Digest - Wednesday the 5th of December 2018

Welcome to the final NAS News Digest of 2018. In this edition we report on our XMAS closure times and provide links to numerous industry and technology news articles.

On behalf of the NAS team I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and custom throughout 2018 and wish you and yours a safe and restful holiday period. We look forward to serving you in 2019; a year we trust will afford greater opportunity to us all.

Thank you for taking the time to read the digest.

NAS Xmas Closure

The team at NAS Australia would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and custom throughout 2018 and wish you and yours a safe and restful XMAS break.

All NAS Branches (Cairns, Warana, Brisbane, Newcastle) are:

Closing: Midday on Friday the 21st of December 2018 and

Re-opening: 7:30am on Wednesday the 2nd of January 2019*.

*Please be advised that skeleton staff will operate in all locations on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January. This reduced staffing could lead to some service elays.  The majority of our team will be back on deck on Monday the 7th of January 2019.

VAST Activation Help Line XMAS Closure Dates

For VAST smartcard activation over the XMAS period, please note the VAST activation helpline (1300 993 376) will be closed on the 25th and 26th of December 2018 and on the 1st of January 2019. Please note this number is for smartcard activation only as is not a technical service helpline.

Should you wish to register your VAST smartcard online, we have put together a step-by-step process to assist that can be accessed here:

nasaustralia.com.au/uec-support/

Product Focus

Be different

Your CCTV business depends on reliable sales margins, efficient installation and timely service.  You'll want a supply partner who's there when you need it.  Insist on quality because your reputation's at stake, and demand support because it needs to be right the first time.  Be different, quote WAMA.

Don't be 'chased to the bottom'

The cheapest option is rarely the best deal.  It's hard to cut through when everybody offers the same thing.  Clients always shop around, it's what they do.  So don't make it easy for them.  Sell them products the web shops don't.  Be different, sell WAMA.  Competitively priced; trade protected.

Our pricing policy and how it benefits you and your business

The volume of IP CCTV sales increase year on year as price wars escalate.  That only benefits the major manufacturers, and leaves resellers out in the cold, as stock holdings devalue and customer quotations date quickly.  Online sales, OEMs and grey imports.  It's all too hard!
WAMA is different.  We take a trade-only approach to sales, giving installers certainty and customers support.  What's not to love?

Contact our NAS Security Experts Tim Prag or Aaron Obrist today to discuss how WAMA can help you.

News Articles

FTA/PAY TV

There’s a new food channel coming to free-to-air TV

"IF YOU’RE a fan of cooking shows, you’re going to love Channel 7’s new channel."

"The network announced today that it’s partnered with Discovery to launch the 7food network on Channel 74 from December 1." The article can be accessed here.

Kayo sports streaming service, dubbed ‘Netflix of sports’, launches in Australia

"Watch four sports at once, or catch up on a game you missed without the spoilers. The ‘Netflix of sports’ promises to revolutionise our viewing this summer and beyond."

"Australia’s newest streaming service offers the most comprehensive line-up of sports ever seen in one place, in a package its boss says could be a world-first."

"Kayo Sports, dubbed ‘the Netflix of sports,’ officially launched in Australia yesterday to overwhelmingly positive online reviews from sports-mad viewers who are keen to stream video from headline sports including AFL, NRL, rugby league, A-League, tennis, and Formula 1."  The article can be accessed here.

Future of TV: Why TV streaming will continue to skyrocket

"AUSTRALIAN streaming TV subscriptions could double in the next two years due to the “insatiable” appetite of viewers for new television shows." 

"The majority of Australians now paid for some form of home entertainment, the Telsyte study also found, streaming TV subscriptions jumped by more than 50 per cent last year, and greater competition for Australian viewers could further shake up the market."

"But FreeView chief executive Liz Ross said the rapid rise of video-on-demand services did not signal the death of free-to-air TV broadcasts or services, as many viewers still wanted to “lean back,” relax, and flip between channels."

"Despite the sudden rise in subscription services, Ms Ross said traditional TV broadcasts and catch-up streaming TV was still attracting the majority of TV viewers every night, and predictions of its death were grossly exaggerated."

"The latest Australian Video Viewing Report showed more than 19 million Australians watched broadcast TV each week, and Ms Ross said some viewers simply preferred to relax in front of the TV, rather than hunt down new shows through virtual carousels."

The complete article can be accessed here.

