Latest posts


Sydney landlords get desperate

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this week, SQM Research released its December rental vacancy and asking rent series, which showed Sydney’s rental vacancy rate had rocketed to a series high 3.6%, with nearly 8,000 more rental properties on offer (25,177) than at the same time in 2017 (17,404): At the same time, Sydney asking rents


Australia needs a royal commission into high-rise construction

By Leith van Onselen The handwringing and panic about the build quality of Australia’s high-rise buildings continues with the men behind the company BlockAid claiming that building faults are widespread and at risk of cracking or collapsing in a scenario manner to Sydney’s 34-storey Opal Tower. From The Newcastle Herald: Craig Thorley and Chris Rafferty believe


Property index points to Aussie recession

Cross-posted from Prosper Australia: Real estate cycle expert Bryan Kavanagh says turnover and price declines in Sydney and Melbourne during 2018 indicate an economic recession in the 2019-20 financial year. The 2018 “Kavanagh-Putland Index”, released today, shows the total value of Australian real estate sales to GDP.  Mr Kavanagh said the $50 billion pumped into


LVO demolishes compulsory super on Radio 2GB

Yesterday afternoon I gave an interview on Radio 2GB’s Drive program talking compulsory superannuation. The interview starts from around the 44 minute mark and runs for around 12 minutes. In particular, I rip into Labor’s, the union’s, and Paul Keating’s call to raise the rate of compulsory superannuation to 12% or 15%, arguing that it


CoreLogic weekly Australian house price update: more crash

By Leith van Onselen In the week ended 17 January 2019, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, tanked another 0.35%: Values fell across all major markets: The quarterly decline has steepened to 3.13%, with Sydney, Melbourne and Perth suffering heavy losses: Over the past 12 months, home


MB Fund Podcast – Bonds Away!

This week’s LIVE webinar – we explore the often overlooked world of BONDS. Join MB Funds’s Head of Investments Damien Klassen and Tim Fuller as we look at: – What are bonds and the different types available – How they should be classified and how to use them effectively – How bonds fit into a


Links 18 January 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: It’s Official: Wall Street Topped $100 Billion in Profit – Bloomberg The Marijuana Billionaire Who Doesn’t Smoke Weed – Fortune BlackRock profit misses as investors opt out of expensive funds – Reuters Why do we bother with stock market forecasts? – Irish Times Cracks are opening in the global


Macro Afternoon

The rally in Asian shares slowed this afternoon as comments from the Chinese commerce industry on the global slowdown took risk well off the table. The Australian dollar cracked to a new daily low while Yen rallied on the risk off mood, affecting domestic Japanese shares. The Shanghai Composite is down over 0.4% going into the close,


US student debt hinders home ownership

by Chris Becker The US Federal Reserve as an interesting report out (unlike the US government, Trump can’t shutdown the Fed! on the impact of student debt on new homeowner rates in the US. Salient because the Coalition wants the education cake and to eat it too. Last year the Senate passed the HECS/HELP adjustments


Australian dollar poised to fall

by Chris Becker Last night the US Dollar index (DXY) was largely unchanged mainly due to the lack of any catalysts because of Trump’s shutdown. The much watched December US retail sales were postponed but both Aussie and Kiwi lost against King Dollar, down nearly 0.4% or so each. Midday in the Asian session, the


Investor mortgage crash deepens

By Leith van Onselen Today’s housing finance data for November, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), posted more falls in both owner-occupied and investor finance commitments. According to the ABS, the total number of owner-occupier finance commitments (excluding refinancings) fell by 0.6% in November in seasonally adjusted terms and has fallen 10.0% over


Gotti hits consumer panic button

By Leith van Onselen Amid the slump in consumer sentiment and the apparent tanking of retail sales over Christmas, Robert Gottliebsen (“Gotti”) has hit the panic button. From The Australian: In the years leading up to the second half of 2018 we went through a period where banks hosed money at people seeking a resident


Mortgage rejections soar 400% as credit crunch bites

By Martin North, Principal Analyst at Digital Finance Analytics: The latest data from our surveys indicates that around 40% of loan applications for mortgages were rejected in December 2018, compared with 8% a year prior, though on significantly lower absolute volumes. Households often made multiple applications when seeking a loan. The volume of applications across


MB Fund Podcast – Bonds Away! LIVE THURSDAY

This week’s LIVE webinar (12:30pm AEST, Thursday 17 Jan) – we explore the often overlooked world of BONDS. Join MB Fund’s Head of Investments Damien Klassen and Tim Fuller as we look at: – What are bonds and the different types available – How they should be classified and how to use them effectively –


NZ housing sales plumb seven year lows

By Leith van Onselen The REINZ has released its house price data for December, which revealed a 2.9% seasonally adjusted fall in the national median house price, with prices up just 1.7% year-on-year: Outside of Auckland, seasonally adjusted house prices fell by 1.1% in December, with prices up 6.5% year-on-year. Looking at the major cities,


Population ponzi means Australia can’t meet emissions targets

By Leith van Onselen The impossibility of Australia meeting its emissions target has been laid bare by lecturers at Deakin University. From The Conversation: In signing the Paris Climate Agreement, the Australian government committed to a global goal of zero net emissions by 2050. Australia’s promised reductions to 2030, on a per person and emissions


Housing bust spreads across global markets

By Leith van Onselen From Bloomie comes analysis on how a synchronised housing bust is developing across global cities once considered ‘safe havens’: In Manhattan, the median condo price dipped below $1 million for the first time in three years. Hong Kong home values endured their longest losing streak since 2008, while prices in outer London neighborhoods fell for the first


Melbourne property losses hit 8%

By Leith van Onselen CoreLogic’s daily house price index for 16 January, released yesterday, revealed that Melbourne dwelling value declines have hit 8%: The below chart shows how Melbourne’s price decline compares against prior price corrections: As you can see, Melbourne’s current downturn is fast approaching the 2008-09, 2010-12, and 1989-92 episodes. In fact, if


10,000 buildings suspected of having flammable cladding

By Leith van Onselen Things have gone from bad to worse for Australia’s apartment market, with firefighters identifying 10,000 buildings along Australia’s east coast with suspected flammable cladding. From The Australian: Firefighters have drawn up a hit list of up to 10,000 buildings across the eastern states with suspected highly flammable cladding… Combustible aluminium polyethelene,