Everything worth knowing in less than a minute:
Stamp Duties Zombie on
No one wants them, the Feds want to kill them, but Stamp Duties won’t die. Why? Because thanks to them the states are rolling in cash. Figures show NSW took in a record $6 bn, and Vic took in a booming $4.2bn.
… and you just can’t talk sense to addicts.
All about Auctions
The national average auction clearance rate remains around record highs (78%), with evidence that the number of auctions each weekend is actually increasing, especially in Melbourne.
Household confidence steadies on rate cut…
and so does business confidence…
But we’re still waiting for a decisive rebound in both. What will it take?
Rental Growth slowing
National average rental growth is slowing (down to 1.7% y/y), but it’s driven by falls in Perth (4.2%), Darwin (-4.7%) and Canberra (2.6%).
The major capitals are still growing strongly. It pays to be fussy in a market like this…
Iron Inquiry looms…
The PM has backed calls for an inquiry into the nation's iron ore industry and oversupply.
Fortescue Metals Group's chairman Andrew Forrest has been doing an incredible job of getting everyone to see his own interests as the national interest. (Check out his website ourironore.com!)
WA Premier Colin Barnett labelled the proposal as “pointless”, and I’d agree.
But Atlas goes back to full production anyway
Atlas, an iorn ore junior who paused production when prices fell to recent lows, is now back in the game as iron ore prices hold above $60/t.
If prices hold, the whole inquiry could be redundant by the time it happens.
Budget goes warm and fuzzy
The ideology of the previous budget was swapped for careful politicking and a ‘something for everybody’ approach. It’s getting harder to tell Tweedledum from Tweedledee in Canberra these days.
My favourite post-budget moment: Hockey being interviewed on the 7.30 report:
Sales: The Government's spending as a percentage of GDP is 25.9 per cent. That is the same as the previous Labor Government (was) spending at the height of the global financial crisis.
Hockey: Not true. They got to 26 per cent.
Sales: You're at 25.9 per cent!
And if Abbott wants to be remembered as the infrastructure PM, he’s going to have to pull his finger out. CBA has this estimate of Australia’s infrastructure stock:
Pick of the Budget
But one bit of good work hidden in the budget detail was a plan to force people on a Significant Investor Visa (SIV) to invest the required money in start-ups. Previously they could just invest it in corporate bonds – effectively sticking in the back. Get the investors to actualy invest. Great idea!
Education Boom goes to High School.
Huge boom going on in overseas High School student numbers. In NSW, there’s been a 25 per cent increase in new, full fee-paying international students in just 12 months.
Each student pays up to $14,000 a year in fees to study in the public system, often on top of about $300 a week to live with an Australian family, raising at least $33 million each year, although the figure could be much higher.
60% of these students come from China.
Ireland goes Solar Farms
Ireland’s first solar farms could be operational by the end of 2016, with backing from Macquarie Bank.
So sunny Ireland is trying to become a world leader in solar tech.
What are we going to do? Grow potatoes?
Have a great week!