Unconventional Economist


Easter holidays dampen auction market

CoreLogic has released its final auction results for the weekend just gone with the final national clearance rate softening to 76.8%, down from the 79.9% preliminary clearance rate and also slightly lower than the 77.1% final clearance rate recorded in the prior weekend: It was the lowest weekly final auction clearance rate recorded in 2021;


Politicians abandon Aussies, roll out welcome mat to foreigners

One of the most disturbing situations to arise from the coronavirus pandemic is the contempt shown towards Australians stranded abroad, abandoned by our politicians. More than one year on from the beginning of the pandemic and there are still an estimated 35,000 Aussies stranded overseas, shut out by limited flights and quarantine places, as well


CoreLogic weekly house price update: still booming

CoreLogic’s daily dwelling values index registered another strong increase in the week ended 15 April, with values rising by 0.42% across the five major capital cities: All major capital city markets recorded weekly price growth with Adelaide (0.52%) recording the strongest increase and Perth (0.16%) the smallest: We are half way through April and already


Links 16 April 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Like it or not, you’re now invested in Bitcoin – New Statesman S&P futures cut losses after tame inflation report, Nasdaq futures rise – CNBC Bitcoin Hits Another High Of $64,000, Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Happens To Worth More Than China’s Richest Man – Global Trends The Total Market Value


VIC urged to follow NSW and end stamp duty

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI) has recommended the Victorian Government follow NSW’s lead and abolish stamp duty in its upcoming 2021 Budget. CEO Paul Guerra says that switching to a broad-based land tax regime will provide greater revenue certainty for the government while reducing the cost burden on home owners: Now is


Hospitality industry needs to train workers, not cry ‘shortage’

Over the past few months, the hospitality industry has been one of the most vocal groups demanding migrant workers to ameliorate purported skills shortages. It has successfully secured favour from Liberal MP Julian Leeser, chair of the parliamentary committee looking into skilled migration, with Leeser singling out the hospitality industry as being in dire need


Australia continues to lose migrants

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for February 2020, which confirmed that net migration into Australia remains negative. There were 22,830 net permanent & long-term departures in the 11 months since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, representing the first time that net arrivals has been


HomeBuilder delivers massive jump in housing starts

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released Building Activity data for the December quarter of 2020, which revealed a big 18.6% rise in dwelling commencements over the quarter driven by a 27.0% surge in detached house commencements: By comparison, unit & apartment commencements rose by only 4.6% over the quarter and are tracking close


Links 15 April 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Use of Artificial Intelligence in Cryptocurrency Market – Tech Elevation How Debt and Climate Change Pose ‘Systemic Risk’ to World Economy – NY Times S&P futures cut losses after tame inflation report, Nasdaq futures rise – CNBC Americas: Poll: 15% of Americans worse off a year into pandemic –


Inflation expectations continue to rebound

Roy Morgan Research has published its Inflation Expectations survey for the month of March, which has almost recovered to pre-COVID levels but remain soft when viewed on an historical basis. Australians now expect inflation of 3.8% annually over the next two years, the highest level since February and March last year (both 4.0%) and still


No Josh, domestic tourism isn’t booming

Data from the Treasury shows that the coronavirus-induced restrictions on international travel have boosted the Australian economy. According to the Treasury, domestic tourism grew the economy by $7.5 billion over the December quarter, the equivalent of around 1.5% of GDP, as Australians holidayed at home and spent their money locally. This led to an upbeat


Australia’s two-speed rental market

SQM Research has released its rental report for March, which reveals an extremely tight rental market outside of Sydney and Melbourne, which are suffering from high apartment vacancies from the collapse of international student arrivals. As shown in the next table, the national rental vacancy rate rose 0.1% in March to also be 0.1% higher


Greens’ elderly visa plan will bankrupt Australia’s welfare state

Yesterday, we learned about the Greens’ ridiculous plan to import 200,000 elderly parents via the ‘Family stream’ of Australia’s permanent migration program. Below is a breakdown of the Greens’ policy proposal, which you can read in full on its website: There are 200,000 parents of migrants ‘stranded’ overseas. Some migrant families have to wait 30


