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First home buyers’ dreams fading away

By Leith van Onselen Bankwest has released its 2014 First Time Buyer Deposit Report, which reveals that the dream of home ownership is slipping away from first home buyers (FHBs), with the number of years taken to save a home deposit increasing further in 2014: …the average first time buyer (FTB) couple would need to

3

Dwelling approvals bounce back

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released dwelling approvals data for the month of October. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals rose by a seasonally adjusted 11.4% to 17,062, recovering last month’s losses. The overall increase was driven by the volatile unit and apartment segment, which rose

1

NT LNG boom softens construction downturn

By Leith van Onselen The ABS has released data on the value of construction work done for the September quarter of 2014, which registered a seasonally-adjusted 2.2% fall in total construction activity over the quarter and a 5.1% decline over the year. The result disappointed analysts’ expectations of a 1.9% fall over the quarter. The

35

ACT Government stops affordable land supply

By Leith van Onselen I have explained previously (here, here and here) how the ACT Government deliberately manipulates urban land supply in order to maintain exorbitant land/house prices. Despite having an abundance of developable land, the Government has for a long-time drip-fed supply to the market, maintaining an artificial land shortage (scarcity) and, in the

5

Austerity drive wipes out federal bureaucrats

By Leith van Onselen The release yesterday of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) annual report on public sector employment revealed that Commonwealth Government employment fell by 4,300 (-1.7%) over the 2013-14 financial year (see next chart). Further analysis today by Fairfax reveals that one out of every 11 federal public servant job in Canberra

3

Dwelling approvals tank

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released dwelling approvals data for the month of September. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals fell by a seasonally adjusted 11% to 15,004. The overall fall was broad-based, with the volatile unit and apartment segment falling by 21.9% and the more stable

2

Retail sales disappoint in August

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released retail sales figures for the month of August, which registered a 0.1% seasonally-adjusted rise in sales over the month, well below economist’s expectations of a 0.4% increase. Annual sales growth clocked in at a solid 5.1%: The below chart maps out seasonally-adjusted

1

Retail sales rose in July

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released retail sales figures for the month of July, which registered a 0.4% seasonally-adjusted rise in sales over the month, in line with economist’s expectations. Annual sales growth clocked in at a solid 5.9%: The below chart maps out seasonally-adjusted sales growth by

3

Actual capex in surprise lift

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released data on capital expenditures (capex) for the June quarter of 2014, which registered a surprise seasonally-adjusted 1.1%lift in capex over the quarter but a 4.0% decrease over the year. The result beat analyst’s expectations of a 0.9% fall over the quarter (see below

1

Mining unwind drags construction activity down

By Leith van Onselen The ABS has released data on the value of construction work done for the June quarter of 2014, which registered a seasonally-adjusted 1.2% fall in total construction activity over the quarter and a 0.6% decline over the year. The result disappointed analysts’ expectations for a 0.5% fall over the quarter. The

0

New car sales fall in July

  By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released new motor vehicle sales for the month of July 2014, which registered a 1.3% seasonally adjusted fall in the number of sales, and a 0.4% decrease over the year (see next table). Sales in July fell in all jurisdictions except the ACT.

2

Retail sales rebound in June

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released retail sales figures for the month of June, which registered a 0.6% seasonally-adjusted rise in sales over the month, beating economist’s expectations of a 0.3% rise. Annual sales growth clocked in at a solid 5.5%: The below chart maps out seasonally-adjusted sales

1

Dwelling approvals tank in June

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released dwelling approvals data for the month of June. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals fell by a seasonally adjusted 5.0% to 15,659. The overall fall was broad-based, with the volatile unit and apartment segment falling by 10.5% and the more

10

What’s behind Australia’s apartment shift?

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday’s dwelling commencements data for the March quarter, released by the the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), revealed an ongoing boom in unit & apartment construction, which hit its highest ever level on a rolling annual basis (see next chart). Breaking down the data, you can see that units & apartments

4

More doubts over ACT light rail pork

By Leith van Onselen The gloss continues to come off the ACT light rail project, with the Canberra Times reporting that the Tuggeranong Council, located deep in the city’s south, has voted to oppose the light rail line connecting Gungahlin in the north and Civic, because it does not believe that residents located far away from

27

Retail sales fall sharply, lowest since December

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released retail sales figures for the month of May, which registered a 0.5% seasonally-adjusted fall in sales over the month, missing economist’s expectations of a flat result. Annual sales growth clocked in at a reasonable, but weakening, 4.6%: Following recent falls (sales fell

11

ACT light rail: an expensive vanity project

By Leith van Onselen Little by little, the stupidity of the 12-kilometre ACT light rail project, connecting Gungahlin in the north and Civic, is coming to light. As noted previously, this project only came to fruition because Labor lacked the numbers to form government and needed to gain support from the Greens sole MLA, Shane

3

Australian economy: What’s not to like?

For anyone that follows these things, CBA’s various economics teams are the very obvious one-eyed bulls of the Australian economic scene. I don’t generally bother reporting their stuff for that reason but today is their time to shine so I give you Craig James! Australian economy: What’s not to like? National accounts Australian economy grew

12

Why ACT light rail should be abandoned

By Leith van Onselen I usually treat anything that comes out of a politician’s mouth with great skepticism. But the below article published in the Canberra Times deriding the $600 million-plus 12-kilometre ACT light rail project, connecting Gungahlin in the north and Civic, written by Deputy Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe, is about as

11

ACT light rail faces more cost blowouts

By Leith van Onselen The Canberra Times is running an article today suggesting that the $600 million-plus 12-kilometre light rail project connecting Gungahlin in the north and Civic, which is expected to commence construction in 2016, could face significant cost blowouts due to the exorbitant costs of relocating underground pipes and wires, as well as

17

ACT land owners revolt over rail levy

Cross-posted from David Collyer at Prosper Australia The Property Council of Australia is ‘vehemently opposed’ to Canberra’s special land levy to part-fund the $600 million light rail project from Gungahlin to the city, calling it “just another property tax in disguise”. The PCA’s Catherine Carter says, “To tax again an already overtaxed sector in a

15

Hockey suggests you sell Canberra property

By Leith van Onselen In June last year, then Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, warned that now might be a good time to sell Canberra housing, noting that home prices could be pushed lower by a Coalition Government: Joe Hockey suggests house prices in Canberra could be pushed lower under a Coalition government. “There is a