E-sports could be the revival of Australia’s broadcasting industry

"Australia’s broadcasting industry has space for more content and with the growth in popularity of e-sports this could be the next big idea the industry is looking for."

"According to IBISWorld, which explores the rise of competitive gaming in Australia and its impact on broadcasters in a new report, it anticipates that purchasing the rights to broadcast e-sports could become the next source of revenue for traditional television in Australia."

"It says with competitive online gaming has gained popularity since the late 2000s and has continued to bring in a large global audience with more than 143 million people following the sport in 2017."

If you would like to read more please click here.

Singapore High Court grants orders to block access to illegal apps on TV boxes

"The Singapore High Court has ordered Singapore’s internet service providers to block access to popular illegal applications that are frequently sold pre-loaded on Android TV boxes."

"The apps, which flagrantly infringe copyright by acting as gateways to websites streaming pirated content, are preloaded on TV boxes which are overtly sold in retail outlets such as Sim Lim Square, IT exhibitions and on popular e-markets."

"The application and illicit streaming device ecosystem is impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content. Configuring TV boxes with applications to stream audio-visual content from illegal streaming servers allows consumers to access unauthorised premium TV channels, live sports channels and movies for the one-off price of the TV box and (often) a yearly subscription to access the content – with the revenue going into the pockets of criminal syndicates and individuals all benefiting from the spoils of such a crime."

The complete article can be accessed here.

Secret Free YouTube Movie Deal Revealed

"In a new blow to Australian free to air TV stations YouTube has secretly launched a free movie service but there is a snag, you still have to watch ads."

"What’s been revealed is that the Google owned business secretly in October, added around 100, feature-length films to its website that don’t require a subscription watch."

"The ‘Free to watch’ category includes mostly older films, but there are some cult classic and critically acclaimed titles like ‘Rocky,’ ‘Legally Blonde,’ ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’"

The article can be accessed here.

Man, 102, dies after spending three days stuck on roof when trying to fix TV aerial

You have to admire Mr Easton's courage and will at his age.  But as we all know, TV Antenna Installation is a dangerous occupation - even for professionals!

"A 102-year-old man has died in hospital after spending three days stuck on his roof in England while trying to fix his television aerial."

"Ron Easton was found by a maintenance man on the roof of his home in Bigbury-On-Sea, in Devon in England's south-west, on October 27."

"Neighbours sounded the alarm after noticing he had not collected milk from his doorstep."

"Mr Easton had climbed up on the roof with a bag of tools and a garden rake, according to Sky News."

"He reportedly suffered a fall and was taken to hospital in Plymouth by helicopter, but died a week later."

The article can be accessed here.

Security

Cheap CCTV cameras broadcasting Australians' private lives online

"Cheap and poorly installed CCTV systems are broadcasting Australians' private lives online."

"Beyond invading privacy, the exposed cameras are providing an easy access point for criminal hackers."

"Security expert Robin Stenzel alerted 9NEWS to the problem: an open, free to access website that organises and links to any insecure CCTV feed around the world." The complete article can be accessed here.

Hacked home security cameras streamed online

"Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched inside your own home?"

"It’s a terrifying thought that's been revealed to be a reality with hundreds of private security cameras across Australia right now beaming live pictures around the world."

"In a major security breach uncovered by 9NEWS, many popular brands of surveillance cameras and baby monitors can be viewed by anyone, 24 hours a day."

"A website, which 9NEWS has chosen not to name, dubs itself the "biggest directory of online surveillance cameras" and features tens of thousands of live feeds globally."

"A quick scroll through the site shows Australian living rooms, backyards with kids playing, as well as pools, gyms, offices, restaurants and barber shops."

"Perhaps most concerning, baby monitors allow peeping toms to spy on and record sleeping children."

"9NEWS tracked down one beauty salon in Brisbane streamed on the site. A female client said it was "bizarre" to know anyone could have been watching during her eyebrow treatment." The complete article can be accessed here.

This smart doorbell helped a man protect his home from alleged break-in

"A HOMEOWNER has shared incredible video footage of the moment he was able to stop two men from allegedly breaking into his home with the help of a tiny hidden device."

"Clem Ho lives in Edmonton, Canada and installed a smart doorbell at his front door."

"The doorbell is fitted with a hidden camera that is synched to Mr Ho’s phone so he can monitor the front entrance of his house even when he isn’t there."

"Posting the video to YouTube channel Viral Hog last week, Mr Ho said he had been at work when he received a “motion alert” on his phone that someone was at his front door." Want to know what happened, the complete article can be accessed here.

