Leith van Onselen

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RP Data describes a gloomy housing market

By Leith van Onselen The RP Data May Market Report is out and Australian home values were down -4.5% in the 12-months to end-April, and have fallen -6.1% since peak (see below charts). Most key metrics have worsened over the past year, including: Sales volumes: Average days on market: Average vendor discounts: Number of homes

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Solid employment in detail

By Leith van Onselen As The Prince reported earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this morning released the labour force data for the month of April, and like last month’s print, it is very good. In seasonally adjusted terms, total employment increased 15,500 (0.1%) to 11,501,000. Full-time employment decreased 10,500 (0.1%) to 8,062,800 and

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Leith van Onselen on the wireless

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking part in a radio interview on the Renegade Economists show, which aired on 3CR Community Radio. In a wide ranging interview, Prosper Australia’s Karl Fitzgerald (host) and I discussed, amongst other things, the evolution of MacroBusiness.com.au and Tuesday’s Federal Budget. The interview can be streamed here. Readers can also access past Renegade Economist

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Bogan exodus surges

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for March, which contained mixed fortunes for the tourism industry. While short-term visitor arrivals increased by 1.9% over the month in seasonally adjusted terms, short-term resident departures rose by more, increasing by 3.0%. In the 12

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Weekly RP Data house price analysis

By Leith van Onselen It’s been a poor week for the Australian housing market, with the RP Data-Rismark daily home price index recording a -0.59% decline in national capital city home values in the week ending 9 May 2012. Australia’s three major capitals – Sydney (-1.20%), Melbourne (-0.55%), and Brisbane (-0.15%) – led the declines,

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Housing lobby gets no Budget relief

By Leith van Onselen Well it didn’t take long, the Federal Budget has only just been released (it’s 9.00pm Tuesday as I write this post), and already the Housing Industry Association (HIA) is complaining that the Government didn’t offer incentives aimed at reinvigorating Australia’s ailing home building market: The Housing Industry Association, the voice of

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Trade balance shocker to hit Q1 GDP

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released trade data for the month of March, and it’s an absolute shocker. In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services recorded a deficit of $1,587 million in March 2012, a rise of $833 million on the deficit recorded in February

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Retail sales in perspective

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday’s strong retail sales figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), were generally greeted with enthusiasm in the media.  For instance, Bloomberg reported the result as follows: Australian retail sales rose at more than four times the pace that economists forecast, capping the best quarter since 2009 as consumers

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Retail sales bounce back in March

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this morning released the retail trade data for the month of March, which registered a solid bounce in retail sales that beat analyst’s expectations. In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales rose by 0.9% in the month of March and by 3.7% year-on-year – more or

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Apartments drive bounce in dwelling approvals

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released the Building Approvals data for the month of March. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals rose by a seasonally adjusted 7.4% to 11,501, driven predominantly by a 15.5% increase in approvals for units and apartments, as well as large

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Victoria’s total mortgages decline in April

By Leith van Onselen With the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) scheduled to release the March Housing Finance statistics next week, I thought it would be worthwhile to update readers on recently released Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment (DSE) transfer and mortgage data for the month of April, which shows continued weakness in the

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April AFG seasonal adjustments

Please find below another guest post from MacroBusiness reader, Nathan Webb. Enjoy! The whole reason that I started looking at seasonal adjustments of the AFG volumes was that I couldn’t stand the erratic and false headlines that AFG were producing.  It’s a symptom of them not understanding what actually drives their monthly totals, which is

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Reserve Bank of WBC cuts 0.37%

By Leith van Onselen Just in, Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) has cut its variable mortgage rate by 0.37%, which follows the Bank of Queensland’s, National Australia Bank’s, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s announcements that they would reduce variable mortgage rates by 0.35%, 0.32%, and 0.40% respectively. WBC also announced that it would cut interest

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RBNZ moves to prevent asset bubbles

By Leith van Onselen In April last year, outgoing Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) governor, Alan Bollard, muted introducing ‘maco-prudential’ tools to prevent the formation of future asset price bubbles: “[New Zealand needs] to keep preparing for how we might deal with credit and asset price booms when they recur in the future,” Bollard

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SQM: Stock on market down in April

By Leith van Onselen SQM Research has released their stock on market data for April, which has registered a small fall in the number of homes for sale nationally, with stock levels largely unchanged from April 2011: However, there’s great divergence between the capital cities, with stock levels remaining highly elevated in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart

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Noosa’s property ground zero

By Leith van Onselen Earlier today, Houses and Holes posted on Genworth LMI’s worsening exposure to the Australian housing market. In the Genworth presentation attached to the post is the below chart, showing that a key driver of the increased insurance pay-outs (and the 1st quarter loss) was a sharp rise in mortgage delinquencies in

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What happens when the new home stimulus runs out?