Links 14 April 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: UN chief urges wealth tax of those who profited during COVID – ABC Simple Math Is About to Cause an Inflation Problem – Bloomberg A digital dollar would help the U.S. and its allies keep China in check – CNBC How Much Does Amazon, Apple Facebook And Tesla Make


Paul Keating’s super lies debunked again

Former Prime Minister and architect of Australia’s compulsory superannuation system, Paul Keating, headlined Alan Kohler’s four-part special on the future of retirement, aired on ABC’s 7.30 Report. In this report, Paul Keating erroneously claimed that Australia’s ageing population would make the current Aged Pension system unsustainable without increases in the compulsory superannuation guarantee (SG): PAUL


CoreLogic: Australia’s auction market has never been this hot

CoreLogic has released its Quarterly Auction Market Review, which reveals that Australia’s combined capital city auction clearance rate was the strongest on record in the March quarter of 2021: CoreLogic’s weekly auction clearance rate across the combined capitals has been at or above 80% just five times since 2008, and four of those were in


Aussie property’s stunning COVID rebound

Just over a year ago, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). A nation-wide lockdown ensued, which was followed by a further 14-week hard lockdown across Victoria over winter and then several short lockdowns across various states. Australia’s property market was negatively impacted at the beginning of the pandemic. Millions


Coalition pimps ‘skilled’ visa slaves

Liberal MP Julian Leeser, who chairs a parliamentary committee looking into skilled migration, appeared on Sky News (video below) where he argued that flights and quarantine places should be reserved for skilled migrants “to get businesses moving again”: “I think there is a strong view among business that it [the skilled visa system] has become


Links 13 April 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: How likely will the US’s “Global Minimum Corporate Tax” plan affect tax havens like the Cayman Islands? Will it effectively kill their financial services economies? – Fast Company The Market Value Of Cryptocurrency Exceeds 2 Trillion U.S. Dollars – Global Trends Investors have put more money into stocks in


The depressing reality of ‘tiny homes’

Over the past few years we have witnessed housing ‘experts’, planners and policy wonks endlessly spruik ‘tiny homes’ as a solution to Australia’s chronic housing affordability problems. The most recent example was a fortnight ago. The reality could not be further from the truth. Travel throughout Australia and you will find caravan parks providing long-term


NZ housing reforms knock wind out of market

Over the past month we have witnessed two fundamental reforms to New Zealand’s property market. First, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) reintroduced loan-to-value ratio (LVR) mortgage restrictions, which from 1 March 2021 required both investors and owner-occupiers to stump-up bigger deposits: Second, and more importantly, the New Zealand Government on 23 March announced


Why macroprudential mortgage curbs are harder this time around

Several commentators have questioned the efficacy of Australian financial regulators imposing macroprudential mortgage curbs, arguing that it would disproportionately harm first home buyers (FHBs) who tend to take out larger mortgages with smaller deposits: Alison Pennington, senior economist at the Australia Institute’s Centre For Future Work, claims macro-prudential tightening “would have unequal and unfair consequences


Auction results strong again

CoreLogic has released its preliminary auction results for the weekend, which reported a clearance rate of 79.9% off 1,879 auctions. This was up on the 79.4% preliminary figure recorded last week, which was later revised down to 77.1% at final collection. Sydney continued to lead the way recording a preliminary clearance rate of 82.8% off


Links 12 April 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The Market Value Of Cryptocurrency Exceeds 2 Trillion U.S. Dollars – Global Trends The zombie company problem and what it means for our economies – The Conversation Investors have put more money into stocks in the last 5 months than the previous 12 years combined – CNBC Partisan politics


Universities’ latest international students plan threatens Australia

The Victorian Government’s revised hotel quarantine program resumed yesterday after being paused for five months last year following the destructive second wave outbreak and again from mid-February after virus again leaked into the community prompting another hard lockdown. Thus, after being closed for roughly half the time since its inception in late March 2020 after


Roy Morgan unemployment drops to 12-month low

Roy Morgan Research has released its labour force estimates for March 2021, which reports that the number of Australians employed (12.75 million) has returned to its pre-COVID level in early March 2020. Australia’s unemployment rate also fell to 11.4%, which was the lowest level since early March 2020. Whereas underemployment (7.6%) in March 2021 was