Australia: Hard or soft landing?

Browsing the latest charts from the RBA.

Despite record low 10-year bond yields…..

Housing Finances

Credit growth is subdued and likely to remain so for some time.

Credit Growth by Sector

After a massive credit bubble lasting more than a decade.

Housing Finances

Households are saving close to 10 percent of Disposable Income in anticipation of a contraction.

Housing Finances

While banks are reluctant to lend when their margins are being squeezed.

Housing Finances

Borrowing offshore is not an option. That is how we got into such a fix in the first place.

Housing Finances

Makes me believe we are unlikely to see another housing boom for some time.

There are two possible outcomes: a soft landing and a hard landing.

It all depends on whether Wayne Swan and the RBA know their jobs.

Australia: RBA running out of options

The Reserve Bank of Australia must be viewing the end of the mining boom with some trepidation. Cutting interest rates to stimulate new home construction may cushion the impact, but comes at a price. Consumers may benefit from lower interest rates but that is merely a side-effect: the real objective of monetary policy is debt expansion. And Australia is already in a precarious position.

Further increases in the ratio of household debt to disposable income would expand the housing bubble — with inevitable long-term consequences.

Housing Finances

While debt expansion is not in the country’s interests, neither is debt contraction (with growth below zero), which would risk a deflationary spiral. The RBA needs to maintain debt growth below the nominal growth rate in GDP — forecast at 4.0% for 2012-13 and 5.5% for 2013-2014 according to MYEFO — to gradually restore household debt/income ratios to respectable levels.

Credit Growth by Sector

If the RBA’s hands are tied, similar restraint has to be applied to fiscal policy. First home buyer incentives would also re-ignite debt growth. The focus may have to shift to state and local government  in order to accelerate land release and reduce other impediments — both financial and regulatory — to new home development. Lowering residential property development costs while increasing competition would encourage developers to cut prices to attract more buyers into the market. While this would still increase demand for new home finance, lower prices would cool speculative demand fueled by low interest rates.

U.K. Aims to Mute Impact of Crisis –

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King announced plans to flood banks with cheap funds in a dual attempt to jump-start lending to British households and businesses and to fend off potential financial problems at big U.K. lenders. The programs resemble some of the emergency measures enacted by central banks in Europe and the U.S. during peak crisis periods in recent years.

via U.K. Aims to Mute Impact of Crisis –