Faced with rising taxes and falling living standards, many British workers may be wondering if it is time to pack up their bags and take their career in a more international direction.
Over the past year, the UK has recorded higher levels of inflation than any other economy in the G7, leaving workers across the country experiencing a painful drop in their spending power. Record wage growth of 7.8pc should offer some consolidation.
However, the Government’s decision to freeze income tax bands – and cut the threshold at which the top 45pc rate kicks in – means any pay rise a worker receives is soon eaten up by soaring tax bills.
Labour has ruled out introducing a wealth tax or increasing the top rate of income tax if the party gets into power, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves recently revealed.
But in the unlikely event the party refrains from tinkering with the tax system, the Government’s tax freeze will still leave Britain on track for the highest tax burden since the Second World War.
Many workers have had enough. An estimated 557,000 Britons emigrated last year, according to the Office for National Statistics, and higher earners and entrepreneurs are among those jumping ship. This year, consultancy Henley & Partners forecasts that 3,200 millionaires will abandon the UK – double the number seen in 2022.
But working out where to relocate can be a challenge. Beyond salary, it is important to factor in the cost and quality of living, as well as how much tax you are likely to pay on income earned.
Here, we outline the best countries to move to for a higher disposable income.
Dubai of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an increasingly popular destination among British expats. Living there is expensive, and workers will need to pay for medical insurance, but with no income tax, they can keep more of what they earn.
Among the UAE’s biggest industries are oil and gas, real estate and hospitality. Bob Parker of Holborn Assets, a financial advice firm, said: “Saudi Arabia is a next door neighbour and is about to become the next big thing – Neom is attracting world attention and thousands of key workers who currently prefer to have their families in Dubai.”
The majority of expats are found in Dubai, he added, however many are also found in Abu Dhabi “and the lesser known but fast-growing Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, an hour’s drive from Dubai and with much cheaper housing”.
There is no tax on income in the United Arab Emirates.
The average apartment price per square foot is 1,294 dirhams (£282) according to property consultancy CBRE.
Emirati nationals can access public healthcare for free, but British expats must pay. Both nationals and expats are required by law to have health insurance. You may also want to pay for a health card, which costs 320 dirhams (£70) for an adult.
A monthly Metro pass in Dubai is likely to cost about 350 dirhams (£76).
To work and live in the UAE, you need a residence visa.
If you are employed by a company based in the UAE, then they can apply for a standard residence visa on your behalf, usually valid for two years.
However, getting a company to sponsor you is not the only way to move to the UAE.
The country also offers green visas to “skilled workers” with a bachelor’s degree and an employment contract, investors, and freelancers – also with a bachelor’s degree – provided they have earned more than 360,000 AED (£77,629) annually over the past two years.
Mr Armoils said: “The UAE is relatively easy to migrate to, especially for wealthy people that buy a property there.”
This is because “golden visas” are available to investors who buy a property worth more than two million AED (£431,485), as well as:
- Entrepreneurs who own a business with an annual revenue of AED one million or more
- “Outstanding” students from top universities
- Specialists in scientific fields
- Doctoral degree holders
- Specialists in the fields of engineering and science
- Nurses, medical assistants, lab technicians and pharmacologists who worked on the frontline of the pandemic
Once you have your own residence visa, you can sponsor family members to come and join you.
Salaries in Switzerland are the highest in Europe and among the highest in the world, making it a top destination for migrants looking to bump up their paycheque.
Major companies based in Switzerland are Nestlé, Zurich Insurance Group and Glencore.
Working out your rate of income tax in Switzerland is complicated. The maximum overall rate of federal income tax is fairly low, at 11.5pc. However, each of the 26 cantons also has a separate law for cantonal taxes.
Switzerland is widely considered the most expensive country in Europe.
The median monthly rent for apartments in Switzerland is CHF 1,580 (just over £1,400), according to the platform RealAdvisor. In Zurich it may be more common to spend over CHF 2,000 (£1,800).
However, based on an average salary of CHF 72,993 (£65,500), this would still leave someone with a decent amount of disposable income.
You should also expect to pay around CHF 400 (£360) a month on health insurance, which is compulsory in Switzerland.
Depending on how many zones you travel within, an annual public transport pass in Zurich could cost between CHF 460 (£412) and CHF 2,226 (£2,000).
You will need a company to sponsor you in order to work in Switzerland. Generally, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) will only give authorisation if you are a manager, specialist or otherwise skilled worker.
If you want to be self-employed in Switzerland, then you will need to show that your self-employment “will have a lasting positive effect on the Swiss labour market”.
