Leith van Onselen


Why Melbourne property prices will plummet

CoreLogic’s head of research, Eliza Owen, has done a good job explaining why Melbourne dwelling values are falling at a much faster pace than the rest of the nation: Melbourne has so far seen the largest cumulative declines in property values since March (3.5%). This was led by a 5.2% decline across the Inner East


Auction market continues fade out

CoreLogic has released its final auction results for the week, with the clearance rate continuing to trend lower after bouncing following the first lockdown:   According to CoreLogic: Last week saw the final weighted average clearance rate improve across a lower volume of auctions and fewer withdrawn auctions. There were 1,154 capital city homes scheduled


VIC records another 450 COVID-19 infections vs NSW’s 11

Victoria has recorded another 450 COVID-19 infections alongside another 11 deaths: NSW, by contrast, recorded only 11 new infections and continues to do a far better job containing the outbreak: Victoria has 7,637 active COVID-19 infections, 96.1% of the nation’s total. By contrast, NSW has 274 active cases, 3.5% of the nation’s total: Victoria has


Australia’s bedpan economy revealed

One of the biggest changes witnessed across the Australian labour market has been the strong growth of jobs in the Healthcare & Social Assistance sector, which expanded by a whopping 640,000 jobs since the Global Financial Crisis: Increasing its share of Australian jobs from around 10% to more than 14%: Seek has released a new


CBA: Australia to regain 50,000 jobs in July

CBA’s head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird, forecasts that Australia’s unemployment rate will lift to 7.9% in July despite regaining 50,000 jobs: We expect employment to rise by 50k in July. We expect the unemployment rate to lift to 7.9% on a 0.5ppt rise in the participation to 64.5%. We do not expect the reported


Early superannuation release no disaster for retirement incomes

The Grattan Institute has shot down Paul Keating’s, Labor’s, and the superannuation industry’s incessant scaremongering over the Morrison Government’s early superannuation release policy, claiming that it will only reduce retirement incomes by around 1% for the typical worker: Policy makers can only justify forcibly lowering someone’s living standards during their working life – by lifting


A mortgage war of attrition

According to the Reserve Bank’s latest indicator lending rates, average mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest level on record at just 2.35% for 3-year fixed and 3.65% for discount variable: These are average rates of course, and much better deals – under 2% – can be gained from specific lenders, with juicy cash backs


Australian house prices crashing at GFC pace

With Australia’s property market now declining, it’s an opportune time to compare this current budding correction with prior episodes. The below chart shows the various dwelling corrections over the past 30-plus years at the 5-city level, as measured by CoreLogic: As you can see, this bust is only in its infancy, with the property market


CoreLogic weekly house price update: 13th consecutive fall

In the week ended 6 August 2020, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, fell another 0.15%: It was the 13th consecutive weekly decline. Falls were recorded across the three biggest capitals: Quarterly dwelling values are falling, led by Melbourne: Annual price growth remains strong but continues


Links 7 August 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Calls Grow to Break Up Facebook, Amazon for ‘Mob-Like’ Behavior, Monopoly Power – Democracy Now Bezos sells more than $3 billion in Amazon shares – CNBC Gold keeps its shine as investors shun dollar – FT As dollar slides, some investors fret about its status as world’s reserve currency


Coalition pursues wrong kind of housing stimulus

Housing Minister Michael Sukkar told a conference that housing policy will be a key component of the federal government’s 2020 Budget on 6 October. Amongst other things, extending the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and changes to the National Housing Infrastructure Facility are believed to be under consideration. However, Sukkar has reportedly ruled out funding


Parents mental and financial stress soars

The Melbourne Institute has released research on parent’s soaring mental and financial stress arising from COVID-19: In mid-May, 56% of survey participants anticipated they would be personally impacted by the coronavirus for longer than six months. Eight weeks later, 67% now expect the effects to extend for longer than six months. Additionally, after a period


How the Victorian Government failed COVID-19 contract tracing

The hits keep coming for Daniel Andrews’ Victorian Government, with a 9News investigative report revealing that the Government scaled back contract tracing efforts just as the virus outbreak began from failed hotel quarantine: Evidence of Victoria’s contract tracing data is illustrated in the next chart showing the virus erupting in Victoria, while cases have remained


