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House prices fall as access to credit gets tighter

Investors wondering where property prices might go next need only watch one indicator: access to housing credit.  Because, as access to credit tightens,…

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Investors wondering where property prices might go next need only watch one indicator: access to housing credit.  Because, as access to credit tightens, house prices fall.  With credit getting harder to access since the end of 2021, it’s small wonder August saw the largest monthly decline in house prices in nearly 40 years.

Examples of tightening housing credit include the minimum deposit a bank might require for a mortgage, an increase in the minimum interest rate ‘buffer’ banks are required to apply when assessing serviceability for new home loan applications, and of course a rise in interest rates, which increases the cost and therefore access to credit.

Before the RBA’s decision to terminate yield curve control on two-year bonds, the rate on a four-year fixed-rate mortgage for owner-occupiers offered by the NAB was 1.98 per cent. Today, that same loan is 6.59 per cent. While the rate remains low, the price is 232 per cent higher. For every million dollars borrowed, a purchaser who was once annually paying $19,800 interest, is now paying $65,900.

The consequence of tightening access to credit is diminishing demand for loans.

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal an 8.5 per cent plunge in the value of new loan commitments for housing in July to $28.4bn.  This follows a 4.4 per cent decline in June. 

Figure 1. Housing Loan Commitments excluding refinancing (‘New Loans’)

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Breaking down the aggregate numbers reveal the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments fell seven per cent, while the value of investor loans written collapsed by 11.2 per cent. July produced the weakest investor lending data in 12 months, and first-home buyer borrowing fell 9.5 per cent, the weakest level in two years.

Katherine Keenan, ABS head of Finance and Wealth, reassuringly asserted , while “lending has fallen from historically high levels recently, the value of loan commitments remained significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. Owner occupier loans in July 2022 were 40 per cent higher than February 2020, while investor loans were 78 per cent higher.”

You might remember February 2020 was the month COVID-19 struck fear into every human on earth.

While current loan commitment values still represent higher borrowing activity than prior to the pandemic, it doesn’t change the picture for those who purchased property during the boom.  Prices are now falling.

On top of the massive increase in building, material and trade costs it should come as no surprise housing prices are falling.

Building activity will eventually follow albeit with a substantial lag thanks to a material volume of projects under construction and approved-but-not-yet-commenced.

Once this ends, however, perhaps in late 2023, assuming interest rates remain relatively high thanks to inflation, and the economy is still spluttering, the construction boom will choke.

Coinciding with the slump in lending is a 13.1 per cent plunge in Australian new home sales and further declines in house prices.

Indeed, August Australian house prices recorded their largest monthly decline in nearly 40 years.

According to Corelogic, aggregate major city prices fell 1.6 per cent, which was the worst single month decline since 1983.  Meanwhile, Sydney prices fell 2.3 per cent, Melbourne slid 1.2 per cent and Brisbane fell 1.8 percent.

Some economists believe the slumping house prices will curb the RBA’s appetite for rate rises.  If, however, taming inflation remains the RBA’s primary goal, and our own Phil Lowe takes a leaf out of Jerome Powell’s “There Might be Some Pain” book, investors shouldn’t expect property prices to pull up any time soon.

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Decrease in Japanese children’s ability to balance during movement related to COVID-19 activity restrictions

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected…

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A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

Credit: Credit must be given when image is used

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in Japan, as in other countries, schools and sports clubs tried to prevent the spread of infection by reducing physical education and restricting outdoor physical activities, club activities, and sports. However, children who are denied opportunities for physical activity with social elements may develop bad habits. During the pandemic, children, like adults, increased the time they spent looking at television, smartphone, and computer screens, exercised less, and slept less. Such changes in lifestyle can harm adolescent bodies, leading to weight gain and health problems. 

