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30 Sept 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Australia ranks in top 10 in global Skyscraper Index

(30 September 2017, The Age, p36, Carolyn Cummins) ‘Sydney and Melbourne rank high in the latest global Skyscraper Index, coming in at sixth and 15th respectively, according to Knight Frank’s Global Cities 2018 report. The Skyscraper Index, which examines the rental performance of commercial buildings over 30 storeys, shows that upper-floor prime rents in Sydney’s … Continue reading

30 Sept 2017 (AFR) – ASX ends quarter lower as CBA, Telstra drag

(30 September 2017, AFR, p33, by Sarah Turner and Patrick Commins) ‘The ASX wrapped up an eventful third quarter on a quieter note on Friday as investors pushed the index to mild gains in holiday-thinned trading. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended the day up 11 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5682. For the … Continue reading

30 Sept 2017 (AFR online) – S&P 500, Nasdaq paced to record highs by tech sector

(30 September 2017, AFR, online) ‘The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq advanced to record levels on Friday, buoyed by gains in technology stocks, while each of the major indexes closed out the quarter with solid gains. Technology was the best performing of the major S&P sectors, up 0.75 per cent, its fourth straight day of … Continue reading

30 Sept 2017 (AFR) – What the ASX did in this quarter in 7 charts – All smoke and no fire on the ASX

(30 September 2017, AFR, p29, by Patrick Commins) ‘North Korean bombs and Donald’s tweets, Telstra’s dividend and CBA’s ATMs, a bear in iron ore and a bull in oil. It was a big quarter for markets but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the ASX, which in recent months looks a lot like a … Continue reading

30 Sept 2017 (AFR,NYTimes) – In Trump Tax Plan, a Windfall for Businesses Large and Small

(30 September 2017, AFR, p12, David Gelles, New York Times) ‘A lower tax rate for corporations. Reduced taxes for partnerships like law firms. An easy way to bring overseas profits back to the United States without being taxed. Corporate America had a long wish list when it came to tax reform, and on Wednesday, President … Continue reading

29 Sept 2017 (AFR) – More than 30,000 of the nation’s ‘richest’ households in financial distress

(29 September 2017, AFR, p32, by Duncan Hughes) ‘More than 30,000 households in the nation’s wealthiest suburbs are facing financial stress, with hundreds risking default over the next 12 months because of soaring debts and static incomes, according to analysis of the nation’s household financial hotspots. Hundreds of households in Sydney’s harbourside Vaucluse, where the … Continue reading

29 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Property boom mints more millionaires – Australia outpaces Asia in creation of wealthy individuals, Capgemini finds

(29 September 2017, AFR, p3, by Sally Patten) ‘Australia’s population of millionaires and billionaires grew faster than the average rate across the globe in 2016 and above the average rate for the Asia Pacific region. The number of wealthy Australians rose 9 per cent to 255,000 individuals last year, equalling the rate of growth of … Continue reading

29 Sept 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Job vacancies surge. It’s raining vacant jobs. Best odds in years for landing a job

(29 September 2017, The Age, p8, Peter Martin) ‘It’s easier to find a job than it has been in years. The latest count from the Bureau of Statistics shows there were 208,400 vacant jobs in August, the most on record. With 714,000 Australians out of work, it means there were just 3.4 unemployed for each … Continue reading

28 Sept 2017 (AFR) – RLB Crane Index: high turnover shows new projects starting as current ones end

(28 September 2017, AFR, p33, by Michael Bleby) ‘Housing construction continues to defy predictions of a collapse, with increasing residential cranes across Australian skylines pushing the total number to a new high of 685, the latest RLB Crane Index shows.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

28 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Tide turning for active managers – about to have their day in the sun

(28 September 2017, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker) ‘Amid all the talk of investment styles and picking winners there is always one criticism that active retail sharemarket fund managers tend to cop: they’re not up to scratch. And if the latest research by S&P Dow Jones is anything to go by, they are about to … Continue reading