VIC records another 471 COVID-19 infections vs NSW’s 12

Victoria has recorded another 471 COVID-19 infections, down from yesterday’s record 725: There was another 8 deaths overnight in Victoria. NSW recorded only 12 new cases, the same as yesterday. It is also doing a far better job containing outbreaks and preventing community transmission: Victoria now has 7,449 active COVID-19 cases, 96% of the nation’s


Australia’s population to swell regardless of COVID-19

A group of researchers have modelled the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s future population. They find that Australia’s population will still swell to nearly 32 million people by 2040 even if immigration “plummets to zero in 2020-21 and takes eight years to return to the long-run average”: Our new modelling shows that under a worst-case scenario, Australia


International education agents demand Australia slay its elderly

With COVID-19 ripping through India: An Indian education agent has demanded that Australia open its border to international students: Navjot Singh, a migration agent based in the northern Indian state of Punjab says policymakers in Australia need to do a lot more than just granting post-study work visa rights to retain its current students. “Australia’s


Victorian Government refuses to give quarantine answers

Victoria’s Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos, avoided seven questions on Melbourne’s Hotel Quarantine debacle at Tuesday’s Legislative Council question time by saying she would provide a written response the following day. These questions included topics like: When the government first became aware of problems around quarantine? Who made the decision to outsource to private contractors? Will


RBA’s Tulip polishes his property bubble

Five years ago, RBA’s senior research manager, Dr Peter Tulip, released crazy research arguing that Australian housing is 30% undervalued and that owning a home is “now more attractive, relative to renting than it has been at any time in the past 30 years”. Now Dr Tulip is back, this time releasing a research paper


Greedy Melbourne University underpays its slaves

While the University of Melbourne’s vice-chancellor, Duncan Maskell, feasts on his $1.5 million salary, he has flooded the institution with insecure casual staff: The rush towards insecure work has been led by the University of Melbourne, Australia’s richest tertiary institution, which listed reserves of $4.43 billion while employing 72.9 per cent of staff on insecure


Dodgy Dan Andrews delays hotel quarantine inquiry

With three epidemiologists and genomic sequencing experts scheduled to appear today, the judicial inquiry into Melbourne’s botched hotel quarantine disaster was conveniently delayed by six weeks: The inquiry into what went wrong in Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has been delayed due to the state’s coronavirus crisis. The board of inquiry, headed by former Family Court


Mortgage collapse points to further property price falls

Yesterday’s mortgage commitment data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) continues to point to price falls for Australian property. The next chart plots the annual change in the value of mortgage commitments (excluding refinancings) against CoreLogic’s 5-city dwelling value growth to July: As shown above, mortgage growth has historically been a strong leading indicator


Australian car dealerships face collapse

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) yesterday released new car sales for the month of July, which revealed that sales have collapsed to December 2009 levels following 28 consecutive months of decline: New car sales fell by 12.8% relative to the same month of 2019, with annual sales volumes 22% below their March 2018


Links 6 August 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Gold Hits $2,000 For the First Time In History As Dollar Extends Declines – The Street Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is the 2nd Virgin airline to declare bankruptcy as the pandemic rips apart the industry – Business Insider Stock Market Crash: Is The End Game Here? – Forbes Disney


Paul Keating’s superannuation lies swell

Paul Keating continues to scaremonger against freezing the superannuation guarantee (SG) at 9.5%, claiming it would leave Australians destitute in retirement: “You cannot have a decent income in retirement without self provision. Otherwise, you would have people on the pension which is now what $23,000 or $540 a week?,’’ he said… Mr Keating said if


Off-the-plan property buyers drown in negative equity

Perennial housing bull, Michael Yardney, has issued a stern warning that off-the-plan apartment buyers face financial ruin as the market collapses: In my opinion, off-the-plan apartments have never represented a good investment, even during the rosiest of boom times – and least of all during a once-in-a-century global health event. Apartments in our inner cities,