By the way, NAS has a range of smart doorbells.  Please contact us for more information.

Smart Home Products: Impact on the Home Security Industry

"Understanding smart home product purchase patterns can help security dealers incorporate additional products and services, increasing revenue opportunities."

"SSI has partnered with Parks Associates for the creation of DIY FYI, a column designed to help dealers keep track of important smart home market developments, what the competition is and whether they want to jump into something they see as a new opportunity."

"As the smart home industry moves from early adopters to the early majority, brands in the space fervently seek to understand the value propositions that drive product adoption and how to improve perceived product value among consumers."

"How people shop for and buy smart home devices is also changing — the home security industry has been the primary channel to spread the smart home value proposition among first adopters, but as the number and breadth of DIY products expand in retail, the avenues of acquisition are changing."

"Most consumers started their smart home journey with security-focused solutions, but a greater variety of use cases now drive consumers’ first smart home device purchases."

"In some cases, a consumer is seeking greater convenience around access control use cases. In other instances, highly personal preferences or the popularity of a device guides the purchase."

"Smart home product purchase patterns will strengthen over time as adoption increases, and the security industry will be impacted. Understanding this process will help security dealers incorporate additional products and services, increasing revenue opportunities and stickiness with solutions that align with the consumer mindset."  Want to know more about purchasing trends?  The complete article can be accessed here.

Technology

Blast off: South Australian space startup Fleet sends nanosatellites into orbit in global IoT mission

"Aussie space tech startup Fleet has finally sent its first two microsatellites into orbit, with the help of US and New Zealand spacecraft company Rocket Lab."

"The launch in Auckland yesterday was Rocket Lab’s first commercial take off, with the rocket — aptly named It’s Business Time— deploying six small satellites into space, including Fleet Space’s Proxima I and II."

"Fleet was founded in 2015, by space engineer and chief executive Flavia Tata Nardini, along with Matthew Tetlow and Matt Pearson."

"In April last year, it raised $5 million in a Series A round, led by Blackbird Ventures and also including Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, Earth Space Robotics and Silicon Valley’s Horizon Partners."

"Since then, the startup has grown to 20 people, opened offices in Europe and Los Angeles, and opened its nanosatellite ground station and mission control centre in Adelaide."

"It has also forged partnerships with Seattle spacecraft company Spaceflight and Elon Musk’s SpaceX."

"Through launching nanosatellites — roughly the size of a shoebox and weighing less than 10kg — into space, Fleet Space is striving to create a global Internet of Things (IoT) network to connect sensors across the world. Ultimately, this connectivity could improve efficiencies in areas such as agriculture, mining and logistics." The complete article can be accessed here.

FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites

"SpaceX today received US approval to deploy 7,518 broadband satellites, in addition to the 4,425 satellites that were approved eight months ago."

"The Federal Communications Commission voted to let SpaceX launch 4,425 low-Earth orbit satellites in March of this year. SpaceX separately sought approval for 7,518 satellites operating even closer to the ground, saying that these will boost capacity and reduce latency in heavily populated areas. That amounts to 11,943 satellites in total for SpaceX's Starlink broadband service."  The complete article can be accessed here.
 

900 Satellites Tipped To Deliver Low Cost 5G Right Across Australia

"OneWeb, the low orbiting Satellite Company which Softbank tipped additional dollars into this week is currently running a ruler over the Australian market with a view to delivering low cost 3G, 4G and 5G to rural and metropolitan areas where Telstra and NBN dominates."

"The Company that Softbank invested $1.3 Billion dollars into in 2015, is currently producing 900 satellites which will circle the earth they will be able to deliver network coverage across all of Australia. The satellites are due to be fully launched by next year."

"Small, low-cost user terminals as well as enabled handsets will talk to the satellites in the sky, and emit 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi to the surrounding areas, providing high-speed access wherever you are in Australia."  The complete article can be accessed here.

Economy

2018 Christmas Spending Predictions

"The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan’s Annual pre-Christmas predictions indicate Australian shoppers will spend over $51 billion across retail stores in Australia during the Christmas trading period from November 9 to December 24, 2018."

"Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said while the Australian retail industry has seen some patchy results in recent times, the ARA and Roy Morgan are forecasting Australian consumers to spend 2.9% more this Christmas compared to 2017."

