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


Grattan: Labor’s womens super policy more symbolism than substance

Cross-posted from The Conversation: When it comes to the gender gap in retirement incomes, symbolism appears to matter more than actually achieving something. Labor’s plan to add super contributions to government-funded parental leave was heralded by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten this week as having a “big impact down the track”. Our analysis shows it would


CBA: Why house prices will continue to fall

By Gareth Aird, Senior Economist at CBA Key Points: Australian residential property prices have fallen over the past nine months. Further declines appear likely over the next year due to softer credit growth, a continued lift in apartment supply, less foreign demand and more rational price expectations from would-be buyers. We retain our view, however,


Housing behind rising Australian inequality

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The Productivity Commission – the Australian government’s highly influential economic advisory body – released a report titled Rising Inequality? last week. The question mark indicates its scepticism about other research findings on rising inequality in Australia. The commission responded to its own question in the report’s very first heading: “Over nearly


MSM mis-represented PC inequality data

Cross-posted from The Conversation: If you were going to reduce a 150-page Productivity Commission examination of trends in Australian inequality to a few words, it would be nice if they weren’t “ALP inequality claims sunk”, or “Progressive article of faith blown up” or “Labor inequality myths busted by commission”. The editorial in the Australian Financial


Environment forgotten in endless immigration debate

By William Bourke, President of the Sustainable Australia party Australia has a rich history of migration, with around 7 million permanent migrants calling Australia home in the 20th century alone. That’s 70,000 migrants per year – or a bumper ANZ Stadium crowd. By the turn of the century, our population had reached 19 million and


How we lit the fuse on the population bomb

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse We’ve been here before – concerns about our capacity to house a large population are not new. But lately, hostility to rapid rates of population growth is gaining traction. There have been calls for a population enquiry and former PM Abbott has called for immigration (and hence population