The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No housing finance is not falling off a cliff: it is up 5.4% over year (last month revised up too)

Contrary to some claims on the loony online fringe, Australian housing finance is not dropping off a cliff as folks run for the hills. Indeed, non-resource states like NSW are demonstrating surprising strength. The charts below show housing finance growing at a steady pace: up 5.4% over the last 12 months, up 1% this month, after a 0.6% increase last month (revised from 0.0%). ANZ comments:

"The number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments rose by 1.0% in July (+0.3% excluding refinancing) slightly weaker than the market consensus of a 1.5% rise. However, last month’s data were revised up to 0.6% from a previously estimated 0.0%. Meanwhile, the value of total housing finance commitment rose by 1.6% (+0.7% excluding refinancing). At the national level it appears that housing finance has reached its nadir and should show some modest improvement moving forward...The number of owner-occupier housing finance commitments was mixed across the states. Queensland (+3.0%) recorded the biggest increase in housing finance and is now 11% higher than its low point reached in March following the natural disasters, although it remains 4.9% lower over the past year. New South Wales recorded robust growth, with housing finance increasing by 2.0% m/m in July to be 8.2% higher over the past year (second only to Western Australia). The biggest fall was recorded in South Australia (-3.5% m/m), within finance approvals now 0.6% lower over the past year making South Australia the weakest performing state with the exception of Queensland. Housing finance declined by 2.1% m/m in Western Australia, reversing some of their recent gains. However, it remains 16.3% higher over the year to July"