To do this, you will need to submit a range of documents including a business plan, planned investment, projected turnover and profit.
Australia is expected to attract the highest number of millionaires from other countries this year, according to Henley & Partners.
Among those heading for Australia’s sandy beaches are British doctors. An anaesthetist working as a consultant for the NHS and earning £115,000 could double their salary in pounds by moving down under.
Australia has the world’s highest minimum wage, and set salary requirements for expats.
If you reside in Australia for more than half of the year and you intend to stay in the country, then you will be considered a resident for tax purposes.
Whereas the income tax rates for non-residents range from 32.5pc to 45pc, for residents the range is between 0pc and 45pc.
Average rental costs in Sydney are currently $670 (£340) a week, according to data from Domain – making the capital significantly more expensive than Australia’s other biggest cities, such as Melbourne and Brisbane, where average weekly rents are $500 (£250) and $530 (£270).
Living in either of these cities on an average salary of $59,408 (£30,500), you might expect about half of your monthly take-home pay to go on rent.
Australia’s healthcare system is a blend of public and private. Its public health system, known as Medicare provides essential hospital treatment, doctors appointments, and medicine for free or for a reduced cost.
The UK has a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with Australia, so while in the country, Brits can access emergency healthcare for free.
However, additional services such as dentistry, ophthalmology and physiotherapy are part of the private system.
Cost for health cover varies depending on your age, and the level of care you want to pay for. For just hospital treatment, a person can expect to pay $2,257 (£1,160) for those under 36, $2,713 (£1,390) for people between 36 to 59, and $3,076 (£1,580) for those aged 60 and over, according to financial comparison site Canstar.
For combined hospital and extras, it’s $3,017 (£1,550) for those under 36, $3,456 (£1,770) for those between 36 to 59, and $3,829 (£1,970) for those aged 60 and over.
You could choose to get just insurance for “extras” – at a cost of $877 (£450) for lower level of coverage, $1,046 (£537) for mid level coverage, and $1,157 (£595) for higher level of coverage – given Medicare covers emergency treatment.
The Employer Nomination Scheme visa lets companies nominate workers to stay in Australia permanently. To be eligible, your job must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations, which includes accountants, engineers and doctors.
“People that move to Australia generally need to fill some kind of critical skills shortage,” said Mr Amoils. “Migrants to Australia also need to show they financially support themselves.”
You can also get a temporary visa for up to four years if you are filling a role that the company is struggling to hire for.
You can earn significantly more working in the US compared to the UK. Graduates in the UK can expect a starting salary of £30,921, according to the Institute of Student Employers, compared to $58,862 – or £49,526 – in the US.
The top places in the US attracting expats are the San Francisco Bay Area, for tech, and New York City for finance roles. Andrew Argoils of Henley & Partners said: “Commuter towns near NYC such as Greenwich, Darien and Old Westbury also have very high average incomes.”
The trade-off is that living in New York or San Francisco will be far more expensive than living in a less populous, more obscure area.
The US has seven federal income tax brackets, with rates of 10pc, 12pc, 22pc, 24pc, 32pc, 35pc and 37pc. The top rate applies to income of over $500,000 (£400,860).
On top of this, US states apply their own income taxes. Living in New York for instance, will add a further 9pc to your income tax rate.
Rent in the US varies dramatically across the country. Average monthly rent in Manhattan stood at $5,588 (£4,500) in July, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. You might want to consider moving to an outer borough like Queens or The Bronx for cheaper rent.
You can buy a MetroCard for $132 (£105) a month to ride the subway and buses as often as you like.
You’ll also need to factor in health insurance costs. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit, the average annual premium for family coverage was over $22,000 (£17,600) in 2022 and almost $8,000 (£6,400) for an individual.
Most Americans get health insurance through an employer, which will cover some of this cost. For family coverage, a worker will typically contribute $6,106 (£4,900), or about $509 (£400) per month, while the average worker contribution for a single policy is $1,327 (£1,060). This means about $110 (£90) and $509 (£410) dollars a month may need to be spent on health insurance.
You will generally need to be sponsored by a US employer before you can apply for an immigrant visa.
To become a permanent resident, you will need a Green Card, typically only available to highly skilled workers, unless you have a close relative in the US.
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Nio shares plunge over 12% after company announces $1 billion bond issue
Shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio tumbled 12.63% after the company announced a $1 billion convertible bond issuance, split into two bonds late on Tuesday.
A $500 million bond will mature in 2029 and carries a coupon of 3.875% per year, while the remaining $500 million bond will mature in 2030 and carries a coupon of 4.625%
Nio said the proceeds from the bonds will be used to repurchase $500 million of bonds expiring in 2026 and 2027, as well as “to further strengthen its balance sheet position as well as for general corporate purposes.”
