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."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ANZ: Housing finance coming in for a soft landing

From ANZ today:

"The number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments increased by 1.7% in July (seasonally adjusted). The number of commitments by both the first homebuyer and upgrader segments was higher in July (up 1.6% and 0.6% respectively in July in seasonally adjusted terms and excluding refinancing).

The value of total housing finance commitments was also up by 0.7% in July, (although down a meagre 0.2% excluding refinancing). Within this, owner occupier approvals were 2.3% higher (1.3% higher excluding refinancing). In annual terms, the value of owner-occupier commitments excluding refinancing is now 19.4% lower than in July 2009. The value of investor approvals fell by 2.3% in the month to be 10.7% higher than in July 2009.

Stronger housing finance data for July, both in terms of value and number, indicates that housing finance is stabilising from the sharp slowdown that we saw in late 2009 and early 2010. While today’s data shows some caution from investors, the owner-occupier segment is showing signs of stable growth.

Today’s data show that as the RBA took a break from the most recent round of rate hikes, the trend slowing in housing finance weakened. In a positive sign for housing market activity, the significant owner-occupier segment showed an increased willingness to commit to housing finance while investors appear to remain cautious in the face of ongoing global financial market uncertainty."