Tony Alexander

Economic Commentaries

The full pdf version of the Weekly Overview is contained here.

Weekly Overview 23 March 2017

Thursday March 23rd 2017

This week we note the record net migration gain this past year of 71,333 people and examine the numbers behind the change from -4,000 five years ago. A big influence on flows is the relative state of the NZ and Australian labour markets with one indicator being that since 2009 88% of net new jobs in New Zealand have been full-time, but in Australia this proportion is only 54%.

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Weekly Overview 16 March 2017

Thursday March 16th 2017

This week we comment on the February housing data from REINZ, undertake our once a year printing of regional house price graphs, and include a special graph of Auckland house price changes from 1962. Good luck if you think it tells you when the next trough or peak will occur. We also examine the role of FOMO in the housing market, page 3.

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Weekly Overview 9 March 2017

Thursday March 9th 2017

Many thanks for the messages of support received this past week. But not everyone got the main points of last week’s Overview so we go over them again. In summary….
-It has become harder to buy a house not because of one generation’s buying but numerous factors we have discussed hundreds of times in this publication since 2009 whilst warning about the upward house price implications.
-Young buyers these days need to make deep sacrifices in spending on other things if they want to purchase a house and if such sacrifices cannot be made home ownership could well remain out of reach.
-Getting credit from banks has become harder and further rationing of an increasingly limited supply of funds is coming.

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Weekly Overview 2 March 2017

Thursday March 2nd 2017

We start this week’s Overview with a very quick overview of the state of the NZ economy. We then answer the question of how much the economy suffered as a result of the collapse in dairy prices from the start of 2014. After that we address the misplaced argument that Baby Boomers are to blame for high house prices. Those calling this group greedy fail to grasp the long-term factors driving house prices higher which we have highlighted here in fits and starts since 2008. On page five we offer a list of suggestions for living as they did if you want to save a deposit.

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Weekly Overview 23 February 2017

Thursday February 23rd 2017

Statistics New Zealand this week released updated projections of population growth for NZ regions and local authority areas out to 2043. Almost all areas have seen improvements on the back of higher net immigration flows, but still there are 17 areas where population decline is projected. We republish their tables so people looking at the regions and perhaps investing outside the main centres can have realistic views on how much future demand for housing there may be. We also republish tables showing net internal migration flows for each region between the census from 1981 to 2013, noting that although for the past three censuses Auckland has shown net losses, the loss was a lot less between 2006 and 2013 than between 2001 and 2006. Enjoy.

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Weekly Overview 16 February 2017

Thursday February 16th 2017

This week we remind people about the demographic factors which are a key driving force behind the growth in Auckland including things such as Auckland having the youngest population of all NZ regions, and the median age falling half a year between 2014 and 2016. Aging population? Not yet in our biggest city. We also do a recap of the factors which allowed New Zealand to undertake vital reforms from 1984-92 in fits and starts but which don’t exist elsewhere.

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Weekly Overview 9 February 2017

Thursday February 9th 2017

In this week’s Overview we take a look at the main factors which determine the level of activity in the residential real estate market. This will be highly relevant to folk like real estate agents, mortgage brokers, bankers, conveyancing lawyers and moving companies.

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Weekly Overview 2 February 2017

Thursday February 2nd 2017

The mainstream media focus is overwhelmingly on those immediately affected by the executive orders being signed by the new US President. Focussing on highly emotive issues risks blinding people to the likely economic impact of policies so far beginning to be addressed and those yet to come. Stripping away the emotions revealed by those opposing President Trump and hidden by the 63 million Americans who voted for him, this week we take a look at how his policies are likely to affect the US economy and our own over time.

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Weekly Overview 26 January 2017

Thursday January 26th 2017

Welcome to the first Weekly Overview for 2017. Like everyone else is doing currently we take a look at what is happening in the United States and postulate the relevance for ourselves. We also look at factors underpinning the Kiwi dollar which has risen four cents since the start of the year.

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Weekly Overview 15 December 2016

Thursday December 15th 2016

Welcome to the last Weekly Overview for 2016. The first for 2017 will appear in late-January. Merry Christmas.

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