/ 02 September 2021

At home with the economy

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THE SQUIZ
You know what was going off in July 1989? We don’t mean Roxette’s The Look… Home prices, that’s what. And yesterday, we learned that national housing prices have risen 18.4% in the last year – the fastest increase since the 12 months to July 1989. According to analysts CoreLogic, Hobart led the way with 24.5% annual growth. It was followed by Canberra (22.5%), Darwin (22%), Sydney (20.9%), Brissie (18.3%), Adelaide (17.9%) and Melbourne (13.1). Perth wasn’t included in the report because they aren’t participating in Oz anymore. Just jokes, there’s an issue with the survey they’re working out. Outside the capitals, regional home prices were up 21.6% for the year. That means Australia’s median property price has risen by $103,400 in the last year.

THAT’S A LOT…
And in the current environment, it’s all about confidence. Yesterday, official figures on the state of our economy were released – and they were better than analysts expected. Our economy grew by 0.7% between April-June, taking annual growth to an all-time high of 9.6%. As well as paying increasing prices for homes, we’ve been buying record levels of clothing and footwear and a lot of home furnishings and office equipment. Note: Sydney’s lockdown didn’t start until the end of June. Since then, several states/territories/cities/regions did a stint in lockdown in July and August, and there’ll be more of that this month. So it’s not much of a surprise that economists reckon the July-September result could see our economy take something like a 4% whack. And in October-December, well, that depends on whether the lockdowns continue.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Well, for Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, it means that there are difficult days ahead, but “we can be optimistic about our future because the Australian economy and its fundamentals remain strong.” Labor’s Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers disagrees saying our economy is weakening, and that’s down to the Morrison Government’s “failures on vaccines, quarantine, and the economic supports.” With lockdowns set to be in place in NSWVictoria and the ACT for a while yet and Premiers Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mark McGowan not onboard with the national plan to open borders, COVID and the economy is something we’ll be talking about for a while yet…

Image source: Unsplash

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