Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place), & CEO of WargentAdvisory (providing subscription analysis, reports & services to institutional clients).

5 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he's one of the finest property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written, yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data & charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' & 'Code Red'.

"The level of detail in Pete's work is superlative across all of Australia's housing markets" - Grant Williams, co-founder RealVision - where world class experts share their thoughts on economics & finance - author of Things That Make You Go Hmmm, one of the world's most popular & widely-read financial publications.

"Wargent is a bald-faced realty foghorn" - David Llewellyn-Smith, 'MacroBusiness'.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Sevenfold increase in Chinese visitor spend

Dollar supporting growth

Despite a good deal of pessimism through the year, the Australian economy grew by about 3 per cent in 2015, with household consumption holding up reasonably well.

This sanguine result combined with a short salvo of other positive data of late - largely commodity price related - has seen the Aussie dollar levitate back above 74 US cents. Through most of the latter half of 2015, however, the dollar was tracking in a range between 69 and 73 cents, which encouraged some exchange rate sensitive sectors of the economy to thrive.

Tourism & education boom 

The latest figures from Tourism Research Australia (TRA) showed that a record 6.86 million visitors made the trip Down Under in 2015, a buoyant 8 per cent increase from 2014.

Notably there was a 10 per cent increase in the number to holiday makers to 3.1 million.

Meanwhile more folk than ever before nominated their reason for travel as being to visit friends and relatives at 1.8 million. This represents a huge 77 per cent increase over the past decade, reflective of the fact that more than a quarter of Australian residents were born overseas.

There was another dramatic 21 per cent increase in the number of Chinese visitors in the last calendar year, Indian visitors were up by 18 per cent, while visitor numbers from the United States also swelled by 10 per cent as American travellers enjoyed a favourable shift in the exchange rate.

When examining the purpose of trip the biggest percentage increases were for education, with a massive 21 per cent increase in this category to 459,000, and for reasons of employment. 

Total trip spend for education visitors exploded 30 per cent higher to $8.7 billion, and education now accounts 24 per cent of total trip spend. International students are forecast by the Department of Border and Immigration Protection (DIBP) to be one the key visa categories driving population growth for the remainder of the decade.

Record spend

Total trip expenditure leapt by 18 per cent to $36.6 billion, while actual expenditure in Australia soared by 20 per cent to $24.6 billion.

The main driver of the increase over the past decade, as you may be able to guess if you live in a capital city, has been a near sevenfold increase in expenditure by Chinese visitors from $0.9 billion to $6.2 billion.

While well over half of international visitor expenditure continues to benefit the capitals, there was a welcome increase in regional tourism activity and expenditure, notably in national parks and wineries.

Boom to continue?

Tourism Research Australia forecasts further strong growth in tourism, inbound arrivals, and international visitor expenditure through financial year 2016 and beyond. Indeed if TRA forecasts for the next decade prove to be even remotely accurate, the impressive uplift experienced in inbound arrivals to date represents only the beginning. 

Chinese visitor numbers are projected to comfortably more than double over the next ten years. The way demographic statistics have been tracking lately, I wouldn't bet against that trend.