TIP: surplus over stimulus, recovery won't be before time, industry jockeying for position

Neon-lit signals today that we shouldn't expect a federal infrastructure cash-splash any time soon.


Whoever's handling the federal government's communications deserves a battlefield commendation today. On the same day treasurer Josh Frydenberg said calls for further fiscal stimulus were misplaced and would put the projected surplus at risk, he's miraculously found himself flanked by a cohort of commentators backing his play.


Deloitte Access Economics said any further stimulus is too soon, while Griffith University reckons we should be looking at reforming industrial relations and business red tape instead. S&P Global Ratings said the federal government needs to balance state over-spending on infrastructure projects with a more prudent approach, if Australia wants to keep its AAA credit rating. And opinion pieces from KordaMentha Restructuring's Scott Langdon in the Fin and The Australian's Judith Sloan, in their own ways, call for a rethink on how Australia funds and runs major infrastructure projects.


Looks like IFM Investors chief executive Brett Himbury left it a day late to proclaim the superannuation industry is ready and willing to help the Morrison government get its new infrastructure projects moving. It's like turning up to a party everyone's talking about, but forgot to organise.


It's been a tough couple of years, but players are getting ready for resurgence


We heard yesterday of the stellar weekend preliminary auction clearance rates compared to recent months. Su-Lin Tan's gone into a bit more detail in today's AFR on where properties are selling in Sydney in particular, and showing the difference a few weeks can make.


CoreLogic's latest Pain and Gain report shows just how stark a contrast it is. In the first quarter of 2019, 12 per cent of Australian properties were resold at a loss - a six year high. In some parts of Sydney and Melbourne, up to a third of homes were sold at a loss between January and March this year.


If professional power tool sales in Sydney are any indication however, it's likely CoreLogic will be telling a different story this time next year. Specialist shop, Sydney Tools is reporting double-digit sales growth of high-end tool sales, and plans to more than double the size of its 30-strong store network within the next five years.


Avid Property Group has had its $293.6 million takeover bid of ASX-listed residential developer Villa World approved by the latter's board, ahead of a shareholder vote on the proposal in October. Dahua Melbourne is also firmly holding its course on land acquisitions - although the sweet no-interest loan deal with its Chinese parent means it's not feeling the pain as much as other players who aren't as fortunate on the rich daddy front.


Ben Wilmot's piece in today's The Australian tells a story about developers jockeying to pick up sites in Sydney and Melbourne in anticipation of a market recovery.


Even Ruslan Kogan's getting in on the act. He's the main backer in a $3.5 million funding round for Landchecker, an online property platform taking on Domain and realestate.com.au. Say what you like about the man's business practices, there's no faulting his acumen.