1-month rolling period and updated at the end of the month.

Fundamental Metrics

The Unfavourable / Neutral / Opportune ranges are static with the exception of GRC.

IRSAD stands for Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage and is published by ABS. The index defines people’s access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society. For details see SEIFA Technical Paper. Reported jointly for houses and units.1-23-89-10
Renter to Owner Ratio is the proportion of Renter households to the Owner Occupier or Mortgagee Households. The higher the number, the more renters there are relative to owner occupiers. Reported jointly for houses and units.>45%15-45%<15%
Unit to House Ratio is the proportion of total unit dwellings to that of houses in the area. Calculated by apportioning the number of units sold in the last 2 years to that of houses. The higher the number, the more units there are relative to houses. Reported jointly for houses and units.>50%10-50%<10%
Unit to House Value Ratio is the proportion of Typical Price of units to that of houses. The higher the percentage, the closer unit prices are to house prices. Only use this metric if you’re intending to purchase a unit. Reported for units only.>70%30-70%<30%

The “Years to Own” metric represents the estimated duration required to fully own a property, factoring in variables such as current interest rates, median family income, and typical property prices in the area. This calculation is based on the assumption of a standard 30-year mortgage. A value exceeding 30 years could be an indicator of decreased affordability in the area.

Growth Rate Cycle indicates projected growth or decline in Year on Year price change. Values are listed in order of significance i.e. (+)Increasing is better than (+)Trough, (-)Increasing is better than (-)Trough. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.-Decreasing

Supply Metrics

The Low Supply / Balanced / High Supply ranges are dynamic and are subject to change. Defined for the market conditions as of the current year.

DescriptionLow SupplyBalancedHigh Supply
Stock on Market is the number of unsold listings on market. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.N/AN/AN/A
Stock On Market Percentage is the ratio of SoM to the total number of dwellings in the area. Number of dwellings is calculated based on Australian address database. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.<0.4%0.4-1.3%>1.3%
DescriptionLow SupplyBalancedHigh Supply
Inventory (also known as Months of Supply) is the average number of sales per month over a year divided by SoM. Used to define how absorbent the property market is of the new listings and measured in months. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.<2.12.1-4.5>4.5
DescriptionLow SupplyBalancedHigh Supply
Building Approvals is the number of new residential builds approved for construction, sourced from the ABS monthly dataset. Transformed from Statistical Area Level 2 to Suburb and Localities level for suburb reports. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.N/AN/AN/A
BA Ratio is the proportion of newly approved residential buildings over the past 12 months relative to total dwellings in the area. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.<0.3%0% or 0.3%-2%>2%
DescriptionLow SupplyBalancedHigh Supply
Hold Period is calculated by comparing and averaging all properties’ sold dates to their previous sold dates. “Tightly held” markets have higher Hold Periods, measured in years. In contrast to other monthly metrics this data is curated as an yearly timeseries. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units. >10.46.4-10.4<6.4

Demand Metrics

The Low Demand / Balanced / High Demand ranges are dynamic and are subject to change. Defined for the market conditions as of the current year.

DescriptionLow DemandBalancedHigh Demand
Days on Market. Average number of days ‘for sale’ listings remain active on the web. Measured in Days. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.>9035-900-35
DescriptionLow DemandBalancedHigh Demand
Discounting is the typical discount given by property vendors when selling a property. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.>4%0-4%<0%
DescriptionLow DemandBalancedHigh Demand
Vacancy Rate – see this blog post for detailed explanation. There are instances where Vacancy Rate cannot be calculated and is presented as -1.00%. Reported jointly for houses and units.>3.5%1-3.5%<1%
Vacancies is the average number of rental listings that are advertised online for more than 21 days. Reported jointly for houses and units.N/AN/AN/A
DescriptionLow DemandBalancedHigh Demand
Days on Rental Market. Average number of days ‘for rent’ listings remain active on the web. Measured in Days. Reported jointly for houses and units. Only use this metric when Vacancy Rate is -1.00%.>4535-45<35
DescriptionLow DemandBalancedHigh Demand
Buy & Rent Search Index is the ratio of online Buy / Rent searches to the state or city average. Value of 5 signifies that searches are at state/city average. Reported independently per dwelling type i.e. houses or units.0-23-56-10
DescriptionLow DemandBalancedHigh Demand
Auction Clearance Rates is the percentage of auctions resulting in a sale. Reported jointly for houses and units.<50%0% or 50-70%>70%

Other Metrics

The following advanced metrics possess a versatile nature that can provide greater insights into a property market, enhancing your understanding and decision-making process.

