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RPData on population

RPData produce a weekly report about the housing market. Their latest offerring  has some very interesting data on Australia’s population growth. I do not totally agree with their conclusions from the data but that doesn’t change its usefulness. Australia’s population growth slowing as migrant numbers fade With cuts to the migration intake, Australia’s annual rate

Latest posts

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Lucky they’ve got the government

Real estate agent watching is becoming a bit of a sport in Queensland. As the market turns the level of desperation is slowly rising. I get quite a few e-mails from readers informing me of their local agents antics. It may surprise you just how much your local agent knows about macroeconomics, microeconomics, forex markets,

9

Weekly Markets Analysis: 8th April

Lots of charts to look at today, first the usual fractal look at the Australian market, and then a quick look at the major components of my “Crashlist”. This is a select list of equity, FX and PM markets that I watch each evening as they open and analyse each morning before the Australian market

0

Donkey, thoroughbred marry

On Monday, at an Extraordinary General Meeting, Western Australian Newspaper (WAN) shareholders will likely approve the purchase of Seven Media Group (SMG) for $4.1 billion. The Seven Group forms part of SVM, which consists of the Seven Group and Westrac (a heavy machinery servicing group).  Aside from the free-to-air (FTA) channels 7, 7two and 7mate,

17

The underemployment question

Yesterday’s strong employment numbers from the ABS stoked an interesting debate in the comments about what degree of underemployment Australia suffers. To help the debate along I’ve drawn up the following table from the ABS Underemployed Workers report. It is annual only and from Spetember 2010 It clearly shows two things. First, that labour markets in

10

Cyrano de Boganac

During the week, Woolworths announced that its CEO, Michael Luscombe, was stepping down in favour of some fresh blood in Grant O’Brien. The local media, desperate to get into a flurry over something other than Kevin Rudd telling the country what it already knew, began flailing wildly for an angle, settling on one of two

15

The mad, bad commodity rally

There’s something wrong with this rally. To be honest, beyond some vague notion of Japanese reconstruction demand, I can’t find any real cause for it. With China clearly not done with tightening, QE2 about to cease, the ECB hiking rates, global growth past its prime and oil punching through $1.10 on Gaddafi’s scorched earth policy,

3

Picking winners

A few commentators to my Picking Losers blog earlier in the week quite rightly pointed out the potential for gas-fired CCGT plant to be a sensible baseload replacement for brown coal-fired power. I have looked at the numbers, and agree. Taking the cost of new gas CCGT at around $1million per MW, replacing 6GW of

12

Tax stats unmask investors

The 2008-09 Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Taxation Statistics were released yesterday (available here), and the data on property investment was very interesting. First, the number of property investors reporting to the ATO fell by 34,000 or 2% from the previous year (see below chart). Second, after rising steadily since 1999-00, the overall value of net

1

Small is beautiful

Analysts’ resources and attention mostly goes on the top 50 stocks, because they are liquid, institutions like them because they can defend their decisions, and brokers can sell their research more easily. It leads to an unhealthy relationship between the fund managers overseeing super funds and the big cartels. Cosy, comfortable, often compromised. For investors

31

Hollowing out

Washington Consensus and Dutch Disease – yesterday saw an interesting convergence of these two ideas which are vitally important to the debate, or lack thereof about the structure of the Australian economy and the changes being wrought by mining and the high Australian dollar. Briefly, the Washington Consensus was the set of “rules” which replaced

17

Will the RBA cut?

Right now, the economy is far weaker than media and bank economist blather is letting on, or understands. For that matter it’s far more weak than global markets are assuming. The reason is simple and goes back to a piece I wrote ten weeks ago: So, let’s take a closer look at where we are

15

AFG – Mortgages bouncing in March

February’s data for housing was obviously terrible. However if we can take AFG’s latest report on mortgage issuance for March the market may still have a bit of a run left in it. Well at least in NSW. Mortgage sales during March saw a recovery from the record lows of January and February, but figures were

15

SQM Research on the housing finance data

As my fellow MacroBusiness bloggers have already pointed out, Australia’s housing finance data released today by the ABS was bad, real bad. One of Australia’s few truely independent property analysts, the Managing Director of SQM Research, Louis Christopher, offered perhaps the most damning assessment via a series of Tweets: Home loans drop on weak demand

17

It’s still 2008

As H&H reported today the housing finance data for February is simply plain bad. This is not a surprise to me as I have been warning about this for some time now. As I have been saying recently I simply could not see any drivers for new credit and it looks like I was correct

