A review of things you need to know before you go home Friday; Westpac ups TD rate, housing market sags, car market booms, Tarrant leaves, Aussie data underwhelms, swaps rates flatten, NZD holds

Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes reported today.

DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Westpac added +10 bps to their eight month ‘special’ taking it to 3.60%.

POST-ELECTION CAUTION
Hard on the heals of the [somewhat dated] QV data out yesterday, we have the very current data for October from Barfoots today and that doesn’t paint a rising Spring picture for Auckland housing markets. In fact, B&T’s median price was down -$34,500 on a year ago as sales numbers tumbled. Those October sales volumes hit their lowest level since 2010 and were -18.5% lower than the same month a year ago. Peter Thompson says that post-election buyers are being very cautious.

POST-ELECTION EUPHORIA
That same caution is not being reflected in the new car market, one that is often said to match the property market. Not this time. Record new car sales were made in October, with 11,114 new vehicles sold (327 per day, one every 4 minutes 25 seconds ! ) Commercial vehicle sales were strong too, up +12.6%. We will get used vehicle sales data later today or Monday. That is likely to be strong too. No post-election excuses here.

SITUATION VACANT
We also sadly have to report that Alex Tarrant, our reporter in the Press Gallery in Wellington is leaving us today. He is crossing over to the “dark side” 😉 taking a senior role in the Minister of Finance’s office. We wish him well and hope he enjoys it as much as we have having him working with us. We will miss him. His final piece for us will appear on Sunday Monday. We will be recruiting for a replacement.

ICEBREAKER SOLD
Jeremy Moon has sold Icebreaker to an American company. No indication of price however.

MISSING EXPECTATIONS
In Australia, data out today for retail sales was flat, and well below the gains the market was expecting. Also disappointing in Australia was their services sector data. As a consequence, the AUD is falling.

PUSHING AML DUTIES ON TO REALTORS, DEVELOPERS
China is taking actual steps to prevent money laundering in real estate. New Zealand needs to do the same. Caixin is reporting that the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development signaled in September they will increase scrutiny over money laundering practices in the real estate sector. They said property developers, agents and banks have an obligation to perform due diligence on potential buyers, including the source of their funding and their intentions. (My emphasis.)

WHOLESALE RATES FLATTEN
Swap rates are moving back down a little further today. The two year is unchanged, the five year is also down -2 bps and the ten year is down -3 bps. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.94%. Markets are now waiting on next week’s RBNZ MPS signals, but longer rates are being shifted by offshore influences.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDS RECENT GAINS, BITCOIN EVEN HIGHER
The NZ dollar has held yesterdays gains and still at 69.2 USc. On the cross rates we are at 90 AUc and at 59.3 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 72.4. The bitcoin price is higher again, now at US$7,033 and up another +1% on the day. But in-between its wild ride continues, hitting another new record of US$7,261 four hours ago.

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