Oz Sell-Out Watch: Mr Morrison gets something right!

A gold star has been licked by Head of Research and is ready for application to the broad Morrison forehead when he next pays a visit to the Glass Pyramid Turkish Bath complex.

Considering the Glass Pyramid has been quite firm with the Treasurer in recent weeks – readers may be asking why the rare honour of a gold star?Cow

Mr Morrison has said “No” to the proposed sale of the massive pastoral holdings of S. Kidman & Co to interests connected with a foreign government and that requires a degree of bravery in a political environment where the press is packed to the rafters with nitwits who think freedom to sell Australian land, industries, infrastructure and other assets to foreign interests is a good idea (Mr Robb and Ms Penny Wong/Joel Fitzgibbon) or refusing to do so is somehow racist or xenophobic (Ms Penny Wong and Joel).

Update:  Senator Wong was on Radio National this morning (2 May) and did a splendid job of dodging and avoiding the important question of whether the ALP also opposes the sale of Kidman to foreign owners.   Unfortunately, the only point that she seemed interested in making is that Asian attempts to acquire ownership of Australian capital assets should not be blocked more readily than those from our other trading partner/rivals – such as the USA, UK and Europe.   Good point Senator!  Neoliberal ideological attempts to flog off the country to our northern hemisphere ‘Anglo allies’ should be opposed just as strongly.

David Uren was quick off the mark and riffed a few themes from his recent book on why selling off Australia is such a splendid thing to do. Continue reading

RBA Watch: We think we broke it! (and negative gearing)

Today David Uren noted the comments made by the Governor of the RBA in New York last week that it was time for governments to do more as monetary policy (cutting interest 160428 - Uren on RBArates and make debt cheap) was reaching its limits.

Uren noted that

“… Since the Reserve started cutting rates on the eve of the global financial crisis in late 2008, household debts have risen by 50 per cent to $1.6 trillion. While that has encouraged a wave of housing construction, it has left households more heavily indebted than almost­ anywhere else in the world. The Reserve Bank would be nervous about stimulating a fresh wave of borrowing….”

As the Governor does not support more extraordinary forms of monetary policy measures by Central Banks such as “helicopter money” (where the Central Banks issue cash splashes direct to households) this leaves government fiscal policy as a possible alternative.

Or what a sub-editor at the Oz described as the RBA being “Ready to hand back rates baton”  – even if that is not what the RBA said at all.

There is a clear connection between this article and the debate about negative gearing and the massive foreign debt driven speculation in the price of existing housing. Continue reading

Baby Watch: Infant landlord class pampered!

Caroline Overington put the Prime Minister over her lap this morning and gave him a good smack for his absurd endorsement of a new class of negatively geared landlords – the infant landlord.  160427 - NG -Ovington

The following comment in particular caught the all seeing (albeit LASIK corrected) eye of the Glass Pyramid (emphasis added).

“….Malcolm, we’ve been over this. Most Australian parents are trying to put new school shoes on their kids feet. Most parents are crunched. Really crunched. Fifty years of neoliberalism — you know, the kind you love — means that everything that used to be sweetly subsidised now comes to them at full cost. They’ve got mortgages and school fees and health insurance (and every other type of insurance) and car rego and gas, electricity and mobile phone bills, and pay-TV and broadband connection notices coming out of their ears…”

When regular writers for The Australia start to use neoliberalism as a pejorative rather than a term of endearment, there is a whiff of change in the air.  When they starting referencing Chicago and the MPS without a smiley face it will be children of the revolution au go go. Continue reading

Malcolm forgets Menzies concept of home.

Sunday was a beautiful day in Sydney and a splendid opportunity for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Mr Scott Morrison to bond with local member Mr David Coleman and explain to a young working family why they should vote LNP at the forthcoming, but still not yet announced, Federal election.

160425 -LNPhousing

What policy expression of true liberal values might those fine blue shirted fellows have explained to the young dad, mum and bub?

What themes from Menzies forgotten people speech and his discussion of the importance of “home” might they have channeled and given fresh expression? Continue reading

Auction Action: Under pressure but holding the line

Another weekend with less than 500 auctions scheduled in Sydney, but as it is the last weekend of school holidays and a long weekend, ‘seasonal’ excuses are readily available for those who are not inclined to blame a sluggish 2016 market on one or more of the following:

  • Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison – Outstanding comedy performance in a leading economic role.
  • Scott Morrison – running “spooky” the end of the property world is nigh campaigns every other week in a tag team with land bankers and others determined to keep the household debt and asset price ponzi alive with all manner of RBA, APRA and government policy support and sustenance.
  • The Australian Banking brotherhood threatening economic ruin and going all Travis Bickle ….”Are you looking at me? Are you looking at me?”… at the suggestion that they may warrant a Banking Royal Commission.taxi-driver-1976-530x244
  • Robert Gottliebsen’s conviction that APRA has a white fluffy cat on their laps and are carelessly yanking macro-prudential levers to cause a massive credit crunch for the apartment developer sector (also proud owners of white fluffy cats on laps)
  • China slamming the capital outflow window shut on a bunch of tigers and flies who have been seeking to relocate some booty down under.
  • Bill Shorten’s negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms
  • The confidence fairy – A particularly vicious and fickle character who can turn nasty in an instant and must be pandered to on an ongoing basis.

