Three minutes of your weekend, and with a positive feel….off you go.
1. Many happy returns
Love a birthday! And from Commsec comes good birthday cheer this week as the Australian economy completes its 21st year of growth.
The highlights -
- We’ve been recession-free since the June quarter of 1991 – the longest expansion in Australia’s history.
- In 2011/12, the economy grew by 3.4% – just above the long-term average of 3.25%;
- And the economy grew in the June quarter by 0.6% – that’s 3.7% higher than a year ago.
Sadly, one of the biggest drags on the economy is the lack of dwelling investment. For the property market, as I have repeated many times of late, one of the crucial missing ingredients is confidence. Hopefully it will return soon.
And while the 0.6% growth for the quarter was slightly below forecasts, the 3.7% annual growth was in line with forecasts.
In a nutshell, the economy is growing, consumers are saving, productivity is even improving and labour costs are growing only modestly. Commsec calls this a “beautiful set of numbers” – so maybe it’s time to break out some cake after all.
Here’s what the folks at Commsec anticipate:
- Future economic growth to be in line with longer-term averages or higher.
- Growth of around 3.5% is expected in 2012/13.
- Business investment in resource sectors should again be the mainstay of growth, but dwelling construction is also expected to lift from depressed levels.
Most of this upside is expected to be in the resource states of Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory.
2. Demand for home loans soars
That’s the kind of heading I like. Our friends at Property Review reported this week that demand for home loans topped $3.07 billion in August – its highest level since March 2009, according to AFG. The figure is an increase of 10% on July and 7.4% on August 2011.
While August is traditionally a strong month for mortgages, as buyers come out of winter hibernation, what’s different about this, according to AFG, is that borrowers have remained relatively active during the winter months. Property Review reports that July also was strong for AFG.
The level of mortgages processed for investors in New South Wales reached a high level of 44.7% of all new home loans for the State in August; followed by Queensland on 36.6%, Victoria on 35.2%, South Australia on 29.5% and Western Australia on 29.1%.
Good news indeed – we’ll report on some of the details from AFG next week.
3. Which SM type are you?
What do Labor and Coalition voters have in common? Well, nothing really, as far as I can see :) – but apparently when it comes to social media usage, they are in sync.
A survey for Crikey has found that while Labor and Coalition voters are virtually indistinguishable on their social media usage, Greens voters differed greatly in that they were likely to use SMS as their main form of communication, and less likely to use email.
The survey, by Essential Research, asked Australians what social media platform they use to communicate. Email remains the most dominant communications tool (37% of voters); followed by Facebook (33%) and SMS/texting (20%).
Twitter, in spite of a reported 1.8 million Aussie users earlier this year, was last on the list, with only 1% of respondents in tweet mode. (We only tweet. We like to be the underdog!! And if you are not checking out my twitter space, you are missing out on a regular dose of irreverence sprinkled with a little bit of property gumpf).
Gender splits (of course!) – men are less interested in social media than women; men prefer email; women like Facebook.
Older people prefer email; under 35s like Facebook. And Facebook wins with lower-income earners too.
Thirty seven percent of us play online games; men 40% and women 33%. Greens voters were more likely to say they didn’t play online games at all. Prunes!
Matusik Pulse Poll
They’re back!! We know you’ve missed ‘em. Here’s the drill – answer the poll, wait two weeks, and read the results.
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