Leith van Onselen


Media watch slams Nine Network’s property puff

By Leith van Onselen Above is an interesting segment from last night’s ABC Media Watch slamming the Nine Network for airing property puff pieces on a Gold Coast housing development, the billion dollar Maddison Estate at Pimpama, which entered into administration in March after racking-up massive debts from investors. According to the segment, the Nine


Net exports to detract from GDP?

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released Balance of Payments data for the June quarter, which revealed a worsening of the trade deficit and suggested that net exports would detract 0.04% from tomorrow’s quarterly GDP print (my emphasis): Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that in seasonally adjusted,


Retail sales disappoint again

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released retail sales figures for the month of July, which registered a 0.1% seasonally-adjusted increase in sales over the month versus an expected 0.4% rise. Annual sales growth clocked in at a meagre 1.9% (2.8% trend): Monthly retail sales fell in three states


Will the election boost the economy?

By Leith van Onselen ABC’s The Business ran another interesting segment last night looking at whether the economy is likely to regain its mojo once the Federal Election is decided this weekend. The key points from the segment are: The manufacturing is in recession, acording to NAB’s chief economist Alan Oster, with capacity utilisation at


Where is the Coalition’s housing policy?

By Leith van Onselen A reader has just sent me a link to the Coalition’s policies and discussions page, which contains 48 discussion papers outlining the Coalition’s policies on just about everything. Here’s the list of topics: The Coalition’s plan for the digital economy & e-Government The Coalition’s policy for Veterans and their families The


AFG shows investors hog wild in housing

By Leith van Onselen Australian Finance Group (AFG) has released its housing finance data for the month of August, which registered a 3% increase in mortgage applications over the month, but more importantly (since the series isn’t seasonally-adjusted) a 13% increase the number of applications over the year. It was also the Group’s strongest August


Links 3 September 2013

Global Macro/Markets: Here’s The State Of The World Economy – Business Insider Oil market hit by falling Libyan output – Financial Times World Markets Soar On News Of Strong Manufacturing Output – Business Insider North America: The surprising demographics of American technology entrepreneurs – entrepreneurship.org 4 economic indicators signal that US growth is off to


Murdoch press steps-up anti-Labor bias

By Leith van Onselen If I remember one thing from this election campaign, which let’s face it hasn’t been particularly interesting, it will be the biased coverage from the Murdoch tabloids. When the campaign began, Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph produced the below front page revealing in no uncertain terms its political bias:   Just when you


Dashed expectations to punish Labor

Cross-posted from The Conversation Over at the 2013 election media panel Brian McNair asks a good question. “I wondered aloud, …, why the ALP had failed to take the credit for managing Australia through the GFC with relatively few adverse impacts.” Fair point – why hasn’t the ALP taken more credit for Australian economic performance?


Mineral exploration pops, energy inflates

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released Mineral & Petroleum Exploration data for the June quarter, which revealed a sharp fall mineral exploration expenditure, but a lift in petroleum exploration expenditure. Nationally, expenditure on minerals exploration fell by a seasonally-adjusted $163 million (-21%) over June March quarter. The fall was


Dwelling approvals bounce back

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released dwelling approvals data for the month of July. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals rose by a seasonally adjusted 10.8% to 14,304. The overall rise was driven by a large increase in the volatile unit & apartments segment, which surged


NZPC: Growth boundaries push-up land prices

By Leith van Onselen I’ve just come across a New Zealand Productivity Commission research note attempting to quantify the effect of Auckland’s urban growth boundary (called the “Metropolitan Urban Limit” or MUL) on land prices. The results indicate that Auckland’s MUL has significantly increased urban land prices in general, with land prices in the lower part


Auction clearances strong again

By Leith van Onselen Reported auction clearance rates in Australia’s two biggest markets were strong again over the weekend. In Australia’s biggest auction market – Melbourne – the preliminary clearance rate was 75% on 658 auctions reported to the REIV, although a massive 157 auctions were listed as “no result”, which should result in some


RP Data: Home prices rose in August

By Leith van Onselen RP Data’s price results are in for August, with the daily index recording a 0.49% rise over the month at the 5-city level, with values rising in all major capitals except Perth (see next chart). It was the third consecutive monthly increase in values, with values also up by 3.99% over


RP Data weekend market summary

Please find below RP Data’s latest weekly housing market update, which provides a useful snapshot of the housing market as at 1 September 2013. This week’s report includes: Latest weekly dwelling value results; Auction results & clearance rates; Latest median house & unit prices; Average time on market & vendor discounts; Mortgage market activity; and


Links 2 September 2013

Global Macro/Markets: Will the Internet Destroy the Stock Market? – HBR What everyone gets wrong about monetary policy – CNBC Great Investors Know How to Interpret Data – A Dash of Insight North America: The Arithmetic of Fantasy Fiscal Policy – New York Times A Record-High Number of Young People Are Still Living With Their


Should Australia have a gas reservation policy?