But regardless of the brand of tea leaves you prefer the Sydney Market is still looking pretty solid. Continue reading

Perth shows the way to “affordable housing”

Perth’s vacancy rate of 4.1% and Darwin’s vacancy rate of 3.6% – with both cities experiencing falling rents for houses and apartments – demonstrate just how important a healthy vacancy rate is to ensure a competitive housing market where tenants have some real options.   If the current trends continue Perth and Darwin may find themselves becoming the most “affordable” places in Australia to live.160419 - Rents Index

While many are looking for complicated solutions to solving the problem of speculators and foreign buyers leaving stock off the market (and thus not included in the vacancy rate data) – for example  checking water meters, broad based land taxes and imposing “Vacant house taxes” – there is a much easier solution that can be sold politically.

Leaving a housing asset empty and off the market is a typical feature of a speculative market driven by ponzi finance, ponzi population policies and insufficient supply.   Some speculators believe the capital gains will be so large they are simply not interested in the hassle of renting the property and collecting rent. While increasing the holding costs of the ‘speculator class’ sounds good in theory in practice the politics are ‘challenging’ and political courage in Australia is as rare as a Tasmanian Tiger. Continue reading

Auction Action: Sydney feeling stress?

Very few things in this wild woolly world upset Sydney folk.

From a few weeks from the crib, Sydneysiders are trained to cope with life’s outrages in a calm and measured manner.

Children are served babyccinos with incorrect amounts of foam just to help them to adjust to life’s imperfections.  Teenagers are rationed, one week a year, to  a reduced number of their ‘pals’ gushing on social media about their “hot” and “amazing” new bottle tans, body art installations, chemically assisted cut abs, inner beauty, holiday plans, life choices, mindfulness etc .

Most importantly adults regularly go to “property primal scream” sessions where they are taught to cope with the incomparable pain of property prices failing to increase at a much faster rate than income growth. Continue reading

FIRB Crackdown – Has Mr Morrison dozed off?

People are starting to notice that there has not been much news lately on Mr Morrison’s tough guy crackdown on foreigners breaking our new laws on residential property investment.

What new laws did you say?

The laws that the government introduced, on the recommendation of the very charming Ms Kelly O’Dwyer, that were designed to encourage foreign investors to build new housing rather than join in the ponzi price speculation game with existing housing that the locals love so much.

Yes, yes- a few have noticed that Mr Morrison has been complaining about Mr Bowen’s proposed negative gearing laws that are also designed to direct investment toward new construction rather than existing housing – but we will let that go through to the keeper today. Continue reading

Auction Action: A hint of frost?


Finally the very warm late summer and autumn in Sydney (proudly brought to us by carbon based industrialization) is being softened by a few cooler days.

While it is not so chilly that agents are wearing warm swishy brown corduroy trousers to auction festivities, there seems to have been a very slight nip in the air in the Sydney property market this week.   Now this assessment is only by comparison with 2014 and 2015 which were two of the hottest real estate years since the GFC – which were officially rated by the IPCC  -International Property Collectors Club – as “smoking hot”.

Compared to 2013, this week was still definitely birthday suit friendly.

Even so, to dispel this fractional temperature change, expect lots of calls over the next few weeks for APRA and the RBA to put another log on the fire with some  interest rate cuts and even easier access to “ezy credit” for households and easy access to the Australian property market for foreign investors. Continue reading

Bank Royal Commission: Time for a spotlight on the rotten core.

The announcement by Leader of the Opposition, Mr Bill Shorten that, if elected, his government will establish a Royal Commission into banking has set a cat among the Australian banking pigeons and their many fanciers in the media and in sections of the LNP .     ( Note: there are more than a few in the LNP who welcome the idea of a Royal Commission into banking including Mr Warren Entsch and Mr John “Wacka” Williams)

As a general rule the more loudly interested parties protest about receiving some public scrutiny the more certain you can be that a close look at what they are up to is long over due.  After all a Royal Commission is an excellent “branding” opportunity if you are as white as the driven snow.

The Australian Bankers’ Association was quick off the mark with a press release.

Mr Münchenberg said the ALP’s proposal would have international ramifications for Australia. “Banks are particularly concerned that a call for a royal commission will send alarm signals to international investors about Australia at a time of global volatility,” he said.

Such delicate flowers are international investors, so easily alarmed, like a gaggle of twitchy and frightened geese ready to fly away at any moment.

Lenders also argued the commission could rattle international investors that are vital to the financial system, though analysts said these claims were doubtful. Westpac said the announcement sent “confusing messages about the strength of Australia’s financial system.  This could impact confidence in the economy.”

Confusing?  What?  Are the international banking brotherhood under the impression that a “strong” economy is one where regulators are too scared to investigate with vigor the behaviour and performance of the banking sector? Continue reading