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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,581,977 (+0.10%)       Melbourne $970,512 (+0.23%)       Brisbane $885,023 (+0.03%)       Adelaide $813,016 (+0.20%)       Perth $760,003 (-0.11%)       Hobart $733,438 (-1.28%)       Darwin $643,022 (-0.79%)       Canberra $970,902 (+1.87%)       National $1,000,350 (+0.23%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $721,725 (+0.37%)       Melbourne $488,237 (-0.76%)       Brisbane $495,283 (+1.37%)       Adelaide $404,022 (-2.77%)       Perth $405,420 (-0.69%)       Hobart $498,278 (-1.60%)       Darwin $339,700 (-0.58%)       Canberra $480,910 (-0.04%)       National $502,695 (-0.26%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,626 (-230)       Melbourne 15,220 (+56)       Brisbane 8,417 (-24)       Adelaide 2,720 (-9)       Perth 6,897 (+56)       Hobart 1,234 (+5)       Darwin 281 (+5)       Canberra 1,079 (-30)       National 46,474 (-171)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,563 (-253)       Melbourne 8,007 (-12)       Brisbane 1,824 (-34)       Adelaide 493 (-16)       Perth 1,902 (-1)       Hobart 176 (+4)       Darwin 388 (-7)       Canberra 858 (+2)       National 22,211 (-317)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $775 (-$5)       Melbourne $570 ($0)       Brisbane $600 ($0)       Adelaide $580 (+$10)       Perth $625 (-$5)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $690 (-$10)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $642 (-$2)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $730 ($0)       Melbourne $550 ($0)       Brisbane $625 ($0)       Adelaide $460 (+$10)       Perth $580 (+$5)       Hobart $460 (+$10)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $560 (-$5)       National $576 (+$2)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,654 (+231)       Melbourne 5,764 (+128)       Brisbane 4,271 (-9)       Adelaide 1,259 (+101)       Perth 1,944 (+50)       Hobart 337 (-36)       Darwin 168 (+19)       Canberra 647 (+18)       National 20,044 (+502)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 9,121 (+505)       Melbourne 6,022 (+34)       Brisbane 2,066 (+18)       Adelaide 366 (+1)       Perth 600 (-5)       Hobart 138 (-17)       Darwin 306 (+12)       Canberra 736 (+20)       National 19,355 (+568)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.55% (↓)       Melbourne 3.05% (↓)       Brisbane 3.53% (↓)     Adelaide 3.71% (↑)        Perth 4.28% (↓)     Hobart 3.90% (↑)        Darwin 5.58% (↓)       Canberra 3.64% (↓)       National 3.34% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.26% (↓)     Melbourne 5.86% (↑)        Brisbane 6.56% (↓)     Adelaide 5.92% (↑)      Perth 7.44% (↑)      Hobart 4.80% (↑)      Darwin 8.42% (↑)        Canberra 6.06% (↓)     National 5.96% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)      National 0.9% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 28.0 (↑)      Melbourne 29.2 (↑)        Brisbane 30.6 (↓)       Adelaide 23.8 (↓)     Perth 34.2 (↑)      Hobart 29.4 (↑)      Darwin 39.9 (↑)      Canberra 28.2 (↑)      National 30.4 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 29.4 (↑)      Melbourne 29.6 (↑)        Brisbane 30.3 (↓)       Adelaide 22.5 (↓)       Perth 39.2 (↓)     Hobart 26.1 (↑)        Darwin 36.1 (↓)     Canberra 34.4 (↑)        National 31.0 (↓)           
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Americans Are Still Spending Like There’s No Tomorrow

Concerts, trips and designer handbags are taking priority over saving for a home or rainy day

By RACHEL WOLFE
Tue, Oct 3, 2023 8:54amGrey Clock 4 min

Consumers should be spending less by now.

Interest rates are up. Inflation remains high. Pandemic savings have shrunk. And the labour market is cooling.