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Housing finance shocker

The drumbeat of crappy housing data is getting louder and more frequent. From the ABS February Housing Finance we get the following: Here are a string of graphs to give you a feel for how bad the trends are: I call them bad, yuk, crap and foul. And here’s one last one to drive home the

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Priced in

The Australian market’s S&P/ASX 200 only rallied 1% in the first three months of the year, compared with 5.4% for the S&P 500 in America. With the $A seemingly headed to $1.10, foreign investors, abut two fifths of the market, are likely to get nervous, and the strengths of the Australian market are probably priced

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Troubles with Fund Management – An Absolute Return View

This is a reply to Rotten Apple’s post about the “trouble” with the Australian fund management industry. The author of this article is a co-founder of an Australian-based private investment company, Empire Investing, and a former financial adviser and portfolio manager for a boutique financial services company. It’s all Absolutely Relative
 Let me start with

20

Golden rocket

As gold again surged to record highs last night on dovish Bernanke comments and weak data, it’s time to revisit the rally. I first began recommending gold to anyone that would listen in early 2001. I was laughed at. Later that year, my friends laughed at me again. This time, it was a running joke

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Let’s get real

There’s a notion going around that an Australian carbon tax will raise more tax in its first three months than the EU ETS has generated in six years. Mr Seamus French’s column in The Australian on Monday included this idea. No numbers have been put forward to justify this assertion, and it can’t go unchallenged.

4

Hong Kong’s housing headed for a crash?

This years Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ranked Hong Kong as the most unaffordable housing market out of the seven countries surveyed, with median home prices a whopping 11.4 times incomes. After falling some 23% over 6 months in the wake of the global financial crisis, Hong Kong’s housing market has been on a tear,

7

The line moves closer

The latest NAB “survey” of vested interests on what they hope is going to happen to the housing market is out as reported in yahoo finance. Even though it would seem that the chief of the bank has given up on housing others still seem to want to find the glass half full. Survey Highlights:

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Canberra please read: Roubini calls time on China

From Nouriel Roubini at RGE Monitor: I’m writing on the heels of two trips to China during which I met with senior policy makers, bank executives and academics, just as the government launched its 12th Five-Year Plan, intended to rebalance the long-term growth model. My meetings deepened my own impression and RGE’s long-standing house view of

3

Buying miners and groceries

Two events have the market buzzing today: the bid by China’s Minmetals Resources to buy Equinox for $7, and the announcement that Grant O’Brien will replace Michael Luscombe as CEO of Woolworths. A bit from each side of the two speed economy. The bid for Equinox is below the traded price of $7.35 and brokers

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We’ve lost our way

Over the weekend I was reading the local newspaper which contained a 3 page spread about  families who are struggling with day to day life because of the rising cost of living, mostly energy. In the same week it was determined that the new carbon tax would cost Australian families approximately $900/year and oil approaching

22

Hawks and doves

So, it’s rates day. The usual suspects are out pounding the pavement. All over the media, currency boffins are calling for hawkish rhetoric from the RBA. But they’re all outdone by Australia’s one-man inflation fighter, former deputy governor of RBA, Henry Thornton, who calls for a hike today: Wage claims are on the march, with

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So much for the Californian housing shortage

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. It’s early 2006 and the median house price in Los Angeles-Orange County, California has hit $582,000. Demographia has just released its latest International Housing Affordability Survey showing that Southern California has the most expensive housing market out of the six nations surveyed. Property speculation is at fever pitched.

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Building Revival Forum 2011

No it is not a Hillsong fundamentalist production , although I could easily find some parallels. The Building Revival Forum 2011 is in fact a Queensland government initiative. On 12 April, a Building Revival Forum will be held with key industry stakeholders to brainstorm ways to kick start Queensland’s vital construction industry, which is still suffering

11

Leigh Harkness on Bank Welfare

Leigh Harkness is back with his unique perspective on the Australian macro-economy for another guest post, this time on “Bank Welfare”. Banks have prospered under the floating exchange rate system.  They have been able to lend as much as they like without any concern about affecting the balance of payments.  The exchange rate adjusts to

4

Gear down for stocks

The global financial crisis was largely confined to a bloated and increasingly reckless financial sector. Yes, government debt positions worsened and excessive household debt was exposed. But non-financial corporations are in pretty good shape. Unlike the 1990 and 2000 economic downturns, business gearing was kept low.  The top 100 American corporates have almost $US2 trillion in