Squiz Today / 17 July 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 17 July
“I missed my nap for this.”
We like Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins’ approach to life. Not only is she a committed napper, but she's also a late bloomer. Since taking up sprinting last year at 100yo, she’s clocked two (unverified) world record times for the 100 metres. “I’m always outside and the phone always rings, and I come running in is how I knew I could run,” she said. Love an understated legend.
‘SAFE LANDING’ FOR HOUSE PRICES IN SIGHT
There are more signs we're on track for housing prices to make a “safe landing” in the major markets. The market is still moving - auction clearances in Sydney and Melbourne rose to +70% this weekend, and strong results were also recorded in Canberra and Adelaide. But price growth is cooling. Investment bank UBS predicts housing price growth will come under 10% this year and fall somewhere between 0-3% next year. That’s the landing Treasurer Scott Morrison is looking for. However, the outlook isn’t good for everyone - the Property Council predicts confidence will fall in the housing industry and there are predictions of a downturn in construction.
WHOA UP – WHAT DOES THAT ACTUALLY MEAN?
Some quick points to mull over:
1. House prices aren’t falling in the major markets - but it doesn't look like there will be the yuuuge price increases of recent times either.
2. Interest rates probably aren't going up anytime soon. In fact, some analysts reckon that rates could be stable for another 18 months. That makes the office sweep on RBA meeting days very boring (where you put a $2 bet on rates going up, down or hold - you do that, right?).
3. Everything is interconnected. Slowing investor activity might make room for owner-occupiers but it will also slow down construction of new developments = impacts on jobs and building materials suppliers.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Our suburbs are changing. As the baby boomers shift into retirement, their income growth is slowing. They currently make up a high proportion of some of the richy-rich suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne. It will be interesting to see how those suburbs change and how effluent (yes, Kimmy) other inner suburbs (where the younger professionals live) become in coming years. Oh, and great news for tourists to the States with our exchange rate against the US dollar the best it's been for more than two years at +78c. Westpac predicts it will be back to about 65c by the end of next year. #consultyourfinancialadviser
SQUIZ THE REST
AUSSIE HEALTH SYSTEM TAKES A SILVER MEDAL
US think tank The Commonwealth Fund has ranked Australia’s health care system second against those of ten other developed nations. The UK came in first and the US last. We were close behind the UK’s NHS – the issue stopping us from taking first place was our score on ‘equity’. While Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and our public hospitals provide a universal health care system, there have long been criticisms about access to services, particularly in rural and regional areas.
PANTS AND NATIONALITY ISSUES FORCE HIGH PROFILE RESIGNATIONS
That escalated quickly! ICYMI, last week ended with a crescendo of high profile resignations. AFL executives Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss resigned over pants-related issues with younger women they worked with. Pants problems also saw the Border Force Assistant Commissioner Peter Docwra resign. We’ve not seen so many pants problems since Levis 501’s were in vogue (buttoned flys are tricky…). And WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam resigned after it was found he hadn't renounced his Kiwi citizenship (you can't hold a seat in Parliament if you are a citizen of another country). We get it - it's easy to lose track of what countries you're a citizen of.
SUPERMARKETS ACT AHEAD OF GOVERNMENTS TO BAN PLASTIC BAGS
That escalated quickly! Soz, we've used that line already… Woolworths was first out of the blocks on Friday afternoon with an announcement they would stop providing single use plastic bags to customers of their supermarkets (and BIG W + BWS) over the next 12 months. Coles quickly followed, as did Sydney’s Harris Farms. Plastic bags are already banned in the ACT, South Australia, the NT and Tassie, with a ban in Queensland coming into effect next year - so the big retailers have effectively already trialled it. If you’re anything like us you have a stash of plastic bags to use as bin liners - which makes us wonder, will we just switch into buying plastic bin liners? We have a few months to think on that.
MUSK SEES THREATS IN AI
Tesla founder and battery king of South Australia Elon Musk yesterday described artificial intelligence as the "greatest risk we face as a civilisation". And he should know – he's a technology darling with access to all the good stuff. Not only is Musk worried about the jobs that will be lost and social destabilisation, he's worried the technology will thrive in networks and move to harm humans. “I’m against overregulation for sure. But man, I think with we’ve got to get on that with AI, pronto.” What a happy thought for Monday!
It was a record breaking day for Roger Federer – he’s the oldest bloke to win at Wimbledon as he took out his eighth championship – more than any other man. Only Martina Navratilova has more Wimbledon singles titles with nine. Croatia's Marin Cilic struggled with a foot blister and went down in straight sets. And Venus Williams was unable to complete the fairy tale on Saturday succumbing to Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.
NEW DR WHO
Who knew that Dr Who was still a thing? Anyway, the BBC made waves overnight announcing the 13th Dr will be Jodie Whittaker – a woman. Cue sharp intake of breath... You might know Whittaker from Broadchurch where she played Beth Latimer. The announcement’s had mixed reviews - there's lots of "I'm a feminist, but…”. Whittaker might want to put Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on retainer for some lady-friendly one-line responses. It will be fascinating to see who tunes in (and who tunes out) when Whittaker’s first episodes appear next year.
SQUIZ THE DAY
11.00am (AEST) - Game of Thrones Season 7 - Episode 1 on Foxtel
Third anniversary of the shooting down of MH17 over Ukraine killing 298 on board.
World Emoji Day (we can't do emojis in the email - but insert smiley face)
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