Investments

Top earners reap top capital gains, Treasury finds

Nassim Khadem and Fleur Anderson People who earn more than $180,000 earn half of all capital gains and the tax breaks on capital profits are a key reason why so many investors borrow to buy property, a Treasury paper has found.

Real estate

Signs property prices could settle

Australia is the third-most overvalued housing market on a price-to-income basis, after Belgium and Canada, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman There are signs home ownership could get more affordable, as lower interest rates, increased construction activity and a growing population threaten to stablise property prices and rental income.

Housing

New home sales lift in June quarter

Sales of flats, townhouses and semi-detached houses were up 15.9 per cent in June.

The housing market continues to strengthen, albeit at a more moderate pace, helped by a surge in multi-unit dwellings.

Economy

Call to scrap tax breaks for the rich

tax

Nassim Khadem The business and tax community say rather than raise the top marginal tax rate the Abbott government would be better off targeting a host of tax breaks that advantage the rich.

The Economy

Strippers can cost companies millions

Strippers can cost companies millions

Rachel Nickless, senior AFR reporter When it comes to executives using strippers and prostitutes to please clients, The Wolf of Wall Street has nothing on reality, says high-profile sexual harassment lawyer Michael Harmer.

Michael Pascoe

Mortgage fears unfounded as the yield chase gallops on

Keeping a lid on things: Glenn Stevens has consistently reminded people that housing prices can fall as well as rise.

Michael Pascoe It could be a disappointed retiree who is hanging out for rate rises to do much for income from fixed-interest investments.

Economy

Workers should be willing to move for jobs

“Business needs to think about linking incentives to mobility: if you are not willing to move, you don’t get as many dollars.”: Ernst and Young managing partner Rob McLeod.

Patrick Durkin Workers must be willing to move interstate and overseas to where they are needed, according to key members of the Business Council of Australia.

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Ross Gittins

Fairer path to a balanced budget

Ross Gittins dinkus

Ross Gittins Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott are perfectly right in saying we need to get the budget back into surplus.

Australian economy is not in trouble, Joe Hockey tells NZ

Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Joe Hockey has told New Zealand that there is no crisis in the Australian economy, nor is it in trouble.

Economy

Australia is second in UN Human Development report

The report says there is a

Australia has come in as the second best country in the United Nations' Human Development report measuring improvements in health and longevity, income and education, and personal security.

Property

Negative gearing pumping house prices, but they're not overvalued yet

Houses

Jonathan Shapiro Australian house prices aren't overvalued yet, but negative gearing tax breaks have added almost 9 per cent, or $44,000 to current average house prices, financial group Moody's Analytics has reported.

Economy

Australian dollar bounces back on CPI figures

The cost of health insurance helped push up inflation in the second quarter.

Mark Mulligan Headline consumer prices rose by 0.5 per cent in the June quarter, broadly in line with market expectations, as higher prices for health services, dwellings and tobacco offset falls for travel,...

US economy

US housing market turns the corner, but inflation creeps up

The rebound in the housing market boosted homebuilding-related stocks in the US.

US home resales hit an eight month-high in June, suggesting the housing market was gradually regaining momentum and would help the world's largest economy to stay on a higher growth path this year.

Eco

Mid-size businesses pessimistic about short-term future, says Bankwest survey

Only 29 per cent of respondents are expecting the economy to speed up over the next 12 months.

Stephen Cauchi Australia's mid-size businesses are pessimistic about Australia's economy and business conditions for the next year, according to a new report.

Economy

Reserve Bank hopes for G20 'bounce'

Glenn Stevens

Gareth Hutchens Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says the G20 Leaders Summit can help to boost global economic growth - and render global monetary policy far more effective - if it properly exploits its agenda...

Politics

Senate 'destroying' investment

Andrew Mackenzie

David Ramli Top business leaders are concerned the Senate budget impasse will deter foreign investment and make it harder for Australia to reach the growth target it is pressing on the Group of 20 leading...

Economy

Stand by for possible NZ-style inflation surprise

Health insurance could be one factor driving inflation in the second quarter.

Mark Mulligan Health insurance, tobacco excise and postage stamps could be the main drivers of the second-quarter spike in inflation.

Economy

Real economy needs 'animal spirits', but RBA's Glenn Stevens leaves jawbone at home

RBA governor Glenn Stevens.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said he's content with the current monetary policy setting and stands ready to do more if needed.

Charity

James Packer to launch new foundation

Mr Packer said his sister Gretel Packer was the

Jessica Gardner James Packer has pledged an average of $20 million a year to Australian charities over the next 10 years through the establishment of a new philanthropic foundation.

Australia's three speed economy in danger of stalling

Housing construction is helping keep the WA economy in the lead.

Stephen Cauchi Australia now has a three-tier economy but even the best performing states may be in for tougher times.