— Lim Hui Jie
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Japan trade deficit falls by two thirds year-on-year in August
Japan’s trade deficit fell 66.7% in August, coming in at 930.5 billion yen ($6.3 billion) compared with the 2.79 trillion yen deficit a year ago.
However, the trade deficit was still wider than the 659.1 billion yen expected by economists polled by Reuters.
Both imports and exports to the world’s third-largest economy fell 17.8% and 0.8% year-on-year respectively, lower than Reuters expectations of a 19.4% fall for imports and 1.7% drop for exports.
— Lim Hui Jie
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CNBC Pro: Strategist says this tech giant is the ‘cheapest of all the mega-cap names’ right now
Raymond James Investment Management’s Matt Orton says one tech giant is the “cheapest of all the mega-cap names” right now.
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— Weizhen Tan
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South Korea wholesale inflation rate rises for first time in over a year
South Korea’s producer price index rose 1% year on year in August, marking the first time the wholesale inflation rate has risen since July 2022.
This is higher than the 0.3% year-on-year gain recorded in July. On a month on month basis, the PPI gained 0.9% in August, compared with a 0.2% rise the month before.
Agricultural, forestry and marine products saw the largest rise in prices in August, with prices climbing 3.6% year-on-year and 7.3% month-on-month
The PPI measures the average change in price of goods and services sold by manufacturers and producers in the wholesale market.
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CNBC Pro: House prices are falling and rents are rising in the UK. These 2 stocks will benefit, analysts say
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As mortgage rates go up and pile pressure on housebuilders to improve sales, these two unique stocks are poised to take advantage of the environment.
The analysts expect one of the stocks to rise by more than 60% over the next 12 months, thanks to the trend.
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Central banks take center stage around the world
It’s a big week for central banks — both within the U.S. and abroad.
The Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Traders are pricing in a 99% probability the Fed skips a rate hike when announcing policy on Wednesday, according to CMEGroup’s FedWatch tool, which gauges pricing in fed funds futures. The Fed will also offer economic forecasts on Wednesday.
The central banks of multiple other countries are also expected to announce policy decisions this week. Here’s a list of the countries scheduled to release decisions in the 36 hours following the Fed’s announcement expected at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, per Bespoke Investment Group:
- South Africa
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Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research, said investors around the globe “are on edge waiting to find out what their central banks are likely to do.”
— Alex Harring
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Oil prices jump Tuesday on growing supply concerns
Oil prices surged more than $1, marking a fourth consecutive session of gains as weak U.S. shale output added to supply concerns from extended production cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Here’s how prices fared Tuesday morning:
Prices have gained for three consecutive weeks, with both benchmarks reaching their highest since last year.
— Pia Singh
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All S&P 500 sectors trade down
All 11 sectors in the S&P 500 traded down on Tuesday.
The broad index slipped around 0.7% shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Consumer discretionary, energy and industrial stocks were among the worst performing, with the three sectors all down more than 1%.
Utilities and health care were able to keep losses mitigated, down just 0.3% each.
— Alex Harring
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Amazon, software stocks among biggest Nasdaq laggards
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Top Chinese developers are quickly selling or downsizing their Australian operations amid a worsening property crisis back home.
- Country Garden is the latest Chinese developer to withdraw positions in Australia
- China’s property meltdown has seen many developers forced to liquidate assets
- Analysts say the exodus of Chinese developers could impact housing supply, promising fewer high-density projects
Property giants such as Poly, Greenland, Yuhu, Wanda and Country Garden entered the Australian market in the 2010s with big ambitions, investing billions and buying and developing prime sites.
“It was literally for a period there week upon week, upon week there was a new entrant coming to the market,” former commercial real estate agent Mark Wizel told The Business.
“The decision-making was very sudden and very quick, however, at no point was it reckless … whether it was of state-owned enterprises, major developers or private developers.”
Mr Wizel, who has dealt with major Chinese developers in Australia, helped facilitate the boom.
“After 2013, a lot of the active Chinese capital moved more into income-producing assets,” he added.
“They moved into commercial office buildings, major shopping centres, and that really carried on the total from $8 billion of development site sales through to about $13 billion between 2009 and 2017, of total sales to mainland Chinese investors and developers.”
One of the most high-profile transactions was One Circular Quay, a prime location with views across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
It was bought by Wanda in 2014 for $425 million. The Dalian-based developer was eager to deliver a $1 billion project consisting of a 57-storey residential tower and a luxury hotel.
But with troubles emerging at home, there came an exodus.