Yet household spending, the primary driver of the nation’s economic growth, remains robust. Americans spent 5.8% more in August than a year earlier, well outstripping less than 4% inflation. And the experience economy boomed this summer, with Delta Air Lines reporting record revenue in the second quarter and Ticketmaster selling over 295 million event tickets in the first six months of 2023, up nearly 18% year-over-year.

Economists and financial advisers say consumers putting short-term needs and goals above long-term ones is normal. Still, this moment is different, they say.

A tough housing market has more consumers writing off something they’d historically save for, while the pandemic showed the instability of any long-term plans related to health, work or day-to-day life. So, they are spending on once-in-a-lifetime experiences because they worry they may not be able to do them later.

“It’s not a regret-filled, spur-of-the-moment decision,” says Michael Liersch, who oversees a team of advisers as head of advice at Wells Fargo. “It’s the opposite of that, where I would regret not having done it.”

Liersch cautions that it’s too soon to say whether the spate of spending is a fleeting moment or a new normal. And consumers remain frustrated about inflation as the price of many goods remains significantly higher than a few years ago.

Ibby Hussain, who works in marketing for a financial communications firm, says the Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment he and his fiancée rent for $3,000 a month would cost a million dollars to buy. At current rates, that means around $5,000 a month after a $200,000 down payment, not including property taxes. “And it’s not even that nice of an apartment.”

So, instead of saving for a down payment like he expected to after turning 30 and getting engaged in the past year, he splurged.

First, he bought a $1,600 Taylor Swift Eras Tour ticket and then he spent $3,500 on a bachelor party trip to Ibiza, Spain.

“I might as well just enjoy what I have now,” he says.

A travel boom

Ally Bank, whose online platform started allowing customers to create savings buckets for different goals in 2020, says users create about one-and-a-half times more experience-oriented buckets such as travel and “fun funds” versus those associated with longer-term planning.

Lindsey and Darrell Bradshaw went into credit-card debt to finance a vacation to Maui this past spring. The couple booked the trip only a few weeks after Lindsey, 37, quit her job to be a full-time caregiver to their 8-year-old son, who has special needs.

“We did not have the money and we were like, ‘Let’s just do this anyway,’ ” says Darrell Bradshaw, a 39-year-old general contractor in Seattle.

The trip cost about $10,000, including three, $1,000 last-minute plane tickets, 10 nights at a $385-a-night 4-star resort and several elaborate meals.

Even though the family decided to cancel subscriptions and cut back on dining out to help offset the bill, they say they have no regrets—especially since they got to see Lahaina just a few months before it was decimated by deadly wildfires.

Fears about a changing climate are driving some people to try to see places before they’re gone. In a monthly Deloitte survey of 19,000 global consumers, climate change was the only topic among 19 different concerns that respondents reported feeling significantly more worried about over the past year.

Josh Richner says he greatly lowered his retirement contribution to afford a cross-country trip that included a $7,000 Alaskan cruise so his family could see the ice caps, which have been melting at a rapid clip.

“I’ve never spent that much on a trip before,” says the 35-year-old, who says the splurge was also motivated by the pandemic and a health scare.

About six months ago, Richner and his wife decided to sell their Columbus, Ohio, home to travel the country with their two young children. Working for National Legal Center, a law firm that helps consumers resolve debt, he knows the potential consequences of living in a way that gives priority to the present. But he isn’t worried.

“I just hit a point where the thing that we had been talking about maybe hopefully doing some day, we’re going to do it now,” he says. “I’m not going to worry about money anymore. I don’t have it in me.”

Splurge purchases

Consumers might not be able to keep splurging forever. Labour strikes and student loan repayments could both lead people to pull back. Rising gas prices could also deter travel.

For those who study spending, however, the robustness up to this point has been a surprise.

In the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s August SCE Household Spending Survey, households reported spending 5.5% more than last year. The share of households that said they made at least one large purchase in the previous four months increased to 64% from 57%, its highest reading since August 2015.

