Pete Wargent blogspot


'Must-read, must-follow, one of the best analysts in Australia' - Stephen Koukoulas, ex-Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

'One of Australia's brightest financial minds, must-follow for accurate & in-depth analysis' - David Scutt, Markets & Economics Editor, Sydney Morning Herald.

'I've been investing 40 years & still learn new concepts from Pete; one of the best commentators...and not just a theorist!' - Michael Yardney, Amazon #1 bestseller.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Housing lending surges to record

Lending surges

First homebuyers commitments hit the highest level since the Rudd stimulus of 2009 in November 2020, as Victoria rebounded strongly post-lockdown.

Owner-occupier lending is exceptionally strong in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia.

And, as expected, investment lending is now increasing, up by 6 per cent in November to be higher than a year ago, also driven by strength in New South Wales and Queensland. 

RBA research showed that a permanent 100 basis point decline in the cash rate would likely result in a 30 per cent increase in real housing prices after about three years, which looks eminently possible from these figures, with supply-constrained markets with a concentration of investors seeing the largest effect.

The outlook for investment grade apartments

Investment units

Stuart Wemyss runs through the numbers for us (video below):

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Yields go negative...just

Negative yield

Interesting email in the inbox this morning with a 3-month T-note tender producing a small negative yield. 

Bit of a surprise.

After all the fuss about funding costs in 2019, 3-month bills are at 0.01 per cent.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Job vacancies boom to all-time high

Job openings soar

Job vacancies boomed +23.4 per cent or +48,300 to an all-time high for the ABS series of 254,400 in the November 2020 quarter.

Victoria is understandably lagging post-lockdown, but things are looking absolutely fabulous for Western Australia and Queensland.

The south-east Queensland economy is 'on steroids' right now, certainly for housing. 

Any wage price inflation in the post? 

In short, not yet, with the unemployment rate still elevated at 6.8 per cent, although some industries (mining, real estate) have fared much better than others (tourism, aviation, higher education). 

It was certainly an unusual quarter with parts of the economy reopening, and so on.

But still there's a solid case for the unemployment rate already having peaked and falling towards 6 per cent from here. 

Australia's massive financial super-stimulus package and relatively speaking excellent control of the coronavirus is delivering some remarkable results, and an early Federal election looks to be a solid bet. 

Stock walloped towards record lows

Tightening further

Property listings are 14 per cent higher year-on-year in Melbourne, according to CoreLogic, as the property market works through its post-lockdown spike. 

But stock is getting absolutely crushed lower by the month elsewhere:

Source: CoreLogic

Investors are the missing link still, but as enquiry ramps up it's going to be a flying start to the year for property markets. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Melbourne vacancy rates still trending higher

Melbourne vacancies spike

An interesting trend over the past year has been that vacancy rates, in aggregate, haven't increased.

The national vacancy rate trended down from 2.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent over the calendar year, according to SQM Research. 

In Sydney the vacancy rate now appears to have peaked, but Melbourne the vacancy rate continued to rise to 4.7 per cent in December 2020. 

Vacancy rates are tight in most of the second tier capitals, and increasingly so in Perth, Darwin, and Adelaide. 

Sydney CBD was one of the major vacancy hotspots, but lower rents are now filling up the empty apartments, with the vacancy rate dropping from 9.5 per cent to 7.8 per cent in December. 

In Melbourne CBD vacancies declined from 9.1 per cent to 8.7 per cent, according to SQM's figures. 

Buying in Bris 30% cheaper than renting

Cash to splash

It's likely to be a big year or two ahead for Brisbane (and Adelaide) property prices.

The interest cost on a 100pc geared purchase is now 30pc cheaper than renting (although there are sundry costs associated with ownership). 

Dr. Cameron Murray has successfully used his index and analysis before to call the direction of markets and this looks bullish for the second tier capital cities. 

Source: Dr. Cameron Murray

It's worth remembering that thanks to government stimulus, early superannuation release, mortgage holidays, and no overseas travel, in aggregate households are absolutely awash with cash. 

The household saving ratio ballooned in 2020, and yet still retail turnover continued to accelerate to a spectacular 13.3 per cent annual gain in November, despite the prior year being a Black-Friday led high watermark.

Online sales have obviously been very powerful this year, but declined in November as Victorians rushed out to the shops. 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Compound growth: it's about time...

It's about time

A new blog post on compound growth - see here (or click on the image below):