Wanda sold One Circular Quay to another Chinese developer in 2018, and now it’s in the hands of Lendlease and Mitsubishi.
Greenland Australia sold a five-hectare Erskineville site in inner Sydney for $315 million in 2022.
The same year, Poly Australia pulled the plug on three projects in Sydney and Melbourne.
And now Country Garden is selling a portion (330 hectares) of the Sydney Wilton Greens project and a portion (150 hectares) of its Windermere estate in Melbourne.
The supply factor
Analysts say these sales will hold up development, impacting the number of new homes coming onto the market.
“Chinese property developers have had a tendency in the past to build high-density dwellings, the apartment towers, that’s what they’re extraordinarily good at,” property analyst Louis Christopher said.
“It does mean that those high-density towers that we actually do need, we’ll see less of those over the next two to five years.”
According to the data from the Bureau of Statistics, the number of dwelling commencements over the past 12 months is about 25 per cent lower than the long-term average.
Mr Christopher said the number of current dwelling approvals suggests commencements are about to fall further, to around 140,000 commencements (annualised).
“Based on our current population requirements, we need to build a minimum 200,000 to 250,000 dwellings a year,” he explained.
“The federal government’s five-year target of 1.2 million dwellings requires about 240,000 dwellings to be completed each year.
“What is in the pipeline is already behind schedule in terms what we need and what Labor has promised.”
‘Cash crunch’ back home
After almost two decades of a housing boom in China, Beijing introduced a series of measures to crack down on the sector, limiting the amount developers can borrower and reducing bad debt levels.
That caused the property bubble to burst.
“China’s property sector has contracted since the second half of 2021,” ANZ’s senior China economist Betty Wang said.
“This is the longest downtrend that we’ve observed since the late 1990s when China was trying to restructure the sector.”
Country Garden recently posted a record first half-year loss of $11 billion and is at serious risk of defaulting.
The world’s most indebted property developer Evergrande has lost more than 99 per cent of its share value and has recently filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the US.
“The big developers are basically experiencing a bit of a cash crunch,” said Joseph Lai, chief investment officer at Ox Capital.
“So when they ran off or are running short on cash, one of the great ways to raise cash was to sell some of the assets — preferably in a market [where] they can still get reasonable value.”
Country Garden’s Australian branch Risland has told the ABC that depositors’ money is safe and is held in a trust fund.
Beijing forced to act
While Chinese developers say they’re committed to their projects in Australia, Beijing wants them to turn their focus back home.
China’s property sector accounts for more than a quarter of its GDP.
The downturn has damaged the nation’s post-pandemic recovery and forced the Chinese government to act.
China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, recently announced several nationwide property-easing measures, exceeding market expectations.
Now home buyers in Tier-1 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, can put down as little as a 30 per cent deposit on homes, compared to up to 80 per cent previously.
That saw a quick resurgence of home buying in some cities.
But economists say interest rates there are still too high.
“We do think that there is a need for China to continuously cut its policy rates,” Ms Wang said.
“By the end of this year, we’re expecting 1.7 per cent of China’s policy rates, and probably getting to the end of next year, the policy rates could be lowered to 1.3 per cent.”
There’s a chance that China’s property downturn will have some time to play out.
An Australian multi-millionaire property developer has been lashed for accusing workers of becoming “unproductive” and saying a radical rise in unemployment was necessary to “remind people that they work for the employer”.
Founder and CEO of Gurner Group Tim Gurner made the comments at the Australian Financial Review’s Property Summit on Tuesday.
“I think the problem that we’ve had is that people decided they didn’t really want to work so much anymore though COVID and that has had a massive issue on productivity,” Gurner said.
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The 41-year-old identified productivity as a major issue in the housing sector, and a contributor to the current housing crisis.
“Tradies have definitely pulled back on productivity,” he said.
“They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years and we need to see that change.”
Multiple builders have collapsed over the past few months and 1709 have gone under nationwide between July 2022 and April this year, with a shortage in supplies and rise in labour costs often flagged as the major causes.
The length of time between when a contract is signed and when a project is completed can leave projects unprofitable if there is a sudden increase in costs.
Gurner went on to say that he believed unemployment needed to rise.
“Unemployment has to jump 40 to 50 per cent in my view,” he said.
“We need to see pain in the economy.
“We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around.
“There’s been a systemic change where employees feel the employer is extremely lucky to have them, as opposed to the other way around.
“So it’s a dynamic that has to change.”
Gurner said it was clear to him that action was being taken “to kill that attitude”, evidenced in various layoffs seen in recent times and governments around the world were acting to increase unemployment “to get that to some sort of normality”.
