Leith van Onselen


New home sales lifted in November but still lowest annual sales on record

By Leith van Onselen From the Housing Industry Association (HIA) today comes news that new homes sales are staging a tentative recovery, particularly in the detached house segment. Total new home sales rose by 4.7% in November driven by 7.7% lift in detached house sales, whereas sales of multi-unit homes (apartments) fell by 6.9% following


Iron ore prices twirl higher

By Leith van Onselen The biggest news over the festive break was the ongoing surge in iron ore prices, which have risen by more than $US30 per tonne since December. Iron ore is Australia’s biggest export commodity (see below chart) and any increase in prices flows directly into national disposable income, boosting company profits, government


2013 housing outlook

By Leith van Onselen On 7 January, Today Tonight provided a surprisingly good report on the outlook for the Australian housing market in 2013. The video, which is provided below, provides a good summary of the year end RP Data-Rismark house price results and contains interviews with Professor Steve Keen, RP Data’s Cameron Kusher, APM’s


Is the Basel process broken? You can count on it

From The Conversation comes the following critique of the Basel Capital Adequacy Framework by Pat McConnell, Honorary Fellow at Macquarie University’s Applied Finance Centre. This year, the Basel process of banking regulation is 25 years old. In 1988, the first set of global banking regulations, known as Basel I, was adopted by the world’s senior


Reaction to trade data

By Leith van Onselen Following on from my earlier post on November’s goods and services trade data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), please find below ANZ Bank’s take: Australia’s trade deficit widened by more than expected in November to AUD2.637bn (mkt: AUD2.3bn). However, the miss relative to market expectations can be


Australia’s trade deficit widened further in November

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released trade data for the month of November, with Australia’s trade deficit increasing to a seasonally-adjusted $2,637 million, from $2,443 million in October (revised upwards from $2,088 million). It was the eleventh consecutive month that Australia has recorded a monthly trade deficit and


Holiday season data dump

By Leith van Onselen If you are like me and have just returned from holidays, you might be unaware that a bunch of data pertaining to the Australian economy was released over the holiday break. Below is a summary of the main data sets: RP Data-Rismark home values indices: As noted last by Delusional Economics


Melbourne home sales hit 16-year lows

By Leith van Onselen The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has released preliminary data on the overall number of home sales in Metropolitan Melbourne in calendar year 2012. According to the REIV, 69,000 homes were sold in 2012, which was nearly -3,000 less than 2011 and the lowest volume of sales since 1996 when



Please find below former Reserve Bank of New Zealand advisor and multiple CEO, Terry “Macca” McFadgen’s, latest ‘Maccanomics’ article, where Macca provides his outlook for the global economy. Enjoy! Macca confesses that he has been dilatory or indeed delinquent as one of his correspondents would have it. In his defence he can’t say much to


Residex sees no housing recovery in 2013

  By Leith van Onselen Residex CEO, John Edwards, on Monday gave an interesting video interview on Switzer where he discussed the outlook for the Australian housing market in 2013. In a nutshell, Edwards does not believe that the overall housing market will rebound next year (rather it will mirror 2012’s performance) because housing affordability


Population growth continues to accelerate

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just releasedthe Australian Demographic Statistics for the June quarter of 2012. According to the ABS, Australia’s population grew by 1.6% in the year to June 2012, which was the highest annual recorded rate of growth since December 2009, and above the 30-year average of


Victoria to pursue austerity

By Leith van Onselen This morning’s post on the deterioration of the Victorian Government’s budgetary position included the following warning: With budget revenues continuing to fall, there is now the risk that the state government will make further cuts to spending and jobs in attempt to return the budget to surplus. Such moves would further


QLD mortgages retrace after FHOG boom

By Leith van Onselen The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has released data on housing transfers and mortgage lodgements for the month of November. According to DERM, the number of housing transfers and mortgage lodgements fell by -7.9% and -7.2% respectively in November 2012, but were up 9.9% and 4.9% respectively on


Construction jobs rebound as mining retrenches

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released employment data for the November quarter, which has revealed some interesting and, quite frankly, counter-intuitive results. First, the below chart shows the non-seasonally adjusted change in employment by industry: As you can see, the construction industry has led jobs growth, adding 51,700 jobs


Car sales flat in November

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released new motor vehicle sales for the month of November, which registered no growth in seasonally-adjusted terms over the month but a 9.7% increase over the year: The upwards trend in new car sales continues to be driven by strong growth in sales of


Links for 13 December 2012

Global Macro:  Inside the Risky Bets of Central Banks  – Wall Street Journal Baltic Dry Plunges By Over 8% Overnight, Most Since 2008  – ZeroHedge Synthesising views on the West’s poor growth | Economists’ Forum – Financial Times North America: FOMC Meeting Announcement Patterns In History – dynamichedge.com What to Expect From the Fed Today


Lending finance mixed in October

By Leith van Onselen The ABS this morning released Lending Finance data for the month of October, which registered solid seasonally-adjusted rise in commercial finance but falls in all other categories: In seasonally-adjusted terms, the value of personal finance commitments fell by 0.9% and down by -5.0% over the year: The value of lease finance


RP Data sees housing market recovery

By Leith van Onselen RP Data has released its December housing market update, which is always worth a watch for the significant amount of property-related data on offer. This month’s report includes the following collection of charts that track the health of the market at the national level. First, sales volumes have recovered somewhat, up


AFG mortgage sales are booming

Please find below Nathan Webb’s latest analysis of the November AFG finance statistics. It’s funny how news can be presented.  In the lead-up to the December interest rate decision, AFG were busy telling everyone how first home buyers had all but disappeared in NSW and QLD.  Meanwhile, they recorded one of their best months since


Stock on market jumps in November

By Leith van Onselen SQM Research has today released Stock on Market data for the month of November, which registered a 4.9% monthly increase in overall for sale listings, but no movement in year-on-year terms: According to SQM: This month’s data is particularly interesting when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year (November


NSW pulls down FHB finance approvals

By Leith van Onselen Following on from yesterday’s housing finance release from the ABS for the month of October, the below chart compares the growth of first home buyer (FHB) housing finance approvals following the latest round of interest rate cuts (-1.75% since November 2011) to the average of the four prior interest rate-cutting cycles