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, February 28, 2011

Auction clearance rates continue to surprise on the upside

Auction clearance rates this year have been a little stronger than we expected, with the Sydney and Melbourne markets, which are the two major auction centres, rising above the 60% threshold again. Auction clearance rates are important because they are a very useful leading indicator. Combined with quite robust housing credit growth (printed today at +0.6% for January following a similarly healthy number in December) and evidence that lenders are loosening credit criteria, we should see capital city dwelling prices start grinding out modest gains again soon. The January RP Data-Rismark index results out today were very weak (-1.6%), but this is based on low sales volumes (~50% of what you would normally get in a month), and, given the effects of several natural disasters, likely to be of limited value.