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."

Monday, January 16, 2012

TD: "String of ‘better than expected’ housing finance reports"

TD Securities comments:

** Housing finance for November rose +1.4%/mth (TD +2%, mkt +1%) more or less as expected. This report captures the first 25bp cut by the RBA but continues the string of ‘better than expected’ housing finance reports (since last April in fact).

** Housing finance growth has been driven via accelerated buying of established houses, i.e. due to better housing affordability via decent wages growth, lower mortgage rates and falling house prices.

** The laggard in this sector (although only 13% of total) is finance for new activity. As it is still in a clear downward trend this implies that renewed housing construction remains off the table for some time. We pencil in house prices stabilizing and starting to rise from mid-year (chart) and once house prices start the rise, there will be fresh incentive to build.

** Bottom line, this housing report is quite good news, but nervous eyes remain on the fallout from the wide-spread EU downgrades on Friday night.