“With consumer spending on the rise as noted in September’s retail trade figures, the ARA and Roy Morgan are confident that this year’s Christmas sales will remain strong during the festive season, with a 3.67% total year-on-year growth across the retail sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“An estimated $21 billion is expected to be spent on Food this Christmas, which is a 3.7% increase from the previous year and coincides with the consistent figures recorded from this category throughout 2018.”

"Apparel and Household Goods will also record a significant increase in trade, with the ARA and Roy Morgan predicting $4 billion to be spent on clothing, footwear and personal accessories, a 3.1% increase from the previous year, while nearly $9 billion is expected to be spent on Household Goods, a 2.0% increase from 2017."

"With Aussies looking to spend quality time with friends and family during the Christmas season, restaurant and café retailers will see strong growth in sales this year, with the Hospitality category expected to increase by a substantial 3.2%." The complete article can be accessed here.

Australia Consumer Confidence

Australian consumer confidence has rebounded over the past two months - pointing towards a positive XMAS trading period.

"The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank Consumer Sentiment Index for Australia rose by 2.8 percent month-over-month to 104.3 in November 2018 from 101.5 in the previous month. It is the second straight gain after two consecutive drops and the twelfth month on optimist zone, mainly nudged by sentiment for economic conditions over the next 5 years (+9.7 percent to 104.1) and the time to buy a dwelling subindex (+11.8 percent to 114.8). Family finances versus a year ago (+4.9 percent to 91.7) and over the next 12 months (+3.2 percent to 106.1) also improved. In contrast, the unemployment expectations index edged down 1.9 percent to 120.4."

“Today’s Consumer Sentiment Report portrays a more confident consumer than we had expected although this confidence is not boosting spending intentions,” said Westpac Chief economist Bill Evans. Consumer Confidence in Australia averaged 101.35 Index Points from 1974 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 123.94 Index Points in May of 2007 and a record low of 64.61 Index Points in November of 1990."  The article can be accessed here.

Falling house prices set to level out

"The country's falling property prices will stabilise next year before moving into a moderate growth phase, new research from Domain Group has predicted."

"Domain's first Property Price Forecast has modelled median house and unit prices in the capital cities to the end of 2020."

"Domain Group economist Trent Wiltshire said solid population growth, low unemployment and low interest rates underpin property price growth in the period to the end of 2020."

"We think the market will correct itself in 2019, and then change gears into a cycle of modest growth into 2020," Mr Wiltshire told 9News.

Let's hope Mr Wiltshire is on the money - pardon the pun.  The complete article can be accessed here.

Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane's Property Markets: 2018 in Review

"Australia’s real estate market performance has been dominated by significant events surrounding finance and price softening this year."

"The finance fallout has had repercussions on all markets, explains property valuation and advisory firm Herron Todd White, including those still trying to recover from other headwinds."

"In its latest review of Australia’s property markets, Herron Todd White drills down on NSW, Victoria and Queensland's residential property markets using a location-by-location wrap up"

In summary:

Sydney

The eastern suburbs generally played out "as expected" and performed better than other Sydney regions.

Where is Sydney on the property clock? Herron Todd White says Sydney is a "declining market".


Melbourne

The report reveals Melbourne has experienced “hot spots” for small development projects over the year.

Where is Melbourne on the property clock? Herron Todd White says Melbourne is a “declining market”.


Brisbane

As an overall performer, Brisbane was “unexciting and safe”.

Where is Brisbane on the property clock? Herron Todd White says Brisbane is a "rising market".

The complete article can be accessed here.

Australian property developers should prepare for a downturn not seen in 30 years

"Australia’s property industry faces a downturn not seen in 30 years, and that means property developers should be taking measures now to protect themselves, warns a new report from Ernst and Young (EY) Australia."

“Australia’s economic fundamentals are strong after 28 years of uninterrupted growth. The nation’s GDP growth currently sits at 3.4%, inflation at 2.1% and unemployment below 5.5%. Investment in infrastructure and dwellings remains high, supported by a large pipeline of work,” EY says.

“However, there are clear signs the residential market is slowing."

“CoreLogic’s mid-September update finds house prices have fallen by 5.9% in Sydney and by 2.5% in Melbourne. Together, these two cities make up more than half of Australia’s entire residential real estate market.”

"With home price falls in those cities now beginning to be mirrored in smaller housing markets, EY says the outlook for developers is uncertain, particularly at a time when lending standards have been strengthened compared to periods in the past."