“Normally at a time when you have higher inflation, but also higher interest rates, you don’t expect spending to hold up so well,” says Wilbert van der Klaauw, an economic research adviser on household and public policy at the Fed.

Rather than funnel all their spare change into a house or retirement account, Candice and Jasmine Kelly started a bucket-list fund after attending back-to-back funerals a few months ago. The couple adds a few hundred dollars from their paychecks each month into the fund, which they have used to try fancy restaurant tasting menus and buy Jasmine her dream designer handbag.

Instead of waiting to have fun when they retire, Candice, a 26-year-old management analyst in Charlotte, N.C., says the couple is trying to do the opposite. They want to enjoy their money while they’re young—even if it means working longer.

“All the rules that exist around money and lifestyle are just things people made up, so we’re playing a different game, and honestly I think we’re having more fun,” says Candice.



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2024’s Top ASX Stock Picks: 5 Opportunities You Can’t Miss

ResMed, Goodman Group and Treasury Wine Estates are among this market analyst’s top stock picks for the new year

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Dec 8, 2023 2 min

 It’s been a tumultuous year for the ASX 200, which has moved within a broad range of between 7,568 points in February and 6,751 points in October. The benchmark index has recorded just 3.3% growth in the year to date. High interest rates and inflation have put pressure on businesses and forced consumers to rein in spending, while economic growth has weakened to an annual rate of just 2.1 percent.

Analysts at top brokerage house Morgan Stanley have a 12-month target of 7,350 points for the ASX 200, indicating more of the same for the market next year. Joe Wright of Airlie Funds Management comments: “ASX valuations have returned to more or less the average of their last 20 years”.

As always, some ASX stocks will shine, and eToro market analyst Josh Gilbert has announced his five top picks for 2024, as published on Finder.

ResMed CDI (ASX: RMD)

The ResMed share price has fallen 18.6% in 2023 to $24.79. Its 52-week high is $36.37. “Much of this recent weakness has come from the expectation that the new highly coveted Ozempic drug will dampen demand for ResMed’s sleep apnea devices,” says Mr Gilbert. “ResMed is a fundamentally quality business, and its recent sell-off has made its valuation more attractive.” Top broker Goldman Sachs rates ResMed shares a buy and has a 12-month share price target of $32 on the company.

TechnologyOne Ltd (ASX: TNE)

TechnologyOne stock has lifted 16.1% in the year to date to $15.17 per share. The 52-week peak is $17.12. “With inflation falling and central banks set to cut interest rates, technology shares could see their winning streaks continue,” says Mr Gilbert. “The good news for shareholders is the business has significant cash and investment holdings of $223 million and no debt, putting them in the position to continue its growth.” Goldman Sachs also rates this tech stock a buy with a 12-month price target of $18.05.

Goodman Group (ASX: GMG)

The Goodman Group share price has soared 34.7% in 2023 to $23.31. Its 52-week high is $23.69. Mr Gilbert says real estate shares should benefit from stabilising and potentially falling interest rates in 2024. “Goodman Group is in a strong position in the real estate sector, focused on logistics and warehouses. It also has a growing exposure to data centres – a booming area thanks to AI.” Top broker Citi says Goodman shares are a buy. Its analysts have a 12-month price target of $25.50.

TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPG)

The TPG share price has essentially moved sideways in 2023, down 1.05% to $4.79. Its 52-week peak is $5.72. “As the telecom industry continues to transition to 5G technology, revenue could continue to grow,” says Mr Gilbert. The broker consensus recommendation published on CommSec was downgraded late last month from a moderate buy rating to a hold rating.

Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE)

Treasury Wine shares have tumbled 20% in 2023 to $10.36 per share. The 52-week high is $14.69. “The good news for Treasury Wines is that the Albanese government is renewing Australia’s relationship with China, which could mean good news for removing those tariffs denting Treasury’s sales,” Mr Gilbert says. Leading brokerage Morgans has an add rating on Treasury Wine shares with a 12-month price target of $14.15.

 

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