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Cancel the Apocalypse: House prices are rising!

Or so says Justin Fabo and Ric Deverell, economists at Macquarie Bank: “It is now looking very likely that housing prices at the national level are again rising modestly,” the pair wrote in a note released this week, adding the disclaimer that “large differences remain between locations and type of housing”. Given the seasonal nature


Is Australia’s interest-only mortgage cliff as big as US sub-prime?

Domainfax is worried: Queensland property investor Peter Button “grabbed the profit and ran” when his interest-only loan expired and he realised that refinancing would trigger a hefty increase in repayments. “I saw a refinancing issue coming over the horizon, it was easier to just get rid of it,” said Mr Button who recently sold his


Bitcoin crash intensifies

It’s turning nasty for BTC with $10k now history: A note from Capital Economics is uncharacteristically blunt: Claims that cryptocurrencies will replace established fiat currencies are rubbish; our view is that Bitcoin is a bubble. Indeed, the latest price falls suggest that the bubble is bursting – although with prices still ten times higher than


Dick Smith attacks Chinese water at the Oz Open

Via Herald Sun: DICK Smith has criticised the Australian Open’s decision to sell bottled water from China, as a local brewery offered to supply water to the tournament in 2019. The Australian business entrepreneur described the move to sell water from overseas at an international tournament which is hosted in Melbourne as “bizarre”. He said


Joke cryptocurrency passes $2bn

Via Motherboard: Jackson Palmer is an Australian entrepreneur and technologist best known for creating the infamously successful “joke” cryptocurrency Dogecoin. Currently based out of San Francisco, Jackson works as a product manager but is still active in the cryptocurrency space. Jackson has holdings in various cryptocurrencies, including less than $50 worth of Dogecoin. You can


Shall we move Australia Day?

Australia’s great political symbolists, The Fake Greens, are at it again: Putting the case for making changing the date of Australia Day one of the Greens’ top priorities in 2018, Senator Di Natale said the 26th of January represented pain and suffering for First Australians. “It’s a day that represents an act of dispossession, an


Pascometer redlines on property crash

Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo. I’ve been pretty sanguine about the unfolding property correction. It’s another round of slow melt for now, plodding lower for years as Macroprudential 2.0 tightens then negative gearing is removed. With fiscal stimulus pouring out and the odd rate cut thrown in it’s manageable until we get another external shock. But that


The end of middle management

Cross posted from The Conversation: by Massimo Garbuio, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney and Nidthida Lin Senior lecturer, University of Newcastle The trend of “flat” organisations is catching on at some of the world’s biggest companies. It’s easy to see the appeal when you think of a utopia where everyone in an organisation has a


Credit Suisse: Saving households to force more rate cuts

Via Credit Suisse’s excellent Damien Boey today: The RBA’s optimistic consumption thesis RBA officials are of the view that consumption growth should be quite solid on the back of job creation, a gradual pick up in real wage inflation, and a modest reduction in the household saving rate. To be sure, they see risks stemming


CoreLogic: New year brings house price falls everywhere

Via Core Logic, major city house prices continue to sicken with Melbourne joining in so far in January: As the leading mortgage index plunges but listings don’t (talking about year on year changes not the cyclical drops): It will be fascinating to see what the Autumn season brings. My guess is a spreading slow melt.


Sunday Night pumps Mr IQ’s leverage empire

Dear God, how about some research Sunday Night? He’s Australia’s most surprising real estate mogul but at 32, Nathan Birch’s success has been achieved by following some very basic investment rules. Meet Australia’s most surprising real estate mogul who has amassed a portfolio of hundreds of properties and now he’s sharing his secrets. Part 1 Since


Coalition liars comprehensively shamed on negative gearing

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition’s strident defence of negative gearing, and the lies used to support the policy, is looking increasingly toxic for the Turnbull Government. Last week, the ABC’s FOI release from the Australian Treasury showed that Labor’s policy to restrict negative gearing to new builds and halve the capital gains tax (CGT) discount


Why unregulated cryptocurrencies could trigger another GFC

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The price of bitcoin hit $17,000 late last year and – although the cryptocurrency has plunged since then – there are signs that an absence of regulation can hurt investors and trigger the next financial crisis. Despite the laudable blockchain technology and the great opportunities it offers in enabling quicker transactions,


Is Perth’s housing market “close to bottoming out”?

By Leith van Onselen From WA Today comes the eternal question about whether Perth’s housing market is about to recover: Australia’s peak housing body predicts Western Australia’s housing market is close to “bottoming out”… “The WA market is approaching a bottoming out point after record highs in 2014,” he said. “Since then it’s fallen back


Another idiotic housing affordability “solution” emerges

By Leith van Onselen Leading real estate rent-seeker, the Property Council of Australia (PCA), is pushing for another idiotic policy “solution” to fix Australia’s housing affordability woes: offering a government-backed low deposit home loan scheme. From The Australian: A government-backed low-­deposit home loan scheme could help address housing affordability by getting more buyers into the


Roy Morgan: “nearly 20% of the workforce either out of work or under-employed”

By Leith van Onselen The latest Roy Morgan Research (RMR) unemployment estimate for December registered no change in the unemployment rate over the month (still 9.8%), but the key figure is a 0.6% increase over the year, with underemployment also rising: Below are the key points from the release: The workforce is 13,410,000 comprised of


Jobs takes: Curb your enthusiam

At one end is Westpac: November’s headline employment gain exceeded expectations by a significant margin but we would caution before interpret this as suggesting an acceleration in labour demand. As we highlighted in our preview, the weaker than expected October print associated with a falling participation suggested that sample volatility may have been behind the


Housing scheme “hijacked for wealthy foreign students”

By Leith van Onselen The Age has published an article today on how the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) – a $3.2 billion scheme launched by the former Labor Government in 2007 amid claims that it would increase the supply of affordable rental housing to low and moderate income households – turned into a rort


Australia’s China meltdown turns nuclear

Via The Australian: Australia’s ambassador to China has been called into the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a dressing down over the Turnbull government’s foreign interference laws amid accusations by Beijing that anti-China ­rhetoric is damaging the relationship. In a sign of the increasing tensions between the two governments, Jan Adams was officially summoned


Aussie housing valuations finally retrace from peak

By Leith van Onselen The ABS on Tuesday released its property price data for the September quarter, which valued Australia’s dwelling stock owned by households at a record $6.44 trillion, whereas the total housing stock was valued at a record $6.78 trillion. As shown below, the total value of Australia’s dwelling stock owned by households


#Sardine Sydney train crash to worsen

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday I reported how Sydney’s crippling immigration-fuelled population growth had pushed the rail network to breaking point, with one early morning incident causing mayhem well into the evening across the metropolitan train system. Today, Sydney Trains boss, Howard Collins, admitted that soaring passenger demand means the train system is stretched beyond