Squiz Today / 21 February 2018
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 21 February
That’s what Sabra Lane, host of ABC Radio’s AM, rates as her most overused phrase. One thing that is definitely cool bananas is her Three Minute Squiz, which you can find here.
HOUSE PRICES COULD MOVE FROM DAMP TO SOGGY
There's something happening in Australia's housing market.
• Data out late yesterday showed the number of home sales in capital cities is down 7.8% on last year.
• Last weekend’s property sales also showed prices went backwards across all of Oz’s mainland state capitals, and more so in Sydney.
• The Commonwealth Bank said earlier this week that these trends are likely to continue.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
Last year the banking regulator APRA asked lenders to tighten lending standards. Which is kinda like your parents asking you to clean your room – more non-negotiable directive than request. That led a decline in investor activity, which in turn took some of the heat out of house price growth, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. Add to that our current streak of weak wage growth and the gazillion new apartments coming on the market in some places, and suddenly ‘damp’ becomes the most common adjective used to describe the market.
WHAT DOES THE RESERVE BANK HAVE TO SAY?
Now there’s a question guaranteed to be a dinner party killer. But given you’ve asked, assistant governor Michelle Bullock yesterday said she’s worried about what happens to prices when the current crop of investors’ interest-only loans expire between now and 2022. Many of them will have to sell their properties because they won’t get a new interest-only loan. And depending on how desperate they are to sell up, house prices could be further impacted by these properties coming onto the market. PS Did you know 11% of the adult population own at least one investment property? How effluent!
SQUIZ THE REST
SITUATION JOYCE UPDATE
How happy will PM Malcolm Turnbull be when his jet goes wheels-up later today? He’s heading to the US for a meeting with US President Donald Trump. The latest?
• The WA Nats say they don’t want federal Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to remain in the job. Joyce replied; "You don't have a federal member of parliament in the National Party of Australia.” Boom.
• And this morning News Corp reports that Joyce is involved in a potential undeclared conflict of interest. He owns land near the proposed inland rail route agreed by Cabinet (which Joyce sits on), and the question is whether that is a breach of the ministerial code of conduct.
Given that the Joyce saga is now in its third week, we can only hope Turnbull has his favourite comedy loaded up on his iPad to enjoy a few hours peace during the flight. Maybe just steer clear of the latest John Oliver…
GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR MODEST US GUN LAW REFORM
The White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders yesterday said that President Trump is open to changes to strengthen background checks for gun purchases in the wake of last week’s school massacre in Florida. The change would see the national check system, designed to screen out people with a criminal record or history of mental health problems, become more functional. That might seem modest to us, but it seems to be the only change that has a chance of passing Congress.
And in an intersection of the big stories in the US at the moment – this piece on how Russian twitter bots kicked into action to seed disharmony after last week’s shooting is truly terrifying.
PERIS ACCUSED OF DOPING
The Herald Sun yesterday revealed that up-and-coming sprinter Jessica Peris, daughter of Olympian and former pollie Nova Peris, has been caught up in a drugs scandal. Peris clocked personal best times over the summer but was mysteriously missing from the Commonwealth Games selection trials last weekend. Reports say it turns out a banned substance was detected in a sample taken by ASADA. The B-sample results will be confirmed in days. Peris is contesting the A-sample result and has lawyered up over the leak. The Gold Coast-hosted Commonwealth Games kick off on 4 April.
MELBOURNE CUP MIGHT BE CAUGHT UP IN HORSE DOPING SCANDAL
News Corp has this morning published the text messages of a number of trainers and stablehands accused of the doping of racehorses. The messages show some of our most high profile races could have been affected, possibly including the Melbourne Cup (paywall alert). The group have been accused of 271 counts of breaching the rules of racing in a Racing Victoria inquiry.
LISTEN TO JANET
When you think about it, Janet Jackson has taught us many life lessons. The weekends are for relaxing and unwinding (via Escapade). Missing the one you love can hurt (via Miss You Much). And showing a bit too much boob to an international audience on live TV doesn’t end well (via her Super Bowl halftime performance and subsequent career nosedive). A lesson French skater Gabriella Papadakis would have done well to heed before her wardrobe malfunction at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. She was pretty upset, but somehow the pair were still in medal contention after the routine. Maybe it added a certain je ne sais quoi….
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEDT) - Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to address the National Press Club on 'A safer, more secure Australia' - Canberra
ABS Data Releases - Wage Price Index, December; Construction Work Done, December
Company Results Announcements - Blackmores; Coca-Cola Amatil; Fairfax Media; Stockland; Santos; Wesfarmers
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