“Unlike previous downturns, interest rates look set to remain low. While we don’t envisage a crash, it has become much harder for homebuyers and developers to secure finance,” said Richard Bowman, Real Estate Partner at EY Australia.  The complete article can be accessed here.

'Risks are on the downside': Why Australia's housing downturn could see the RBA cut rates again

"AMP Capital Chief Economist Shane Oliver is one of the more pessimistic forecasters when it comes to the outlook for Sydney and Melbourne home prices."

"Following the release of CoreLogic’s Home Value Index earlier this week, revealing that Sydney and Melbourne home prices fell by 1.4% and 1% respectively from October, Oliver says the risks to his forecasts are now to the downside."

"He says there are a number of factors working in tandem to push prices lower in these cities, describing it as the “perfect storm”."

“The decline in property prices is being driven by a perfect storm of tighter credit conditions, poor affordability, rising unit supply, reduced foreign demand, the switch from interest only to principle and interest mortgages for a significant number of borrowers, fears that negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions will be made less favourable if there is a change of government, falling price growth expectations and FOMO (fear of missing out) risking turning into FONGO (fear of not getting out) for investors,” Oliver says.

“These drags are most evident in Sydney and Melbourne because they saw the strongest gains into last year and had become more speculative with a greater involvement by investors.”

"As seen in this simple-yet-effective chart from Oliver, the recent downturn in CoreLogic’s national price measure only really reflects the movements in Sydney and Melbourne, the two markets where prices boomed in recent years."

"In average weighted terms, Australia’s smaller capital city markets — which didn’t participate in the prior price boom — are now failing to participate in the current price downturn." the complete article can be accessed here.

Contrary to the negative housing headlines, RBA becomes more optimistic on the economy

Principal Economist's View (November 8 2018)

"One of Australia’s favourite past-times is talking about the housing market. With the cycle clearly turning, there is no shortage of speculation of how far prices may fall. But amidst all the doom-and-gloom projections of the property market, it is important not to lose sight of the broader trends in the Australian economy. Here conditions continue to show signs of improvement."

"So much so, that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) this week upgraded its projections for the Australian economy. Real GDP growth is now expected to rise 3.5% in 2018 (up from 3.25% in its August forecast), 3.25% in 2019 (unchanged) and 3.25% in 2020 (up from 3% previously). This is the best growth seen in six years and only the mining boom years of 2004, 2007 and 2012 have registered growth this high in the past 15 years." 

"Many pundits will dismiss the RBA’s projections as too optimistic. Indeed, they are above our own forecasts of 3.3% in 2018 and 2.8% in both 2019 and 2020, as well as the consensus view amongst private-sector economists (3.2%, 2.8% and 2.7% respectively as reported in the October survey from Consensus Economics). Not one other economic forecaster is projecting growth to be this strong over the next two years."

"But before we hastily dismiss the RBA projections, let’s remind ourselves that they do have some runs on the board. This time last year, the RBA was calling for growth in 2018 to average 3%. The Consensus view was for growth to average 2.8%. While the year is not over yet, the latest quarterly data reveals growth of 3.4% over the year to the June quarter, clearly exceeding the expectations of the optimistic RBA. One-up to the RBA." Interesting read?  The complete article can be accessed here.
 

How will falling house prices impact the Australian consumer?

Chief Economists View (30 November 2018)

"Early this month, we highlighted how the RBA continues to forecast much stronger growth for the Australian economy compared to the current market view (for more details see RBA expects Australian growth to remain at 6-year highs in 2019 and 2020). As we noted, the difference in view comes down to an assessment of the impact of falling house prices on consumer behaviour; the so-called wealth effect."

"For the RBA, there is no wealth effect. For the market, there is. The wealth effect posits that rising house prices, and therefore rising housing wealth, boosts consumption growth above the rate of growth of disposable income. Conversely, when house prices fall, households tend to reduce their rate of spending relative to income growth."

"The RBA, in its November Statement on Monetary Policy, and in various public speaking engagements of its senior staff, have argued that there is little evidence of an impact on consumer spending of house prices during the period of large price increases (from 2013 to 2017), and therefore, do not anticipate a significant impact on spending as prices fall."

"So, who is right and who is wrong? It’s extremely difficult to understand the RBA’s denial of the wealth effect. Over the period from 2013 to 2017, when house prices increased by over 40%, the growth in real consumer spending outstripped the growth in real disposable income by a sizeable 1 percentage point per annum on average."