28 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Biggest population surge since 2008 – Immigration surge to keep house prices high

(28 September 2017, AFR, p3, by Jacob Greber) ‘Australia’s population recorded its fastest rise in nine years – including the biggest surge of migrants into Sydney and Melbourne since 2009 – underpinning increased demand for infrastructure and housing. In a development that adds to evidence the nation’s economy is set to strengthen in coming quarters, … Continue reading

27 Sept 2017 (TheAge) – BHP tips surge in steel demand on China’s ‘belt and road’ plan

(27 September 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Darren Gray) ‘China’s colossal Belt and Road Initiative, under which infrastructure is being built in scores of countries, could result in about 150 million tonnes of extra steel demand, says BHP. In a report released on Monday the Australian miner said about 400 “core projects” from the Belt … Continue reading

26 Sept 2017 (AFR) – ANZ blacklists apartment lending and slaps down ‘liar loans’

(26 September 2017, AFR, p39, by Duncan Hughes) ‘ANZ has issued a confidential blacklist of postcodes in Brisbane and Perth where it will impose tougher lending terms and conditions for apartment buyers amid growing fears about over-supply, falling prices and combustible cladding. The nation’s third-largest residential lender is also warning mortgage brokers that residential loan … Continue reading

26 Sept 2017 (TheAge) – Iron ore succumbs to bear market and may extend slump into $US50s

(26 September 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, page 20, Jasmine Ng) ‘Iron ore has slumped back into a bear market after posting the biggest weekly loss in 16 months amid concern that record demand in China may ease off as mills enact winter output cuts just as data from the top user signals that the economy … Continue reading

25 Sept 2017 (AFR) – China iron ore demand to fall by 8 million tonnes a month as cities fight pollution

(25 September 2017, AFR, p13, by Lisa Murray) ‘China’s iron ore demand is expected to drop 7 per cent, as steel-making cities across northern China begin rolling out anti-pollution measures from next month, which could trigger further weakness in the spot price following on from last week’s 12 per cent slump.’ Read more at … Continue reading

25 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Melbourne stronger, Sydney weaker: auction volumes rise ahead of football finals

(25 September 2017, AFR, p3, by Michael Bleby) ‘Surging auction volumes – ahead of football finals in both Melbourne and Sydney – returned a preliminary national clearance of 70.7 per cent in the week to Saturday, CoreLogic figures showed. The preliminary results – in line with last week’s preliminary 70.3 per cent, which was later … Continue reading

23 Sept 2017 (AFR) – ASX racks up fourth weekly loss in five

(23 September 2017, AFR, p33, by Sarah Turner) ‘Shares racked up their fourth week of losses in five, with the ASX hovering around seven-month lows as investors sought to integrate changing interest rate expectations into their stock choices. The benchmark ended the day up 26 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5682.10 in Friday’s session, … Continue reading

23 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Australia’s next boom has barely started

(23 September 2017, AFR, p8, by Jacob Greber) ‘Australia is on the cusp of the biggest wave of public infrastructure spending in at least three decades and has already ensured a record proportion of construction workers have found jobs. In a shift that has been overlooked amid the focus on negatives such as high household … Continue reading

22 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Has the Federal Reserve started the next crisis? – Janet Yellen pulls trigger to reverse QE but we’re now in uncharted waters

(22 September 2017, AFR, p31, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) ‘The US Federal Reserve and its fellow central banks can be forgiven for telling us a white lie: nothing would be gained from admitting that they do not know how to extricate the world safely from their extreme monetary experiment. Fed chief Janet Yellen has finally pulled … Continue reading

21 Sept 2017 (AFR,WashingtonPost) – London mayor targets ‘ghost mansions’ and ‘zombie flats’

(21 September 2017, AFR, p44, by William Booth and Karla Adam) ‘ LONDON — They are not hard to spot, if you know where to look, especially at night — the floors of swanky new apartments, most of the windows dark, almost all the time. The zombie flats. Owned, but empty. And on this cobbled … Continue reading

