Sweden’s bubblicious housing

In conducting research for last night’s post on the German housing market, I came across some interesting information on the housing bubble developing in Sweden. It’s a story worth sharing since it offers important insights and parallels for Australia. Before I kick-off, first consider the below chart of real house prices since the mid-1980s: As

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Would you Twizy ?

A little off topic tonight, but hopefully not too far. One of the things I used to talk about on my old blog was a concept I called GPEC. I am not going to discuss it again here, but basically it is a measure that I suggest government economic policy should be judged by. GPEC


China’s property bubble spreading

China Daily has published an interesting article, Record realty prices head to lower-tier cities, explaining how tightening measures undertaken by the Chinese Government to curb soaring property values in China’s major cities is causing bubble-like conditions to spread to second and third tier cities [hat tip World Housing Bubble]. Below are some of the key


Has Greece asked Argentina?

As my readers would know I have been discussing Europe’s financial issues for quite some time. I have stated many times that Greece’s issues are far bigger than just internal fiscal policy, and that I consider Greece’s default an inevitability due to its macro-economic position within the European marketplace. Overnight PIMCO added their voice to



The bid by SAB Miller for Foster’s almost certainly won’t go anywhere in its current form. But it is another blow to the non-resources industry base of Australia. What will Australians have to invest in on the ASX when large chunks of our industry base have become the part of someone else’s global food chain?


Trading Day: 23rd June

The S&P/ASX 200 has fallen over 20 points today, but has steadied after midday, now at 4512 points, down 0.44%, on the back of reduced GDP growth from the US. Asian markets are all down on the news, with the Nikkei down 0.37 percent to 9594 points, the Hang Seng also down 0.7% and Singapore


Australia’s population growth slowing

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its latest population figures, and it shows Australia’s population growth rate for the 2010 calender year slowing to only 1.5%, 0.7% below the peak growth rate of 2.2% reached in the 2008 calender year. Here’s the ABS media release  and summary data relating to the release: MEDIA


Where now for Gold?

Spot gold in USD broke a recent high last night, after comments by the Fed chief Ben Bernanke, that milky-wilkies (QE3) are off the table, but will continue its zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) due to the slowing US economy. Gold jumped to $1559.50, before being sold off (which has regularly occurred whenever an intraday


Relying on stock market averages

In my research putting together my articles on Asset Allocation in Super, I’ve collated the data that supports the thesis that investing in Australian shares is not as lucrative as the financial industry would have you believe. The standard industry myth is that the stock market provides 9% returns on average. I’ll quote broker Marcus


Equity Spotlight: Cochlear

This week’s Spotlight will be on a company I believe is probably the best listed stock on the ASX – Cochlear Ltd (COH). Not only is it a great performer, with sound management and excellent returns for shareholders, it is an innovative company that should be a template for how our economy should present itself


Thanks Gov’

The Urban Development Institute Australia – Queensland division has released its report (available at the bottom of the post ) on its expectations for the building industry in Queensland over the coming year. Their press release summarises the report. While the June report is still dominated by bleak fundamental building activity figures, the Institute has


June 23 Links: Trending down

Sorry we are late this morning, the MacroBusiness team is suffering from winter ills. This will be a bit shorter than usual. Feel free to add some more links via comments if you find something worth sharing. Up: $US, gold , energy , metals Flat: ore Down: CRB,, grains, euro, Aussie Sovereign contagion: Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece Bernanke downgrades US GDP Reuters but no talk


How Germany achieved stable & affordable housing

A few months ago, after posting numerous articles advocating the Texan approach to land-use planning,  I promised fellow MacroBusiness blogger, The Prince, that I would undertake an analysis of the German housing system, which is regarded as amongst the most affordable and liberal in Europe. In my findings presented below, I have compared and contrasted the German housing system


Household pain higher than GFC

The venerable economists of the Melbourne Institute released their quarterly Household Financial Conditions survey yesterday and jeez we are unhappy. In fact, we were happier about our state of financial health in the midst of the greatest global economic crisis since the Great Depression: The press release added that: According to Dr. Edda Claus “the


Stat battles

The battle for the hearts and minds by the housing data providers has died down a bit since the 3-way skirmish in late May. Since then we have seen the birth of the a new venture that has seen 2 sides of that battle (SQM research and RPData-Rismark) publishing information through the same mouth-piece. It


