CommBank: Aussies are keen to buy a house, but aren’t ready to travel just yet

By combining customer behaviour analysis through actual transaction data along with household spending intentions from Google Trend searches, CommBank have released results from its monthly Household Spending Intentions (HSI) survey. 

And judging by the data, it looks like Aussies are feeling a bit more optimistic about making big ticket purchases, like a home or car, but are slightly more hesitant to spend in other areas. 

The HSI survey found that despite numbers easing in January, home buying intentions have been on the rise and is reportedly translating into increased motor vehicle spending intentions - a form of spending, which according to the RBA, is the most sensitive to changes in consumer wealth.  

Nonetheless, motor vehicle spending results were perhaps the most surprising, with the data finding a steady incline in purchase intentions for a second consecutive month following a large car sale slump in 2019.  

“While the headline home buying intentions data eased back a little in January, the solid upward trend remains in place and there are now more signs this improvement may translate into stronger motor vehicle spending intentions – off a very low base,” said CBA Chief Economist, Michael Blythe.

Spending relating to entertainment, fitness and health remained stable, with both staying in what the bank calls ‘positive territory’, while retail spending remained flat with little increase. 

While certain categories of spending seemed to climb, others experienced a decrease, which Blythe says could be a result of the recent bushfires and coronavirus outbreak. 

Both travel and education spending fell in January, with travel in particular recording its lowest HSI reading since 2015. 

“There are clear signs of a turn down in education spending intentions and, especially, travel spending intentions,” said Blythe.

“These sectors have likely been impacted by the combination of the devastating summer bushfires in Australia and the policy response to the coronavirus.” 

But regardless of what this year has in store for your spending habits, it doesn’t hurt to have a few money saving tricks up your sleeve. Our Life & Money hub is filled with money-savvy tips and tools from buying your first home to travel.