“We’re starting to see less arrogance in the employment market and that has to continue because that will cascade across the costs balance,” he said.
Gurner’s comments have been met with outrage.
Australian Council of Trade Unions president Michele O’Neil slammed his comments as “incredibly offensive” and “just not factually true” while appearing on the ABC’s RN Breakfast on Thursday morning.
“I thought it was a spoof,” she said. “When I first saw it, I thought: ‘This is a sketch’.
“This is an uber-rich guy who is saying the quiet part out loud … he was basically advocating that you should make working people suffer to bring them under control.
“And he was talking about it being a good thing to increase unemployment by 50 per cent … saying that workers had got lazy, that people hadn’t been working hard enough.”
Workers “got us through” the pandemic by working “day and night to keep us safe”, O’Neil told the ABC.
It was “incredibly offensive” for someone who had “made his fortune off the back of skilled tradespersons building the properties that he’s developed” to say tradespeople are pulling back on productivity, she said.
“It was the most extreme arrogance I have heard … said out loud in a long time … it’s actually shocking.
“If people think in Australia there is no class difference, just have a listen to this guy and then think about the working people who made his fortune for him.”
‘People are really suffering’
The economy is currently in favour of corporations, O’Neil said.
“The growth we have seen and productivity in Australia in the last decade, the lowest share of it ever, has been shared with working people,” she said.
“When productivity has been increasing, more and more of it was going to corporate profits and not going back to the workers who are actually building that productivity.
“We’ve also seen one of the lowest investment periods for corporate Australia, ever. And we’ve seen some of the highest growth in CEO salaries and in profits.”
O’Neil said a healthy economy was not one in which company profits and executive salaries soared while workers missed out.
“People are really suffering now with the cost of living,” she said.
There are more people working multiple jobs than we’ve ever had, O’Neil said, and seeing more people out of work and facing job insecurity will not solve anything.
“One in four workers are casual and get no paid leave,” O’Neil said.
“And this multimillionaire thinks that we have to cause more pain to working people so that they’re not as arrogant.
“Well I just find that shocking and offensive.”
Gurner’s comments even attracted the ire of US democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Reminder that major CEOs have skyrocketed their own pay so much that the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is now at some of the highest levels *ever* recorded,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Gurner previously came under fire for comments he made about millennials and avocado toast on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes in 2017.
“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” he said.
He went on to accuse millennials of thinking lifestyles portrayed by celebrities, such as the Kardashians, were normal and didn’t require hard work.
“(Young people) want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year,” he said.
“You have to start to get realistic about your expectations.
“There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.”
Gurner’s early leg up
Gurner’s first investment was an apartment in St Kilda worth $180,000.
“I was fortunate enough to have my boss at the time approach me to renovate it while he fronted up the money,” Gurner told news.com in 2017.
After selling it for a profit of $12,000 a year later, Gurner combined this with a loan of more than $30,000 loan he received from his grandfather — which he used to obtain a $150,000 loan.
He then purchased a gym, which he renovated and sold.
Gurner was a teenager at the time.
“It was incredibly difficult,” he said.
Gurner Group now reports a development and management portfolio worth of $9.5 billion on its website.
After a correction in the market and a pause in interest rates, new figures reveal which Geelong suburbs are creating first-home buyer havens.
New analysis of PropTrack home price data shows suburbs from close to the city centre to the region’s growth areas were offering an increasing choice in properties at affordable price brackets.
The analysis, which separates Geelong’s inner city, middle ring and outer suburbs showed there were spots in each area where the median house prices were within reach of buyers on a budget.
The cooling property market has seen median house prices retracting in most suburbs, the latest PropTrack data reveals.
Suburbs such as Armstrong Creek, Bell Park, Belmont and Geelong West have seen median house prices falling by between $40,000 and more than $70,000 compared to the same time last year.
Buxton, Highton director Tony Moorfoot said after the market peaked last year, there were middle ring suburbs that were providing more opportunities for price-sensitive buyers.
“Predominantly for first-home buyers it comes back to affordability, then where they can spend.
“The further away from the city prices generally tend to get a little bit lower, so there’s more affordability for them.
“Suburbs like Grovedale and Belmont have seen a lot of first-home buyers coming in and Hamlyn Heights and Herne Hill, Bell Park, Bell Post Hill, Leopold are the kind of areas they focus on because they’ll have a budget they want to spend.”