By Leith van Onselen The release of the HIA-Jeldwen New Homes  Sales report earlier this week was a disaster for Australia’s residential construction industry, with new home sales in March falling to the lowest level since 1994: Two states where the situation appears particularly worrying are Victoria and Queensland, where new house sales are running

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Treasury’s very long China boom

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Treasury yesterday released an interesting paper (below) as part of its Economic Round-up series, entitled China’s emergence in global commodity markets, which analyses the history of China’s demand for commodities and the potential path of future demand. As readers are probably aware, the rapid growth of commodity demand from

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Comparing the big four house price indices

By Leith van Onselen It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with Australia’s four main housing data providers – the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Property Monitors (APM), RP Data-Rismark, and Residex – each providing their capital city house price indices results for March or April 2012. Those unfamiliar with these indices would be

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ABS: House prices continue to fall

By Leith van Onselen The last of the major house price data providers, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), today released their capital city house price indices for the March quarter of 2012, which confirmed that the housing “slow melt” has continued. In seasonally adjusted terms, the price index for established houses for the weighted

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RP Data: home prices down sharply in April

By Leith van Onselen RP Data-Rismark has just released it’s home values index report for the month of April (below), and it’s poor month as predicted with Australian home values declining by -0.8% over the month nationally, led by Melbourne (-1.7%): The result would have been much worse had it been seasonally adjusted. According to

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Austerity beckons for Victoria

By Leith van Onselen Over the past two weeks (here and here) I have warned how the Victorian government is under increasing pressure from the state’s sharply slowing property market, which is acting to reduce growth and employment and has blown a $1.1 billion hole in the State Budget. Now it has been reported that the Victorian

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Tax stats unmask negative gearing

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) today released its Taxation Statistics for the 2009-10 financial year, which once again revealed that Australia has become a nation of loss-making landlords. Below are the key tables from the ATO release. First, the summary of rental deductions for the 2009-10 and 2008-09 financial years: According

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Private credit growth flat in March

By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has just released the private sector credit aggregates data for the month of March: Total credit provided to the private sector by financial intermediaries rose by 0.4 per cent over March 2012, after rising by 0.4 per cent over February. Over the year to March,

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Australian housing’s poor April

By Leith van Onselen RP Data-Rismark this morning released its daily home price indices for 30 April, which revealed that Australian capital city home values recorded a -0.73% fall over the month – the largest decline since January 2012 (-0.97%) and breaking two consecutive months of rises (+0.68% in February and +0.18% in March). The

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APM’s house price revisions

By Leith van Onselen Australian housing is back! Or its it? A quick read of the latest Australian Property Monitor’s (APM) house price results for the March quarter (release below) suggests that the Australian housing market has shrugged-off recent woes and has returned to growth, rising by 0.9% in the March quarter: AUSTRALIA’S house prices

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Victoria confesses

By Leith van Onselen Earlier in the week I warned how the Victorian economy and Budget are being placed under increasing pressure from the state’s sharply slowing property market, which is acting to reduce growth and employment whilst hammering the state’s tax take. Today, we received additional confirmation of Victoria’s plight, when it was revealed

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Rental vacancies flat in March

By Leith van Onselen From SQM research comes the news that Australia’s rental vacancy rate remained flat in March at 1.7% (up 0.2% year-on-year), with only 243 vacancies added during the month: According to SQM Reserach’s Managing Director, Louis Christopher: It appears that Australia’s rental market is remaining excessively tight for the time being with

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Weekly RP Data house price index analysis

By Leith van Onselen If there’s one industry that will welcome the upcoming cut in official interest rates it’s the housing industry where, according to the RP Data-Rismark daily home values indices, overall Australian capital city home values continued to contract in the week to 25 April 2012, led by Melbourne (see below chart). According to RP