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Mortgage surge bullish for house prices

Yesterday’s new mortgages data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) contained more bullish news for Australian house prices with both owner-occupied and investor mortgage demand lifting in December, continuing the strong rebound that began in mid-2019 following the federal election: As shown in the next chart, there is a very strong correlation between new


NBN jobs bust nears

As the National Broadband Network’s (NBN) rollout nears its completion on 30 June 2020, the costs of connecting the last remaining properties to hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) and fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) have soared: The company said today that complexities encountered in the home stretch of the main network build contributed to the higher-than-anticipated numbers. NBN Co saw


China deals fatal blow to international student industry

A collapse in Chinese international student enrollments at Australia’s universities is looking more certain after the Chinese government cancelled English-language tests for a second month to stem the spread of the coronavirus: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test is a cornerstone requirement for foreign students to enrol in almost all Australian university courses.


Links 12 February 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Shipping Gets Smashed by Coronavirus – Rigzone 70% chance of recession in next six months, study from MIT and State Street finds – CNBC Federal Reserve inching closer to a central bank digital currency – Decrypt Americas: The US actually created fewer jobs in 2018 and 2019 than we


Macro Afternoon

It’s all engines ahead for risk as Chinese shares breakout, pushed along by a higher Aussie dollar and lower Yen as risk appetite comes back again here in Asia. Other safe havens like gold and Bitcoin are slipping while Japanese markets are closed for yet another holiday. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.5% after the


Iron ore catches a bid, lifting Australian dollar

It’s not clear why but it’s looking pretty excited: There’s no news that I can find beyond some snippets from Brazil: For the first five working days of February, soybean exports declined to 198,600 tonnes per day on average from 263,500 tonnes per day for February 2019, according to Economy Ministry figures. Iron ore exports


Transurban feasts on population ponzi

Transurban continues to feast on the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration policy, delivering more strong growth on its toll road network: Transurban’s half-year profit rose by 11 per cent amid higher traffic on its toll roads in Australia… Net profit totalled $162m in the six months through December, rising from $145m a year ago. Proportional earnings


Australian economy was bottoming…

Via Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: The NAB business confidence survey was incrementally positive. Firms’ assessment of business conditions was unchanged at +3, but confidence turned less negative to -1 from -2. Looking into the details, we were encouraged by: The rise in firms’ capex intentions to +6 from +4. The increase in capacity utilization


Construction mortgages plumb 2013 lows

While mortgages for established dwellings are booming, the same cannot be said for construction mortgages, which are bouncing through lows not seen since 2013: As shown in the chart above, mortgages for the purchase of newly built dwellings have rebounded strongly, commensurate with the lift in mortgages on established dwellings. However, construction mortgages were just


Melbourne Airport talks its book on rail tunnel

Yesterday it was revealed that the Victorian Government has ditched a planned airport rail tunnel in favour of using existing lines. This has provoked an angry response from Melbourne Airport, which has demanded the tunnel go ahead: Melbourne Airport has called on the state government to reject a multi-billion airport rail plan that uses existing


ScoMo must fix the AAT before opening visa system

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has raised the prospect of giving Indonesians “streamlined” access to Australia: Scott Morrison has announced he will reassess harsh visa entry conditions for Indonesians travelling to Australia as he welcomes Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Parliament House… “Indonesia will be one of the star economies of the world over the next


Essential: SmoCo and Albotross neck and neck

Via The Guardian: Scott Morrison is battling rolling ructions inside his government and sustained opprobrium from voters after a summer of catastrophic fires, and now floods, with the latest Guardian Essential poll confirming the prime minister remains in the political doldrums. Morrison’s approval stood at 45% at the end of 2019, but slumped five points in January as


Australian mortgage market goes boom!

Today’s new mortgage data for December from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded more strong growth: Total new mortgage commitments (excluding refinancings) surged by 4.4% in December, with owner-occupied mortgages rising 5.1% and investor mortgages rising 2.8%. Year-on-year, total new mortgage commitments (excluding refinancings) rose by 14.0%, with owner-occupier mortgages rising by 17.9% and


Calombaris collapses but wage theft rolls on across restaurants

He’s cooked, at the ABC: The restaurant business of former Masterchef judge George Calombaris has been put into administration, only months after being rocked by a staff underpayment scandal, with almost all venues to cease trading immediately and hundreds of employees affected. A statement from KordaMentha on Monday said the company’s Craig Shepard and Leanne Chesser


Victoria’s two biggest cities to merge into giant megatropolis

Demographer Dr Bob Birrell has forecast that never ending mass immigration will cause Victoria’s two biggest cities to merge into one gigantic city: Respected demographer Bob Birrell said the predicted boom could see outer Geelong suburbs meet up with the outer fringe of Melbourne, effectively connecting Victoria’s two biggest cities. “Melbourne is such a major


ScoMo blocks anti-corruption measure

The NSW Government is attempting to block developers from running for local councils. However, the motion has reportedly been blocked by Alex Hawke, who is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s representative: As revealed by The Sauce last week, a motion backed by both the moderates and Right faction members was put to the NSW Liberal State


Poof! Surplus gone

Via Domain: The budget surplus is almost certainly gone as economists warn the Morrison government’s run of good luck has finally ended with the coronavirus and bushfires punching holes in revenue and forcing up spending. …Deloitte Access Economics believes the virus will cut about $1.8 billion from budget revenues this financial year, with a further


Unions blind deaf and dumb on Superannuation

The Australian Council of Trade Unions’ (ACTU) submission to The Retirement Income Review has demanded that the legislated increases in the superannuation guarantee to 12% be maintained for men and lifted to 15% for women: Australian workers have been left out in the cold and are paying the price for the Coalition Government’s freeze on


Andrew Bolt backs climate change

From the greatest skeptic of them all, Andrew Bolt: We sceptics can’t go on like this. These bushfires demand we all stop pretending and face the facts. And, yes, it starts with me. So I admit: the planet has warmed. I admit: this warming could affect a lot of people. I admit: man’s emissions probably


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Risk markets are oscillating between hope and fear with a swing to the former overnight on Wall Street overshadowing the fear in Asia yesterday. Commodities and undollar assets continued to fall however, with oil falling 2% to a new weekly low with only gold holding fast. Looking at Asian share markets performance


Coronavirus China’s “Chernobyl moment”

Some disturbing epithets today. First, China is gaming the nCoV statistics: Chinese National Health Commission has changed their definition of #WuhanCoronavirus “confirmed case” in their latest guidelines dated 7/2. Patients tested positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. This inevitably will lower the numbers. — Alex


Owner-occupiers drive “fastest market recovery on record”

CoreLogic’s head of residential research, Eliza Owen, has penned an interesting article analysing the current housing market recovery, which is the fastest on record and being driven by owner-occupiers: With record-high values expected across Australian dwellings in a few months’ time, 2020 will see the fastest market recovery on record with respect to the length