Visiting Researcher Tadashi Ito and Professor Hideshi Sugiura from the Department of Biological Functional Science at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, together with Dr. Yuji Ito from the Department of Pediatrics at Nagoya University Hospital, and  Dr. Nobuhiko Ochi and Dr. Koji Noritake from Aichi Prefectural Mikawa Aoitori Medical and Rehabilitation Center for Developmental Disabilities, conducted a study of Japanese children and students in elementary and junior high schools, aged 9-15, by analyzing data from physical examinations before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. They evaluated the children’s muscle strength, dynamic balance functions, walking speed, body fat percentage, screen time, sleep time, quality of life, and physical activity time.  

The researchers found that after the onset of the pandemic, children were more likely to have decreased balance ability when moving, larger body fat percentage, report spending more time looking at TV, computers or smartphones, and sleep less. Since there were no changes in the time spent on physical activity or the number of meals eaten, Sugiura and his colleagues suggest that the worsening of physical functions was related to the quality of exercise of the children. The researchers reported their findings in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  

“Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Japan after April 2020, children have not been able to engage in sufficient physical education, sports activities, and outdoor play at school. It became clear that balance ability during movement was easily affected, lifestyle habits were disrupted, and the percentage of body fat was likely to increase,” explained Ito. “This may have been because of shorter outdoor playtime and club activities, which impeded children’s ability to learn the motor skills necessary to balance during movement.” 

“Limitations on children’s opportunities for physical activity because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus have had a significant impact on the development of physical function and lifestyle and may cause physical deterioration and health problems in the future,” warned Ito. “Especially, the risk of injury to children may increase because of a reduced dynamic balance function.” 

The results suggest that even after the novel coronavirus becomes endemic, it is important to consider the effects of social restrictions on the body composition of adolescents. Since physical activities with a social element may be important for health, authorities should prioritize preventing the reduction of children’s physical inactivity and actively encourage them to play outdoors and exercise. The group has some recommendations for families worried about the effects of school closings and other coronavirus measures on their children. “It is important for children to practice dynamic balance ability, maintaining balance to avoid falling over while performing movements,” Ito advised. “To improve balance function in children, it is important to incorporate enhanced content, such as short-term exercise programs specifically designed to improve balance functions.” 


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Contradictions, Lies, And “I Don’t Recalls”: The Fauci Deposition

Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don’t Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General…

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Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don't Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General Eric Schmitt released the transcript of the testimony of Dr. Anthony Fauci. As you might recall, Fauci was deposed as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s violations of the First Amendment in targeting and suppressing the speech of Americans who challenged the government’s narrative on COVID-19.

Here is the Fauci deposition transcript.

And here are the highlights…

EcoHealth Alliance - the Peter Daszak group - is knee-deep in the Wuhan controversy, having been funded by the Fauci’s NIH for coronavirus and gain of function research in China (and having worked with the Chinese team in Wuhan). What does Fauci say about EcoHealth Alliance? Over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, and after millions dead worldwide, he’s “vaguely familiar” with their work.

In early 2020, Fauci was put on notice that his group - NIAID - had funded EcoHealth alliance on bat coronavirus research for the past five years.

This coincided with early reports - directly to Fauci, from Jeremy Ferrar and Christian Anderson - “of the possibility of there being a manipulation of the virus” based on the fact that “it was an unusual virus.”

Fauci conceded that he was specifically made aware by Anderson that “the unusual features of the virus” make it look “potentially engineered.”

Fauci couldn’t recall why he sent an article discussing gain of function research in China to his deputy, Hugh Auchincloss, telling him it was essential that they speak on the phone. He couldn’t recall speaking with Auchincloss via phone that day. But remarkably, Fauci did remember assigning research tasks to Auchincloss

Fauci was evasive on conversations with Francis Collins about whether NIAID may have funded coronavirus-related research in China, eventually stating “I don’t recall.”

The phrase “I don’t recall” was prominent in Fauci’s deposition. He said it a total of 174 times:

For example, Fauci couldn’t remember what anyone said on a call discussing whether the virus originated in a lab:

During that same call, Fauci couldn’t recall whether anyone expressed concern that the lab leak “might discredit scientific funding projects.” He also couldn’t recall whether there was a discussion about a lab leak distracting from the virus response. Fauci did remember, however, that they agreed there needed to be more time to investigate the virus origins - including the lab leak theory.