FIRST-HOME BUYER HAVENS – HOUSES
INNER RING: Thomson, (median price) $556,000; Newcomb, $575,000; North Geelong, $620,000; Belmont, $693,000; Hamlyn Heights, $710,000
MIDDLE RING: Norlane, $450,000; Corio, $500,000; Whittington, $517,500; Bell Park, $620,000; St Albans Park, $620,000
OUTER RING: Clarlemont, $622,000; Armstrong Creek, $680,000; Clifton Springs, $682,000; Curlewis, $690,000; Leopold, $700,000
Median prices for 12 months to August, 2023. PropTrack
Mr Moorfoot said the three-month pause on interest rates had given a lot of potential buyers more confidence in their budget and were back in the market for a home.
Mr Moorfoot said, ring suburbs such as Grovedale and parts of Belmont which developed after the 1970s and 1980s offered comparatively cheaper homes with a bigger land component and were closer to city centre amenities.
Ms Winckle said vendors who were being realistic about their price hopes given the change in the market were being rewarded.
FIRST-HOME BUYER HAVENS – UNITS
INNER RING: Herne Hill, $360,000; East Geelong, $440,000; Geelong West, $441,000; Newcomb, $485,000; Hamlyn Heights, $485,000
MIDDLE RING: Corio, $400,000; Whittington, $406,000; Norlane, $411,000; Grovedale, $500,000; Bell Park, $510,000
OUTER RING: Lara, $477,500; Leopold, $512,500; Drysdale, $570,000
Median prices for 12 months to August, 2023. PropTrack
Many first-time buyers shied away from bidding at auction due the unconditional nature of the sale method (you can’t buy subject to finance at an auction), Ms Winckle said, but some were prepared to have a go.
Ms Winckle said there were first-home buyers even scouring Belmont, Highton and Newtown for opportunities.
“First-home buyers are struggling to get finance to bid at auctions. But on really good properties, in really good locations with realistic vendors, the buyers will jump through whatever hoops they have to jump through to be able to get unconditional bidding on the day,” she said.
GSC Finance Solutions mortgage broker Matt Turner said inquiry from first-home buyers was at the best level since HomeBuilder, but most were leaning on parents or government assistance to stretch their budgets.
“There’s not too many coming to us 20 per cent ready to put down and buy,” he said.
“The sub-$600,000 properties just aren’t around like they once were, so they’re having to use a lot of their deposit for stamp duty, for example.”
Established homes were the flavour of the month, with many choosing to buy in established areas, or something they could fix up.
“Equally we do have people that are looking in the Armstrong Creek corridor for a home they can move straight in to.”
Mr Turner said couples planning to start a family were now seeking to hold their first property longer.
He advised buyers to get financial advice before starting to look for a home to lock in their budget along with any government and parental assistance available.
A landlord has lost a claims dispute after he used his rental property as an undisclosed wedding and events venue.
The complainant lodged two claims in April and July last year relating to rent default and storm damage under his building and contents policy.
Hollard declined the claims after discovering the property had been advertised and used to host weddings and other events.
The insurer says the claimant misrepresented his position after he declared the property was not used for any business purposes beyond a rental holiday home for tenants when he first purchased the policy in February 2021.
Hollard says it informed the complainant of his duty to ensure he provided accurate and correct information regarding the property’s business status when the policy was renewed last year.
It says that it would not have issued the policy if it had been aware that the property was used to host the events.
The claimant says he believed the business purpose question only related to the insured building and not the surrounding grounds, which he acknowledged “may have been used to host events”.
He says the building was used as a “short-term rental” for guests, who were the only people allowed to access the building, besides photographers to take wedding photos.
He argues that the policy question had been poorly worded, and he did not need to correct the disclosed information because the building had not been used for business purposes beyond what he had already acknowledged.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) says it was reasonable to interpret the policy’s references to “property” as “more than just the accommodation building”.
AFCA says that even if the business purposes question had been worded differently, the claimant would have likely breached the policy terms, noting that the Product Disclosure Statement’s definition of “building” included landscaping, paved driveways and pathways, fences and gates, which had been used as part of the events service.
“The complainant was clearly offering the property commercially for event hire, particularly weddings, and actively promoted that business activity,” AFCA said.
“On balance, it appears more likely than not that the accommodation building was involved in and used as part of the wedding venue business.
“Even if that is not the case, some aspects of the surrounding grounds more likely than not form part of the ‘building’, taking into account the definition of that term in the PDS.”
The ruling acknowledged a statutory declaration from one of the insurer’s underwriting managers, which declared that it would not have offered cover if it had been aware that the property had been “wholly or partly used for the business purpose of organising and hosting wedding events”.
“I am satisfied those documents confirm that had the property’s commercial use been disclosed, the insurer would have deemed the proposal an unacceptable risk and renewal terms would have not been offered,” AFCA said.
