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Mainland housing nightmare lands in Tasmania

By Leith van Onselen Following his re-election last year, Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman rejoiced at the recent acceleration in the state’s population growth: Tasmania’s population is growing at its fastest rate in five years and the State Government wants to see more of it… “There’s no doubt that Tasmania has ample room for additional intake


Newspoll: Scummo dead duck

Goodbye Scummo: Scott Morrison’s visit last week to the Christmas Island regional processing centre in a bid to keep the pressure on Labor’s softened border protection policy failed to ameliorate the damage, with the two-party-preferred vote widening from 53-47 a fortnight ago to 54-46 this week, giving Labor a clear eight-point lead over the ­Coalition.


Lunatic RBA leaps into “policy error”

Via the AFR comes the lunatic RBA’s latest propaganda spill: …Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is calling for solutions to a puzzle where employment is growing but GDP is softening. But one of Australia’s more experienced economists, former ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan, said it was time for economists to consider employment data with


UBS: Credit crunch to intensify

Via The Australian comes UBS’s George Tharenou: “My framework here is that the regulatory tightening is accelerating, so the only effective policy lever available in the near term to stimulate the economy is the cash rate,” he says. “There’s a view that the royal commission was benign because it didn’t change law, but we never


Abbottalypse climate!

Amazing what the threat of losing your sinecure can do, at Domain: Tony Abbott has backflipped on his call for Australia to withdraw from the landmark Paris agreement, saying the federal government has lost the “emissions obsession” it held under former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Turnbull swiftly returned fire on Twitter, suggesting Mr Abbott’s


Coalition opens yet another migrant visa rort pathway

By Leith van Onselen Let’s recall the damning indictment of Australia’s “defacto low-skilled immigration programme” in the book entitled The Wages Crisis in Australia, which was released late last year by a group of labour market academics: Official stock data indicate that the visa programmes for international students, temporary skilled workers and working holiday makers have


Migration Council chair again fights wage theft laws

Chair of the Migration Council, Innes Willox, is at it again today. Despite the Council’s stated intention to “enhance the productive benefits of Australia’s migration and humanitarian programs” he writes the following as head of Australian industry Group: “The Migrant Workers’ Taskforce Report contains many sensible recommendations that industry can readily support. However, a number of


Property professor: Lower prices don’t make housing more affordable

By Leith van Onselen I’ve seen some stupid arguments in my time. But the below drivel from Chris Leishman – Professor of Housing Economics, University of Adelaide – is right up there. According to the good professor, “declining house prices are no better for housing affordability than rising prices”. Let’s examine his key arguments: …falling house


New ageing Australia visas to be available from April

By Leith van Onselen The Productivity Commission’s (PC) Migrant Intake into Australia report, released in 2016, recommended significantly tightening parental visas and raising their price, given they are costing taxpayers an estimated $335 000 to $410 000 per adult, or between $2.6 and $3.2 billion per annual intake in present value terms (and growing): There


Melbourne’s McMansion meltdown turns nuclear

By Leith van Onselen At the end of 2017, it became apparent that Melbourne’s house and land market had become an giant bubble after the median price for a housing lot hit $318,500 – up 31.5% in only 12 months. In mid-2018, we learned that that Chinese developers had taken control of Melbourne’s land supply


Worst suburbs see property prices crash “more than 40%”

Via the AFR: ….Average Sydney discounts are about 6 per cent, compared to 5 per cent in Melbourne and about 4.5 per cent in Brisbane, research shows. That compares to a national average of about 5 per cent for houses and apartments. Agents claim properties in suburbs where demand has slumped, or prices outpaced buyer


Subway “skilled” Chinese sandwich maker underpaid

Via Yahoo comes the great Australian economy: The former owner of two Subway franchises in Sydney has been penalised $65,000 after underpaying a former employee by $16,345. The employee working at outlets at Artarmon and Stanmore was paid just $14-$14.50 an hour, between October 2014 and April 2016. That’s well below the minimum rate of


Mortgage stress booms as property crash deepens

Digital Finance Analytics (DFA) has released its February 2019 mortgage stress survey, which reveals that the pressure on Australian households continues to grow, weighed down by weak wages growth, growing debt burdens, and plummeting property values: Unfortunately, the pressure on households continues to rise as weak ongoing wages growth is not offsetting costs of living,


Australian dollar hammered as China bans Aussie coal

Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Via Reuters: Customs at China’s northern Dalian port has banned imports of Australian coal and will cap overall coal imports for 2019 through its harbours at 12 million tonnes, an official at Dalian Port Group told Reuters on Thursday. The indefinite ban on imports from top supplier Australia,


Westpac hit with class action over ‘irresponsible’ mortgages

By Leith van Onselen Westpac will face a class action in the federal court for issuing home loans that breached responsible lending rules. From SBS News: Westpac is facing a class action for allegedly giving loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back. The class action, in the Federal Court, is the first


McGrathmageddon: “Exceptional” property market “resurgent”

This is how one McGrathmageddon realtor summed up the property market this week: 2019 looks more promising than many would have thought. November and December were very tough but in January things really picked up. Buyer enquiry has been exceptional. The negative media reports preaching that it’s a great time to purchase must be prompting buyer


Corruption swamps Scummo Government

Tony Wright sums of the death of our Westminster system of government today: With fast-gathering regularity, ministerial responsibility appears to have all but decayed to no responsibility. Daily now the nation is assaulted by revelations of conduct that would get the cold shoulder in a shearer’s pub. It is as if Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s