By Leith van Onselen Last month, the Australian manufacturing industry is stepped-up lobbying efforts to have a proportion of Australian gas supplies set aside for domestic use, as occurs in the United States and Canada. Specifically, the Australian Industry Group (AIG) released a report warning of a looming domestic “gas crisis” and seeking a “national


The Government hasn’t hidden unemployment

Below is an excellent response from Matt Cowgill debunking the claim made by the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) that the Government has manipulated Australia’s unemployment rate. A few nights ago, the ABC unfortunately saw fit to give a platform to a spot of statistical scaremongering that has been floating around for a while: the


Weekly RP Data house price update

By Leith van Onselen In the week ended 29 August 2013, the RP Data-Rismark 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, recorded a 0.06% rise, which followed last week’s 0.17% fall (see next chart). Results were mixed, however, with three of the capitals experiencing falling values and two increases


Links 30 August 2013

Global Macro/Markets: ’The world is going to change here’: Alternative investments gather steam – Wall Street Journal   North America: Choosing the chairman – The Economist Yellen downplays chances of getting Fed job as White House deliberations enter final stages – Wall Street Journal Summers and the Banks – jaredbernsteinblog.com Q2 GDP Revised up to


Highrise Harry: Rising property prices good for all

By Leith van Onselen Above is an interesting extract from an interview with Merriton Apartment’s chief, Harry Triguboff, aired last night on ABC’s The Business. In the interview, Triguboff argues that falling interest rates are likely to lead to increased investor interest, which reduces benefits to first home buyers. When quizzed about whether Chinese buying


Greece highlights Germany’s EU dilemma

By John Browne from Euro Pacific Capital On August 11th, German media got hold of and published an internal Bundesbank report which maintained that Greece would likely need further relaxation of the terms of its rescue bailouts. The report contained revelations that could be deeply embarrassing to the government of Angela Merkel that has maintained


Charting new home sales

By Leith van Onselen Following on from Houses & Holes’ earlier post today summarising the Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) new home sales data for the month of July, which recorded a 4.7% fall over the month, below are a series of charts plotting the series since its inception in the mid-1990s. First, the below chart


Actual mining capex lifts

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released data on capital expenditures (capex) for the June quarter of 2013, which registered a seasonally-adjusted 4.0% rise in capex over the quarter but a 2.3% decline over the year. The result exceeded analyst’s expectations of no change over the quarter (see below table).


Affordability, investors reduce home ownership

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its biennial Housing Occupancy and Costs Survey for 2011-12, which provided some interesting insights, including the sharp fall in homeownership since 1994-95, from 71% to 67%. Sydney University housing expert, Judy Yates, attributes the slide in home ownership to declining affordability and increasing


MB Members’ August Report: Where to for Sydney property?

Find below the August Member’s Report in which we continue our detailed look into the prospects for national city housing markets. To subscribe for this and other monthly member reports visit https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/membership/. ——————————————————————————————————- Sydney’s housing market has sprung to life recently after a prolonged period of underperformance since the second half of the 2000s, which saw


Rudd hypocrisy on foreign-owned land

By Leith van Onselen You have gotta love the hypocrisy of Australia’s politicians. Back in 2008-09, as the Global Financial Crisis beckoned, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd relaxed the foreign ownership rules on Australian property, allowing foreigners to purchase pre-existing homes without restriction. When combined with the slashing of interest rates by the Reserve Bank


The fringe talks more sense on housing

By Leith van Onselen I noted on Tuesday that it is the fringe political players that have, so far, talked the most sense on housing policy. Earlier this year, Bob Katter argued that land supply in Australia’s mining towns needs to be freed-up in order to restore housing affordability: “… the price of land has


Links 29 August 2013

Global Macro/Markets: Andy Kessler: Hedge Funders Are All a Little Nuts – Wall Street Journal Asset Prices and Interest Rates – Marginal Revolution Analysis: After mega-LBO boom, a massive private equity cleanup – Reuters For the first time, the combined GDP of poor nations is greater than the rich ones – Quartz Pimco: Media to