Adult population in LGA or suburb recorded during the most recent census.

Please note that the population data corresponds to the adult population recorded as of the latest census. This means that the reported figure may differ from the total population, which includes individuals aged 15 years and under.

Since the adult population plays a pivotal role in driving the economy, we place significant emphasis on this particular figure.

Number of residential dwellings in the area estimated based on the Australian address database.

The Average School rank is a significant metric that reflects the quality of education in the area. This composite metric is derived from a combination of average NAPLAN scores and ACARA rating, and is measured on a scale of 1 to 100, where 100 represents the highest rank possible.

The “Non-Residential Building Approvals Per Capita” dollar value signifies the total monetary amount that was authorized for non-residential construction projects in the past 12 months divided by the adult population in the area. This metric acts as an approximation of local and state government investments in infrastructure development.

Annual Sales Volume represents the cumulative number of property transactions within the area over the preceding 12-month period.

Distance to the nearest General Post Office typically located in the CBD of a state/territory capital.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the HtAG Market Insights data?

1. Download a report from the HtAG Store.
2. Unzip the downloaded file and open the excel file within it.
3. You will then need to apply number filters to columns based on the ranges defined on this page or rely on provided colour coding.

Note that percent column filter values should be typed in as decimal points i.e. 3% will be “less than” or “more than” 0.03.

How do I shortlist suburbs based on supply and demand metric ranges?

The starting point should be to shortlist suburbs by filtering out Unfavourable, Low Demand and High Supply markets. The resulting list is then up to you to work through by applying additional filters based on property market metrics of your choice, whilst also gauging the potential Capital Growth and ROI based on provided data.

The more metrics fall into the Favourable, High Demand, Low Supply bands for a particular market, the more likely it is that Capital Growth will be towards the high range of the forecast. Be mindful that Neutral/Balanced markets frequently provide great outlooks and should not be discounted from research.

How did you establish the High / Balanced / Low and the Unfavourable / Neutral / Opportune ranges?

The ranges are determined by data distribution for every metric with 25th and 75th quantiles serving as cut offs between the 3 bands. Note that the data distribution is reflective of the current market conditions. Whereas fundamental metrics such as R|O Ratio have a constant distribution and ranges, Demand and Supply ranges are subject to change. Given that the ranges are established based on data for the past 3 months, they can migrate up or down as new data is collected between data releases.

Why is the HtAG reported metric value different from another provider i.e. SQM?

When comparing the data from two or more data providers it is always important to ensure that the providers use the same data curation method. If the method is different, then the property market metric values will most likely also be different.

For example, differences in the HtAG Vacancy Rate and that reported by SQM can be explained by different reporting period. HtAG reports it for the rolling month, whereas SQM reports it for the fixed month period.

Why did a metric value increas or decrease since the last data release?

Most metrics are known to fluctuate at the suburb level quite notably between data releases. For example, a change in Vacancy Rate from 2.4% to 2.0% is not significant. This fluctuation is not because the rates are changing, but because of the sparsity in the underlying data, which results in data noise between updates. That’s why the rates should always be ball-parked against a wide enough range.

Why did the Capital Growth and Total ROI values change since the last data release?

As HtAG projections are based on a forecast algorithm, which caries a degree of uncertainty, the CG (Capital Growth) values should be treated as an estimate of the general trend in the rate of growth and not as an exact percentage value. Note that changes of up to plus or minus 3% in CG and all other property market metrics are common between data releases. Changes in low and very low confidence suburbs can be higher than 3%. This is due to the underlying data sparsity at the suburb level.

Although changes are common between data releases, we find that fluctuations in the reported data even out over time. This is another reason why the values should be treated as ballpark ranges and not exact figures.

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