21 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Sydney, Melbourne property 30pc overvalued, may fall 10pc: Capital Economics

(21 September 2017, AFR, p32, by Michael Bleby) ‘Housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne are up to 30 per cent above their historical fair value but any fall in value, once interest rates start rising, will be limited to about 10 per cent, Capital Economics says. A comparison of historical house price-to-earnings ratios showed that Hobart, Brisbane, … Continue reading

21 Sept 2017 (AFR) – OECD predicts best global growth in six years

(21 September 2017, AFR, p3, by Geoff Winestock) ‘A major forecaster has predicted next year will produce the strongest rate of world economic growth since 2011, as the Reserve Bank of Australia said the global recovery is “no flash in the pan”. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development forecast growth of 3.7 per cent … Continue reading

21 Sept 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – ANZ Bank tips two RBA interest rate hikes in 2018

(21 September 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Clancy Yeates) ‘ANZ Bank predicts the Reserve Bank will raise official interest rates by 0.5 percentage points next year as the economy gradually improves, with the first hike tipped for May. Australia’s cash rate has been at a record low of…’ Read more at

20 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Willing to sell for less than the purchase price

(20 September 2017, AFR, p36, by Matthew Cranston) ‘An award-winning mansion known as Cremorne atop Brisbane’s Hamilton Hill is going to be sold – even if the price is lower than what the owners purchased it for. ‘ <snipped…> ‘In Brisbane there has only been a slim 3 per cent growth in house prices over the … Continue reading

20 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Sydney housing price growth slows in June quarter: national rate eases to 1.9pc

(20 September 2017, AFR, p31, by Michael Bleby) ‘Sydney housing prices grew at their slowest pace in more than a year in the June quarter, pulling the overall capital city gain down to 1.9 per cent, official figures showed in Tuesday. Prices in the NSW capital gained 2.3 per cent from March – when they … Continue reading

20 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Six signs for Sydney’s home prices point to further cooling

(20 September 2017, AFR, p31, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Sydney’s housing market has shown signs of cooling for almost a year although the key metric – price growth – has only started to stumble in the past few months. If you want to gauge the rate of cooling and help predict the price growth, there are six … Continue reading

20 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Iron ore has peaked and so has China production, says RBA in minutes with ‘slight hawkish tilt’

(20 September 2017, AFR, p7, by Jacob Greber) ‘Reserve Bank of Australia officials have called the top of the current iron ore price boom, saying China’s production of steel was likely to ease from here on while supply of the raw material would keep increasing. The warning was delivered alongside another upbeat review by the … Continue reading

20 Sept 2017 (TheAge) – Traders look to exit Bourke Street Mall – losing some of its retail gloss

(20 September 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Simon Johanson) ‘Bourke Street Mall may be the beating heart of Melbourne’s vibrant shopping scene, but some retailers are cracking amid tougher than expected trading conditions. The mall, the city’s main pedestrian shopping thoroughfare, has some of the city’s most sought-after retail real estate – commanding correspondingly steep … Continue reading

19 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Melbourne rental vacancy to fall on undersupply, SQM says

(19 September 2017, AFR, p4, by Michael Bleby) ‘Melbourne has a tight residential vacancy rate of 1.7 per cent and that will fall lower by 2019 as new housing supply slows due to less investment by local and foreign buyers, SQM Research says. But while vacancy rates in Melbourne and Sydney (2 per cent) were … Continue reading

19 Sept 2017 (AFR) – Luxury cars index slide reinforces house price cooling

(19 September 2017, AFR, p4, by Simon Evans) ‘A “luxury car index” used by stockbroker Commsec which tracks sales across 17 high-end brands including Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce and is a reliable indicator for the broader health of the economy and house prices, has suffered its biggest annual drop in five … Continue reading