Latest posts


RBA throws Guy Debelle under the Bernanke bus

From RBA deputy chair today: Assessing the Effects of Housing Lending Policy Measures Today I will summarise the Bank’s assessment of the various measures put in place to address the risks around housing lending. I will draw on Chapter 5 of the recent Financial Stability Review (FSR). I think it is important in terms of accountability that we


Is the rental impact of Airbnb even worse than first thought?

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this month, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) released a report arguing that short-term letting (STL) portals like Airbnb account for one in seven rental properties in Sydney’s and Melbourne’s inner-city and beachside suburbs. This report featured the below chart showing that there were just over 20,000 Airbnb listings


500 jobs gone by Christmas as Roger David shutters

By Leith van Onselen Last month’s collapse of fashion retailer, Roger David, will sadly see the loss of 500 jobs by Christmas from its 57 stores: Roger David will close its doors for good within weeks, after administrators were unable to find new owners for the collapsed retailer… all stores would be closed by early to


Former Treasury Secretary: Scott Morrison must cut immigration

By Leith van Onselen Former Treasury Secretary, John Stone, has urged the Morrison Government to cut Australia’s “far too large” immigration program: A major source of criticism of the government — and a major source of support for otherwise fringe parties such as Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the Aust­ralian Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats —


Unemployment flat at 5.0% despite solid jobs growth

The ABS has released its labour market report for October, which reveals that unemployment remains flat at 50.% despite a 32,800 lift in employment (mostly full-time). However, growth in hours worked was weak: The key points from the release are: TREND ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE) Employment increased 25,400 to 12,665,800. Unemployment decreased 7,600 to 680,300. Unemployment


Sydney’s final auction clearance rate crashes to 42%

By Leith van Onselen Last weekend, CoreLogic released its preliminary auction clearance rates, which revealed the following results: Today, CoreLogic has released its final auction results, which reported a large 3.5% decline in the national auction clearance rate to 43.3%, with Sydney’s auction clearance rate diving 6.3% to just 42.1% and Melbourne’s falling 2.1% to


Robots are coming to a building site near you

By Leith van Onselen Over recent years, a swathe of economists have warned the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence could replace many of today’s jobs, leading to an even larger pool of underemployed and underutilised workers. Last year, the construction sector came into automation’s view with FastBrick’s Hadrian X bricklaying machine capable of laying


ACOSS: It’s time to abandon the ‘full employment’ fiction

By Leith van Onselen For several years, economists have projected a rebound in wages growth as Australia’s unemployment falls towards the NAIRU (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment), which the RBA claims is around 5.0%. Indeed, the Federal Budget explicitly forecast a sharp rise in wages growth as unemployment falls to a projected 5.25% for the


Doddering Keating contradicts himself on super

By Leith van Onselen When the architect of Australia’s compulsory superannuation system, Paul Keating, appeared on ABC’s 7.30 Report, he argued that raising Australia’s superannuation guarantee (i.e. compulsory superannuation contributions) from 9.5% to 12% would not lower take home wages: LEIGH SALES: There might be some Australians watching who are saying, “Well, if we are


Mass immigration “existential threat” to Melbourne’s transport

By Leith van Onselen It seems Melbournians are finally cottoning on to the direct link between Melbourne’s immigration-fuelled population explosion, according to a regular opinion survey by Sydney University’s Institute of Transport and Logistics. From The Age: “There is a clear sense [from the survey] that accelerated population growth in the past decade, driven mainly


Another day, another worst ever negative gearing attack

By Leith van Onselen Uber-wealthy property investor and media director at the Seven Network, Bruce McWilliam, is not happy about Labor’s negative gearing policy. You see, McWilliam is one of Sydney’s biggest property investors with a portfolio of at least 20 eastern suburbs properties worth an estimated $200 million. And he believes it’s unfair that Labor’s policy will


There’s no business loans for Frydenberg to buy

The Australian rightly questions the Frydenberg bank bailout today, at The Australian: Several Liberal MPs were critical of the measures because of the increased government inter­vention. “I remember the Kevin Rudd bank for infrastructure and how much it was ridiculed,” one MP said on the basis of anonymity. “My views don’t change radically because it


Is anyone factoring in the Chinese property bust?

Paging the RBA! Attention RBA! One of the less amusing features of the unwinding property cycle is the invisible Chinese dimension. This is becoming a serious issue. Indeed it’s possible that it the key driver of property price falls yet it is ignored and invisible. After all, the boom in Chinese inflows was ignored and


Louis Christopher: Sydney and Melbourne property crash the base case

By Leith van Onselen SQM Research has released its latest Boom-to-Bust Report, which projects heavy losses for Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin property in 2019: SQM’s base case forecast is for dwelling prices to fall between -6% to -3%, which is a continuation of the current falls of 4.5% over the past 12 months. Sydney and


Treasonous ACTU lobbies to lower workers’ take home pay

By Leith van Onselen The treasonous ACTU has backed Paul Keating’s call to lift Australia’s superannuation guarantee (i.e. compulsory superannuation contributions) from 9.5% to 12%, claiming it would ensure workers retire with dignity: …the average superannuation balance today for men is $112,000 and women $68,000 and only 20 per cent of current retirees are fully


Real private sector wages finally begins to rise

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday’s wages price index released by the ABS revealed a firming of annual wages growth to a still-anaemic 2.2%: When adjusted for underlying inflation, real wages firmed to 0.4% growth in the year to September: However, there remains a big disconnect between the private and public sectors. The private sector –


Links 15 November 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Casting Light on Central Bank Digital Currencies – IMF The seven deadly paradoxes of cryptocurrency – Bank Underground WeWork’s Rise: How a Sublet Start-Up Is Taking Over – NY Times Triple B corporate bond bulls aren’t blinking – FT Big companies are pushing governments around – FT Five US


Macro Afternoon

Stocks across the region were mixed today with the local bourse falling nearly 2% on the back of another rout in banks, while the trifecta of Chinese data also proved a little dicey even though on most metrics they were good figures. The oil price and their effect on energy stocks plus the Brexit deal


You can take the blog out of Domainfax but not the reverse

Business Insider’s David Scutt going all doe-eyed for house prices today: Australians, collectively, think now is the best time to buy a home in over three years, encouraged by lower prices, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. The ‘time to buy a dwelling’ index in the Westpac-MI Australian Consumer Sentiment report surged by 11.8% in November,