“Congestion busting” just got harder under ScoMo’s immigration boom

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: THE ELECTION OFFERED no respite from Australia’s radical immigration economy. We could crank it up higher, under the Coalition. Even more so, via Labor. In 2017 and 2018, net migration clocked about 240,000. The Budget grows that by 30,000. But permanent migration drops by 30,000. How good are bridging visas? The long haul is real news. Only


Ponzi Pallas serves up land taxes to fill stamp duty black hole

By David Collyer Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has pre-announced Land Tax changes ahead of Monday night’s state budget. Expect a dramatic budget contraction as Victoria’s key ‘own revenue’ source, Stamp Duty, has shrunk with the fall in both property transaction volumes and prices. “The government says stamp duty revenue will collapse by an average of


Political trouble for the bubble down under

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from New Geography: In a remarkable and most unexpected outcome, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has retained the country’s leadership at the recent Australian Federal Parliamentary election (18 May, 2019). Morrison’s victory confounded a wide array of commentators, academics, advocacy groups, industry groups, all of the opinion polls, most of


International student’s “clenching and corrupting hold” on universities

By Binoy Kampmark, lecturer at RMIT University There are no protests on the streets and no effigies of university officials being burned by protesting students today. There are no protests outside the officers of the over-remunerated Vice Chancellors and their various henchpersons. It is business and malpractice as usual after revelations by Australia’s national broadcaster that Australian universities have


Why the banking royal commission will ultimately achieve little

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Will the banking services royal commission have a lasting effect of improving the banking and financial sector? The answer is “no”. A temporary change is apparent, but the problems lie deeper than those addressed by the royal commissioner. The worldwide pervasiveness of financial sector misconduct is an indication. This is not a


How Labor lost Middle Australia

Cross-posted from Patreon: I’m sure like most of you – you are scratching your head to explain what happened last night, and how Bill Shorten lost the Federal Election (when only months ago most people thought he would romp it home in a landslide). Read on and enjoy my thoughts: 1. Climate Change isn’t the


Labor visa earthquake to trigger elderly migrant tsunami

Below is an edited extract of a new paper by Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute. Summary An alarmist headline? Not really. This judgement follows from an analysis of Labor’s proposed temporary visa for parents of existing migrants, entitled, a ‘Fairer Long stay parent visa for Australia’s migrant and multicultural communities’. The


Australia: The Once Lucky Country

Here’s an interesting take on Australia by American Joel Kotkin and the publishers of The City Journal. Cross-posted with permission: Few places on earth are better suited for middle-class prosperity than Australia. From early in its history, when it was a refuge for British convicts, the vast, resource-rich country has provided an ideal environment for


Where is Australia’s population policy?

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: Morrison Government’s population plan “capped” permanent migration at 160,000 but its 2019 Budget uncapped net migration to 270,000. This has not been challenged by the Labor Opposition and so, our steep population growth is removed from the political contest, ignoring the environmental and electoral objections. UP UNTIL CHRISTCHURCH, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s muscular migration brand was “Stop


There is no silver bullet (train)

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse: A proposed High Speed Rail connecting Melbourne with Sydney and Brisbane is getting favourable press. But what are the hurdles and how would it compare with existing modes of intercity travel? “We should bite the bullet and go for a high-speed rail connection not just through to Sydney


Money laundering reforms thwarted by property “vested interests”

By Nathan Lynch, Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief, Financial Crime and Risk at Thomson Reuters Australia’s Greens are exploring a range of political strategies to force the parliament’s hand on Tranche 2 of the anti-money laundering (AML) regime, following claims that shadowy “vested interests” have blocked the reforms. The country’s third-largest political party has undertaken preliminary work on


Policy makers knew about flammable cladding but did nothing

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The fire at the Neo200 building on Spencer Street in the Melbourne CBD this week has eerie similarities to the Grenfell Tower disaster. Fortunately, instead of 72 people dead as at Grenfell, only one person was hospitalised for smoke inhalation. Nevertheless, the building industry has responded straight from the Grenfell song sheet. Rydon, the


Why suburbs must be the next frontier for cities policy

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse: “Around the world, the vast majority of people are moving to cities not to inhabit their centres but to suburbanise their peripheries. Thus when the United Nations projects the number of future ‘urban’ residents… these figures largely reflect the unprecedented suburban expansion of global cities.” That’s from the