Gail Kelly on loan arrears

Earlier today, Delusional Economics published a ripping post, Bad bank provisioning, analysing Westpac Chief Executive, Gail Kelly’s, public reassurances that the Australian housing market is robust and that the recent rise in mortgage delinquencies is not a major concern for the economy or the banks’ profits. Delusional concluded with the following insight into the motivations behind Ms Kelly’s public assurances


Trading Day: 22nd June

The S&P/ASX 200 jumped over 1% on the open again from positive leads from Greece, but has steadied after midday, now at 4540 points, up 32 points or 0.71% Asian markets have also responded in kind, with the Nikkei up over 1.3 percent to 9582 points, the Hang Seng also up 0.7% and Singapore lagging


Leading indicators point backwards

The Melbourne Institute/Westpac Leading Indicators Index is out today and shows that growth momentum in the economy has slowed. From the release (full report below): The annualised growth rate of the Westpac–Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, was 2.7% in April 2011 below its long term


Dutch Disease visualised

After last week’s sectoral chartathon for employment, I thought I’d go back to the first quarter national accounts and see where production is headed sector by sector. The ABS’s Gross Value Added (GVA) is the simplest way to measure the sectoral contribution to GDP.  The result is the above chart, which shows a number of interesting


Sell the rallies

So, the Dow and euro are up as the latest debt crisis passes, again. I wish it were so. We have had a stonking sell-off and I suspect it’s time for a technical bounce, with some evidence beginning to flow through that lower commodities are boosting US purchasing power, and Bernanke likely to offer QE2.5


Charting China’s five-year plan

Bernard Hickey at Interest.co.nz yesterday alerted me to an interesting presentation by the Brookings Institution on China’s latest 5-year plan, which has been widely discussed as focussed on sustainable growth and reducing inflation, rather than going for growth for the sake of it. The presentation contains a series of excellent charts summarising China’s progress and


Bad bank provisioning

Over the last few months at Macrobusiness we have been discussing the changing face of the economy in light of what seems to be a guided transition away from the “old growth” economy which was driven mainly by credit tipped into housing. This presents an issue for the vendors of the old economy, especially the


June 22 links: Greek illusions

Down: $US, ore Flat: energy Up: CRB, metals, grains, euro, Aussie, gold Sovereign easing: Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece The illusion of voluntary haircuts. BBC, FT, Reuters ESM altered. FT Nigel Farage. Zero Hedge UK prepares for Greek default. Telegraph And it should. Martin Wolf Bank exposures. Alphaville Examining QEs. Credit Writdowns Home sales slowing again. Calculated Risk Chinese inflation washing up on US shores. WSJ Commodity


Racist FIRB

The Lowy Institute today released a study into Chinese attitudes towards investing in Australia. The research makes for sobering reading. In my view, we have made a complete hash of FIRB, to the point where its secret operations more resemble an arm of ASIS than they do a transparnent foreign investment review panel. The report


The great equities mystery

Brokers like to either sit on the fence or look like gurus. Let’s have a look at two examples of both. Citi is opintnig out that over the last two months, the Australian market has corrected a little more than the US and other major markets, partly a result of commodity prices pulling back and


Update: Fosters should sell, maybe

News is out that Fosters Group (FGL) just knocked back a buy-out bid by SABMiller worth $9.5billion, claiming it significantly undervalues the company.  That’s a big call by the beer barons; the bid represented a per-share value of $4.90 and Fosters is trading around $4.50.  Let’s see if it stacks up based on the fundamentals. Fosters’ fundamentals


ABARE bets on US stimulus

The ABARE quarterly update of commodity prices for the year ahead is out today. First, the key macroeconomic assumptions:   God knows, it’s no easy job putting that lot together but let’s unpack a couple of assumptions. US growth projected at 2.9%, hmmm…well, maybe. The first quarter of this year was 1.8% and the economy


Trading Day: 21st June

The S&P/ASX 200 jumped over 1% on the open from positive leads from US markets, but has stalled after midday, now at 4490 points, up 38 or 0.9%. Asian markets are up, with the Nikkei up nearly 1 percent to 9436 points (just above its medium term support), the Hang Seng also up 0.47% and


Clearly dovish minutes

Below find the complete RBA minutes from the recent meeting. Now we know what’s got them jumping and it looks like another win for MacroBusiness. Scroll to the final paragraph and you’ll find this key statement: While there had been additional evidence of the coming strong pick-up in investment in the resources sector, activity remained


When the Australian dollar strikes midnight

We haven’t seen a real risk off event yet as most people seem still to be trading as if there is going to be a resolution to the Greek crisis and also, I think, because all the recent volatility has pushed people to the sidelines. So the Aussie has actually been performing superbly all things