Finware Focus

30 October 2015 - Future of Mining in Australia

The future of the mining sector in Australia is uncertain, with a slowing China continuing to affect commodity prices along with an increasing drive towards renewables. While the future of the coal industry is likely to benefit from increasing demand in south-east Asia in coming years, an oversupply of key resources continues to influence both coal and iron ore prices. In order for Australia to thrive over the next few decades, the mining industry will need to co-exist with the agriculture, tourism, and renewable energy sectors.


23 October 2015 - New Zealand Dollar on the Up

The New Zealand dollar is rising again after reaching its lowest point in six years, with the Kiwi up 10 percent from late August to levels over US68c. From an intraday low of just US62c less than two months ago, the Kiwi has enjoyed a return to favour on the back of US dollar weakness and rising domestic confidence. While some investors are calling for Kiwi sales in expectations of another fall, others are forecasting strong support due to renewed weakness in the US dollar.


16 October 2015 - Is Housing Supply On The Way Down?

The relationship between supply and demand has always had a strong impact on property prices. With building approvals dropping below market expectations and demand for housing on the rise in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia may have already experienced a property peak. While building approvals have risen strongly since 2012 and new construction projects are on the cards for western Sydney, weak August results may signify the end of Australia's residential construction boom.


9 October 2015 - Growth in Investor Lending

Property investment is on the rise across New Zealand, with investors taking out almost $2 billion in mortgages during August alone. With the total amount of mortgage lending now sitting at just under $6 billion, investors now represent 33 percent of all new lending. These figures, released by the Reserve Bank, have come out just as new lending restrictions come into effect, with the Reserve Bank looking to target investors by tightening borrowing and taxing capital gains.


2 October 2015 - The Truth About Recycling

Human waste management and disposal is a massive global problem that needs to be constantly addressed. Recycling is often promoted as the ultimate solution, with programs available around the world to help save energy, reduce waste, and re-use important resources. While recycling is essentially good for the environment, it may not be as helpful as you think. The collection, transportation and recycling of waste materials requires a lot of energy, with the practice of recycling also widely criticized for providing a false sense of security.


25 September 2015 - Housing Affordability Improves

According to the latest Housing Affordability Report by the Adelaide Bank and Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), housing affordability has improved during the June quarter. While discrepancies exist between Australian states and first home buyers are still struggling to get into the market, a rise in average family income and a drop in interest rates has helped to improve conditions across the country.


18 September 2015 - Housing Market Steady in August

According to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), the national housing market remained largely steady in August. While new listings were recorded in many areas and construction activity continued to pick up pace in Auckland, supply increases were more than matched by an increase in sales activity. The national median selling price remains unchanged on a month-by-month basis, with prices in Auckland easing from their record high in June.


11 September 2015 - Building Industry Expands

The Australian building industry has expanded for the first time in ten months, with strong growth seen in residential construction and increasing demand for industrial assets. While a drop in mining-related investment continued to adversely affect the engineering construction sector, growth in apartment building, house building, and commercial construction were more than enough to make up the difference. With big plans for Sydney over the next decade, this could be the start of better things to come for the construction industry.


4 September 2015 - What Slowing China Means for New Zealand

The New Zealand economy continues to be affected by the slowdown in China, with the NZX and kiwi dollar both falling heavily in recent days as the domestic economy grows by just 2 percent. While New Zealand is more insulated than Australia, the ongoing NZX reaction and third cash rate drop in a row has left little doubt about the increasing influence of China on the New Zealand economy.


28 August 2015 - What China’s Devaluation Means for Australia

The economic future of Australia is heavily dependent on China, with the recent devaluation of the Chinese yuan showing just how intertwined we are with the Asian giant. While sequential devaluations of 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent were certainly unexpected, the way the Aussie dollar reacted in parallel was equally surprising. According to some commentators, the recent over-valuation of the yuan has helped to fuel Australia's housing boom, tourism boom and mining bust, with devaluation set to make a big impact.


21 August 2015 - Are Auckland Prices Starting to Fall?

Property prices in Auckland may finally be falling, with the median house price in the city dropping $20,000 last month according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). With data from Barfoot & Thompson showing a similar trend and Finance Minister Bill English raising the possibility of a long-term correction, first-home buyers in the city could finally be getting some relief. With the national median sales price rising by $15,000 over the same period, the gap in New Zealand's two-speed market may be tightening.


14 August 2015 - Retirees Face Reality Check

People nearing retirement in New Zealand are in need of a reality check according to a new survey, with people either expecting too much or completely unsure of how much money they will need. The Commission for Financial Capability and the Financial Markets Authority analysed the expectations of people over 50 regarding retirement, with the Colmar Brunton commissioned survey highlighting a worrying gap between what people think they will need and what they're prepared to do about it.


7 August 2015 - Proposed Capital Rules to Impact First Home Buyers

Proposed bank capital rules could increase mortgage costs for first-home buyers, with a new regulatory framework being considered by the global banking regulators known as Basel. While these changes are not expected to be implemented for several years, they could have a big effect on first-home buyers and others borrowing at higher loan-to-valuation ratios. These moves are part of a clampdown on unsustainable lending practices, with an Australian parliamentary inquiry into housing affordability also scrutinising property investors.

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