Credit Suisse: Prepare for another 0.5% of bank mortgage hikes

From Damien Boey at Credit Suisse Yesterday, NAB announced a 12bps increase on owner-occupier conventional mortgages, and a 16bps increase on interest-only investor mortgages. In the round of out-of-cycle rate hikes last year, NAB was the odd one out, choosing not to hike with its competitors. Therefore, today’s hike brings NAB more in line with


Credit Suisse: Sydney house prices to fall 9% in 2019

From Damien Boey at Credit Suisse We have just published an article about the outlook for Sydney housing, now that prices have dropped around 15% from their late 2017 peak, and are falling at their fastest pace in several decades. We take note of a few positives: 1). There are tentative signs that Chinese demand is


Credit Suisse: Is momentum investing valid?

Via Damien Boey of Credit Suisse: Momentum investing is based on the idea that tomorrow’s winners and losers will resemble yesterday’s winners and losers on average, whether on 12-month total return, or 3-month earnings revision bases. We find that macro factors can predict when momentum factors are likely to work well, although there are also


Property index points to Aussie recession

Cross-posted from Prosper Australia: Real estate cycle expert Bryan Kavanagh says turnover and price declines in Sydney and Melbourne during 2018 indicate an economic recession in the 2019-20 financial year. The 2018 “Kavanagh-Putland Index”, released today, shows the total value of Australian real estate sales to GDP.  Mr Kavanagh said the $50 billion pumped into


Martin North: Aussie house prices to fall up to 30%

By Martin North, Principal Adviser at Digital Finance Analytics: We have updated our scenarios to take account of potential RBA rate cuts later in the year, revised mortgage stress and household confidence data and other factors. We also updated our probability allocation. Here is a summary. Our central scenario is one of home price fall,


Why a broader review of superannuation is needed

Cross-posted from The Conversation: There’s a lot in the Productivity Commission’s landmark 722-page table-thumper of a report into Australia’s superannuation system, completed after nearly three years of invesigation. For now, I’ll make three comments. The Commission gets the industry First, it’s a very valuable report. The Productivity Commission (PC) has undertaken a deep analysis of


The dystopian road to a ‘Big Australia’

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: Without a fundamental change to economic thinking, we will continue down the dystopian road, argues Stephen Williams. THE HEAD of the Muppet Show, Scott Morrison, met with state and territory leaders in Adelaide recently for the COAG chinwag. Topping the list of agenda items was population. I will try and summarise the population problem as


Where the jobs will be in 2023

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Suburban Alliance: In amongst changing Prime Ministers (again) or our ongoing obsession with all things Trump, there mustn’t have been much room left in the media this year for analysis of interesting jobs forecasts and other economic news. This one missed my attention, but it’s very interesting: the Federal


CBA: Aussie house prices to keep falling

By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA: Key Points: Australian residential property prices have fallen over the past twelve months. The near term indicators suggest that prices will continue to deflate. We believe that the best indicators to watch for assessing the very near term outlook for property prices are: housing finance; auction clearance rates,


Why cars will always dominate urban transit

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse: Schlomo ‘Solly’ Angel is a world renowned urbanist and author of countless books including “Atlas of Urban Expansion”, “Planet of Cities” and “Tale of Scale.” He is adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) and senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, where he leads the


How the fossil fuels industry taxes us to death – literally

By Phil Soos, cross-posted from Independent Australia: The Government has prioritised economically supporting the fossil fuels industry instead of tackling urgent climate change issues, writes Philip Soos. AUSTRALIA’S CLIMATE CHANGE culture war is a hideous spectacle. Despite the obvious reality of human-caused climate change and the urgent need to act, the powerful fossil fuels industry (FFI)


How to get the cheapest airfare

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Few things are more annoying than spending a large sum of money on a purchase, only to discover that someone else got the same thing for a lower price. This often happens with airfares. You go the same website, search the same airline, choose the same seat row and fare conditions,


WestConnex “biggest misuse of public for corporate gain in history”

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The NSW government has confirmed it will sell 51% of WestConnex — the nation’s biggest road infrastructure project — to a consortium led by Transurban, the nation’s biggest toll road corporation. NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet described the A$9.3 billion sale to one of his party’s more generous donors as a “very