Click here for the ruling.
Wed, Sep 6 2023 2:28 AM EDT
Economists cut Singapore 2023 growth and inflation forecasts, survey shows
Economists have downgraded Singapore’s 2023 growth forecasts and inflation expectations, according to a survey by the country’s central bank published Wednesday. Spillovers from an external growth slowdown were cited as the top risk.
Singapore’s economy is set to grow 1.0% this year, down from a forecast of 1.4% in June’s survey, according to the median forecast of 22 economists surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Headline consumer prices could rise 4.7% this year, down from 5.0% predicted in June, the median inflation forecast showed. Core inflation, which excludes private road transport and accommodation costs, is expected to rise 4.1%, unchanged from the previous survey.
Both headline inflation and MAS core inflation are expected to ease in 2024, to 3.1% and 2.8% respectively.
For more, read here.
— Clement Tan
Wed, Sep 6 2023 1:13 AM EDT
Evergrande shares spike more than 54%, top gainer on the Hang Seng
The real estate sector was the top gainer on the HSI, but the overall index was still in negative territory, dragged by health-care and industrial stocks.
The move come after Country Garden, another real estate giant in China, paid $22.5 million in bond coupon payments and avoided a default.
Tue, Sep 5 2023 10:26 PM EDT
Japan will not ‘rule out any options’ as yen weakens over 147 against greenback: Reuters
Japan’s vice minister of finance for international affairs Masato Kanda warned that the country will not “rule out any options if speculative moves persist” against the yen, Reuters reported.
Kanda was speaking to reporters after the yen slid to a 10-month low against the dollar, breaking past 147 to reach as much as 147.78 on Wednesday.
“We won’t rule out any options if speculative moves persist,” Kanda said, according to Reuters’ report. “Needless to say, it’s important for currency moves to reflect fundamentals.”
Tue, Sep 5 2023 9:59 PM EDT
Australia’s economy grows 2.1% year on year in second quarter
Australia’s gross domestic product expanded 2.1% in the second quarter from a year ago, higher than the 1.8% expected by economists polled by Reuters.
However the figure was lower than the 2.3% year-on-year growth recorded in the first quarter.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose 0.4%, marking the seventh consecutive quarterly rise.
Australia’s statistics bureau said that exports and investment were the primary contributors to GDP growth this quarter, partly offset by changes in inventories.
— Lim Hui Jie
Tue, Sep 5 2023 8:05 PM EDT
CNBC Pro: HSBC names 6 ‘good value’ Chinese tech stocks to buy — and gives one over 50% upside
HSBC named six Chinese internet stocks it says to buy — predicting that each have upside of at least 27%.
Valuations of Chinese internet stocks fell 5% between mid-June and the start of September, the bank said, adding that its picks offer “opportunities with good value.”
— Lucy Handley
Tue, Sep 5 2023 8:05 PM EDT
CNBC Pro: RBC just raised its bet on this ‘recession resistant’ Canadian stock, giving it 20% upside
RBC has raised its bet on what it calls a “recession resistant’ Canadian company, doubling the weighting of the stock in its “Focus List” bucket to 5%.
Although the bank’s stock list has underperformed over the past six months, it has historically and consistently beaten its benchmark S&P/TSX Index.
The RBC Strategy Canadian Focus List returned 11.3% in compounded annual growth over the past five years. In contrast, the benchmark has risen by 7.8% on the same metric.
— Ganesh Rao
Tue, Sep 5 2023 10:29 AM EDT
Rising oil prices pressure cruise, airline stocks
Tue, Sep 5 2023 8:05 PM EDT
CNBC Pro: Here are the most overbought and oversold major global stocks, including tech and bank names
After a volatile month for global stocks, CNBC Pro screened the MSCI World index for major global stocks that are among the most overbought and oversold, based on their 14-day relative strength index.
The relative strength index (RSI), which measures the magnitude and speed of price moves, can be used by investors to determine if shares are overbought or oversold.
The stocks on the screen also have a market value of more than $10 billion.
— Weizhen Tan
Tue, Sep 5 2023 3:08 PM EDT
The word ‘recession’ is disappearing from earnings calls, data shows
Fewer companies are discussing recessionary risks with investors, data suggests.
Of S&P 500 companies, 62 used the term “recession” on second-quarter earnings calls between June 15 and Aug. 31, per FactSet data.
That marks a decline for the fourth straight quarter. And it’s about a quarter of the 238 companies that used the word at its peak in the second quarter of 2022.
At 62, the quarter is also below the five-year average of 82. But it’s modestly above the 10-year average of 60.
