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, May 31, 2011

Westpac's Matthew Hassan on why house price data should be seasonally-adjusted

Westpac's Matthew Hassan, alongside the ANZ guys, is probably the best housing economist in the market. Here is his take on the question of seasonality:

"There is some debate around how meaningful the seasonally adjusted price estimates are - for us, there does appear to be a seasonal pattern with a clear wrinkle in prices every Dec (i.e. Dec sales prices are typically 0.5-1% lower) that also makes intuitive sense as this is when buyers tend to wind down for Christmas and remaining sellers tend to be those more urgently requiring a sale (i.e. can't/won't wait until Feb when the market re-opens). Adjustment is therefore appropriate in order to gauge underlying trends."