What else couldn’t Fauci remember? Whether, early into the pandemic, his confidants raised concerns about social media posts about the origins of COVID-19.

Yet Fauci did admit he was concerned about social media posts blaming China for the pandemic. He even admitted the accidental lab leak “certainly is a possibility,” contradicting his prior claims to National Geographic where he said the virus “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”

Fauci also couldn’t recall whether he had any conversations with Daszak about the origins of COVID-19 in February 2020, but admitted those conversations might have happened: “I told you before that I did not remember any direct conversations with him about the origin, and I said I very well might have had conversations but I don't specifically remember conversations.” And he couldn’t recall telling the media early on during the pandemic that the virus was consistent with a jump “from an animal to a human.”

Fauci said he was in the dark on social media actions to curb speech and suspend accounts that posted COVID-19 information that didn’t fit the mainstream narrative: “I’m not aware of suppression of speech on social media.” Yet it was Fauci’s proclamations of the truth, whether about the origins of COVID-19 to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, that led to social media companies banning discussions of contrary information.

Regarding those removals of content, Fauci had no personal knowledge of a US Government/Social Media effort to curb “misinformation.” But he conceded the possibility numerous times.

Then there’s the issue of masks. In February 2020, Fauci informed an acquaintance that was traveling: “I do not recommend that you wear a mask.” Fauci would later become a vocal proponent of masks only two months later.

I’m near my Substack length limit - posting the excerpts does that - but you can see from Fauci’s testimony that his public statements about COVID-19 origins and the necessity to wear a mask didn’t match his private conversations. This has been known for some time, but it’s finally nice to get him on record.

Again, read it all and subscribe here.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 21:40

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“That Is Where Tyranny Starts”: New Zealand May Take Baby From Parents Demanding ‘Unvaccinated’ Blood For Heart Surgery

"That Is Where Tyranny Starts": New Zealand May Take Baby From Parents Demanding ‘Unvaccinated’ Blood For Heart Surgery

Over 100 anti-vaccination…

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"That Is Where Tyranny Starts": New Zealand May Take Baby From Parents Demanding 'Unvaccinated' Blood For Heart Surgery

Over 100 anti-vaccination protests showed up in New Zealand to support the parents of a critically ill 4-month-old baby in New Zealand who demanded that the hospital provide supplementary blood from unvaxxinated donors before the child goes under the knife for pulmonary valve stenosis, a heart valve disorder.

Te Whatu Ora is taking a case against parents who are refusing to allow blood from vaccinated people to be used during their baby's life-saving heart operation. Photo: RNZ / Mohammad Alafeshat

The boy's mother says she wants "safe blood" to be used, which her lawyer described as a fear of blood containing traces of vaccines using mRNA technology.

The request has been denied by New Zealand health service, which says vaccines pose no risk to donor supplies, according to RNZ. On Tuesday, the Auckland High Court will decide whether to grant a request to remove the child from the family to perform the surgery.

Paul White, a lawyer for Te Whatu Ora, aka Health New Zealand, described the baby as "getting sicker with every heartbeat."

Te Whatu Ora is making an application under the Care of Children Act regarding the baby who needs open heart surgery.

It is asking that the baby be placed under the guardianship of the court.

Te Whatu Ora then wants the court to appoint the doctors as agents of the court for medical care, and the parents agents of the court for all other care. -RNZ

According to White, a child with this condition would have been treated by now.

Supporters outside the High Court in Auckland where Te Whatu Ora is taking a case against parents who are refusing to allow blood from vaccinated people to be used during their baby's life-saving heart operation. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

Sue Grey, a lawyer for the family, said the doctors are dismissing the parents as conspiracy theorists and ignoring their concerns.

A full hearing on the matter will be held on Tuesday.

One supporter of the family, Sarah McNaulty, said she was standing up for freedom of choice.

"There's so many people lined up to give their blood freely," she said, adding "That is where tyranny starts. When the state provides us with not being able to give blood freely to a patient that needs it."

According to officials, the Blood Service does not segregate blood from vaccinated and unvaccinated donors, and that there is no risk from the Covid-19 vaccine.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 21:20

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