Recessionary talk was most prominent among financial names within the index, as 22 companies, or 32% of the sector, used the word. That marks both the highest total number and share of companies of any of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors, according to FactSet.
— Alex Harring
Tue, Sep 5 2023 9:36 AM EDT
Oil prices gain after Saudi Arabia extends voluntary oil production cut
Oil prices popped on Tuesday morning after Saudi Arabia extended its 1-million-barrels-per-day voluntary oil production cut until the end of the year, according to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency.
Brent crude futures for November were up $1.49, or 1.67%, at $90.49 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude October futures edged $1.95 higher, or 2.28%, to $87.50 a barrel.
Riyadh first applied the 1 million-barrels-per-day reduction in July and has since extended it on a monthly basis. This cut adds to another 1.66 million barrels per day of voluntary crude output declines that some other OPEC members have put in place until the end of 2024. Read more here.
— Pia Singh, Ruxandra Iordache
Tue, Sep 5 2023 7:04 AM EDT
Arm sets U.S. IPO between $47 and $51 per share
Chip designer Arm filed an updated regulatory filing for a U.S. initial public offering, setting a range between $47 per share and $51 per share. SoftBank, which owns Arm, plans to sell 95.5 million shares. This all implies a valuation of up to $54.5 billion.
— Fred Imbert.
Howatson+Company launched Domain’s new branded platform that highlights all the highs and lows of the property market. Using comedy and realism to convey everything the platform features, Howatson+Company have shown that comedy is a valuable tool within the industry.
Directed by Trent O’Donnell, who is known for his comedy on series’ such as, Collin from Accounts, Ghosts and No Activity along with the Aussie legend Rose Bryne and Hollywood star, Bobby Cannavale the campaign sees the pair interrogating a school principal at a spin class, posing as removalists and staking out the neighborhoods they plan to buy in.
LBB> These spots showcase all the trials and tribulations of finding property within the market but in a way that is comedic, relaxed, and hopeful. Was this a goal of H+C, to provide audiences with this feeling?
Richard & Jeremy> Yes it was. The phrase “cost of living” has become the 2023 version of “in these unprecedented times”. People who own a home, who are trying to buy, sell or rent are really feeling the economic pressure. But we all know that, it’s universal. We didn’t want to hold a mirror up to the tough times and morbidly stroke our chin in empathy. We wanted to offer a moment of light-hearted relief and present a solution to the bits we can help with.
People genuinely go to crazy lengths to make sure they make the right property decisions — it is the biggest financial decision of our lives. So we used those lengths as inspiration and pushed them in a comedic space people can identify with and ultimately take away Domain can help.
LBB> Do you believe that brands and agencies tend to shy away from using comedy as a way to get the brand message across? If so, why do you believe that is the case?
Richard & Jeremy> There are studies that show over the past 20 years the use of comedy in advertising has declined. We’ve seen the rise of purpose and the decline of comedy. But comedy is proven to be a highly effective way to communicate to an audience, because when done well it creates better cut through and brand affinity.
We wouldn’t say it’s agencies that shy away from it, but you need a bold marketer, which is exactly what the Domain team have proven.
When you only have 30 or 60 seconds, it’s easy for the joke to be the first casualty in a script for seemingly more important words. Like the fat content of your yoghurt. But if no one is paying attention, no one will hear about the fat content of your yoghurt anyway.
The comedy can’t be frivolous because you want to be a stand-up comedian funded by a brand. But directed comedy works.
LBB> In your opinion, do you believe comedy to be an integral part of the industry?
Richard & Jeremy> Absolutely. As the science says, comedy is proved to connect with an audience. No matter who you are, life is busy and sometimes sucks. If a brand can deliver a moment of lightness who wouldn’t like that brand more and be more open to what we’re offering?
Plus, around the world people’s favourite ads are often built on comedy, we can’t lose that as an industry. “Where’s the beef?”
LBB> When storyboarding and creating this spot, what were you excited to achieve? What were the highlights?
Richard & Jeremy> Once we knew we had Rose and Bobby we wanted these to feel like the viewer dropped into a comedy series you’d watch on Netflix or whichever streaming service you prefer. We wanted the coverage while filming to reflect this, so the camera angles are really simple and almost all static. Just like a sitcom.
We also managed to tempt Trent O’Donnell to direct them who is the creator and director of some brilliant comedy series for networks like CBS and Netflix. From there we knew we were in safe hands.
The highlight was the faith from the client. They went all in on this campaign and trusted the process. We’re all proud of the outcome.
Oh and Bobby Cannavale said we were really funny.