"Of course, there were other factors at play driving a wedge between real disposable income and real consumer spending over much of that period other than house prices; uncertainty over job security being one of them. Nonetheless, the persistent outperformance of consumer spending relative to disposable income makes it difficult to deny the existence of the wealth effect. So, how much will the housing wealth effect be in a world where house prices are falling rather than rising?"

"QIC’s Principal Economist, Drew Klease, estimates that that every 10% fall in house prices leads to a 0.7% drop in real consumer spending, all else equal. However, this is just the first-round effect. As consumer spending falls, the pace of economic activity also falls leading to slower growth in employment, wages, disposable incomes, and hence, real consumer spending."

"When Drew simulates a peak-to-trough fall in Australian house prices of 10% (the current market consensus) in the NiGEM model of the global and Australian economies, which picks up both the first and the second-round effects, he finds that the net cumulative fall in real consumer spending to be around 90 basis points by 2020; or a fall in the growth rate of about 45 basis point per annum in 2019 and 2020."

"The 45 basis points hit to consumer spending approximately explains the difference between the experts’ forecasts of consumer spending over 2019 and 2020, i.e., 2.5% each year, and the RBA’s forecast of 3.0%. It also explains the difference between the experts GDP growth forecasts of 2.8% and the RBA’s forecast of 3¼% over both 2019 and 2020."

"What does this mean for monetary policy? It seems to us that the market is pricing off the forecasts of experts. Currently, the market is not pricing in a rate hike until the June quarter of 2020 at the earliest. As Drew points out, even though the experts’ growth forecasts are not that pessimistic, it is a high hurdle for the RBA to tighten policy in the face of below-trend consumer spending. But if the RBA is right, and the economy is growing above trend, with trend growth in consumer spending and the housing price correction over, expect the RBA to go by the December quarter of 2019."  Reference: https://www.qic.com/knowledge-centre/the-rba-versus-the-market-review-20181130

The graph that puts falling home prices in perspective

"In one of his last public appearances before he retired from a decade-long stint as governor of the Reserve Bank in September 2016 - what we now know to be approaching the peak of Australia's property price boom - Glenn Stevens gave a precient warning."

"Prices can fall; they have fallen," he warned. "I think, since I've been in this job, we've seen them fall two or three times."

"That such a statement of the bleeding obvious made big headlines at the time was a symptom of the frenzied state of Australia's property market."

"We can now pinpoint the peak in the Sydney property market to July 2017; and Melbourne to November 2017, according to CoreLogic data."

"Since then, prices have fallen 9.5 per cent in Sydney - within a whisker of the falls seen during the 1990s recession, when double-digit mortgage rates tipped borrowers over the edge. Melbourne is also off 5.8 per cent from its highs."

"And there's more property pain to come, with economists tipping total falls of between 15 to 20 per cent all up."

"But it's important to keep things in perspective."

"CoreLogic data showing the median dwelling sales price going back to 1980 confirms home prices have undergone several period of adjustment during that time."

"After the halving in real interest rates that followed the 1990s recession, Sydney home values more than doubled from less than $200,000 to more than $400,000 - where they stayed for almost a decade."

"The global financial crisis in 2008 initially ate a chunk out of home valuations, before the Reserve Bank stepped in to drop interest rates to record lows, sparking the biggest property boom in Australia's history."

"That boom forced regulators to step in to curb some of the worst elements of excessive lending, like interest only loans."

"They've been sucessful. The Australian economy is at less risk of a messy fallout from excessive leverage as a direct result."

The rest of the article can be accessed by clicking here.

Business

“A huge issue”: Ombudsman to examine the effect of late payments on small business cashflow

"Businesses and government departments paying invoices late will come under the microscope in a review into the effect late payments have on small business cashflow, to be conducted by Australian small business and family enterprise ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell."

"Announced on Monday, the new review, which comes as late payment times form up as a policy priority for the government, will be conducted in response to a written request by Minister for Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash."

"It will follow a 2017 inquiry conducted by the ombudsman’s office which found Australia was a global laggard on payment times, with invoices fulfilled on average 26.4 days late."

"Carnell says late payment times are one of the biggest drivers of cashflow issues for Aussie SMEs, which itself is the primary reason for business insolvency."  As many who read the NAS Digest are small business owners, or work in a small business affected by late payments, let's hope the late payment situation improves and some tangible actions are put in place.  The complete article can be accessed here.