Houses and Holes


SA rejoice: You’re failing to attract migrants

This is totally perverse from the ABC: South Australia is losing a very important battle — to win the hearts and minds of those migrating to Australia. Premier Steven Marshall wants to gain some ground by attracting skilled migrants to the state rather than Victoria and New South Wales, as the State Government holds a


HSBC buries Bloxo: Australian dollar to 66 cents

Where’s the ever bullish Bloxo? Via HSBC: “While the [global] risks appear to have receded for now, this may be masking the growing risks from the second, which is gathering momentum and deserves more attention. “The deceleration in the flow of housing credit has been evident since at least early 2018 but has only recently


One Nation implodes

Via The Guardian: The former One Nation senator Brian Burston has denied allegations that he sexually harassed a staff member and retaliated against Pauline Hanson, his former leader, by accusing her of making unwanted advances towards him. After Hanson used a speech in the Senate on Tuesday night to accuse an unnamed senator of “serious


Recessionberg tightens Hayne screw with new review

If you thought the banks were about release the spiggot on credit think again, via the AFR: The federal government has told the banks and regulators there will be a fresh industry inquiry in three years to ensure they have improved their behaviour and are treating customers better. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wrote this week to


China delivers Aussie property death knell

This is not good. Via the AFR: China has introduced jail terms for operators of “underground banks” illegally helping tens of thousands of its citizens transfer money out of the country to buy property overseas, in a move developers warn is a big blow to Australia’s real estate market. China’s Supreme Court quietly introduced stiff


Young Libs demand return of Malcolm Turnbull

It just gets more and more weird with each passing minute, via The Australian: The Young Liberals have launched a revolt against their senior Canberra counterparts, savaging the federal government’s “big stick” intervention in the electricity sector and calling for the resurrection of the national energy guarantee. The Young Liberals, who claim to be the


Should I buy property now?

Via Martin North: In short, no, although I never argue that owner occupiers try to time the market. It causes too much agonising in Australia’s busted political economy. That said, these are the worst headwinds for Australian property in my lifetime. I’m not so shy about saying that investors should push property away with a ten


Rate cut talk lifts consumer sentiment

Via Westpac: Sentiment has recovered after a shaky start to the year. The previous survey in January had shown a sharp pull back, the Index dipping into pessimistic territory for the first time since late 2017. The February lift takes the Index back into ‘cautiously optimistic’ territory. While that may indicate some of last month’s


Mad Macquarie backs mortgage brokers

Well…of course it does. It doesn’t have any branches to distribute its mortgages, via The Australian: Macquarie chief Shemara Wikramanayake has backed the role mortgage brokers play for borrowers, acknowledging that the Hayne royal commission would prompt smaller banks to rethink distribution and more closely ­assess what customers would pay for loans. Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s


Gittins drags RBA towards depression economics rate cut (or vice versa)

Missed this earlier in the week. Ross Gittins is helping lift Australian economic discourse for once: [A rate cut] isn’t [imminent]. It isn’t because, as he made plain in a speech on Wednesday – and reiterated in the statement on monetary policy on Friday – he remains confident the economy has slowed a bit, but no worse. His revised


Fake news: Property investors charging back into market

Get ready for an avalanche of this fake news, via the AFR: Property investors are chasing falling prices, bargain-basement fixed rates, rising rental yields and bigger discounts as they rush to beat a Labor government’s negative gearing changes, agents and analysts said. Anecdotal accounts from real estate agents, representing sellers, and brokers’ agents, representing buyers,


I hope ANZ doesn’t believe its own economist

It shouldn’t because he’s talking nonsense. Via Bluenotes: The fall in Australian house prices in 2018 was the largest since the financial crisis. But the implications for the broader economy are more important. It’s even possible that weaker house prices and a weaker economy combine into a negative feedback loop (although in my view this is unlikely). “All previous periods of declining


Coalition & Co to crowd fund new Tampa (with sharks!)

Lots of hysteria around borders today as the Coalition friends set up for another Tampa election. Paul Kelly personifies the neurosis nicely: Labor has changed its stance, its policy and its heart on border protection. This is the enduring ­element in the present dramas. It is high-risk politics and misconceived policy by Bill Shorten that


Essential: Labor romps ahead as Scummo fudges Hayne

Via The Guardian: The banking royal commission findings appear to have delivered a political fillip to Labor, with the opposition extending its lead over the Coalition 55% to 45% on the two-party-preferred measure. The new Guardian Essential poll, taken before Monday’s major party brinkmanship on asylum seekers in the lead-up to the resumption of parliament, puts the government’s primary


UBS doubles house price crash despite rate cuts

And quite rightly. Mortgage finance is getting slaughtered: Investors -28% y/y; but owner-occupiers also -16%; while developers weaken The accelerating fall in home loans shows tighter credit is playing out. Looking ahead, while the Royal Commission didn’t make material changes, we downgrade our long-held forecast peak-to-trough drop in home loans from ‘20% with risk of


Macquarie hikes mortgage interest rates

Funny stuff in a carrion comfort kind of way, via AFR: Existing owner-occupier variable rates with principal and interest payments will rise by six basis points and those with interest only by 16 basis points. The hikes, which apply from February 21, impact all loan to value (LVR) bands. As mortgages and house prices crash.