The Hong Kong mansion set to break the record for world's most expensive house
- A Hong Kong mansion could be about to break the world record for the most expensive home ever sold.
- The hefty asking price comes with the territory – the modest property is in The Peak neighbourhood, one of the most prestigious gated communities in Hong Kong.
- The current world-record for a house is held by a home in the same neighbourhood, sold for $US360 million ($497 million) in January 2017.
- It is the second-most expensive market when it comes to prestigious real estate too with a $US1 million buying a mere 22 square metres.
- Skyrocketing rents – and with them the increasing popularity in coffin homes – has earned it the tag of least affordable housing market in the world for the eighth year in row.
Purplebricks shares crash amid revelations of discounting 'competition'
- Purplebricks shares crashed to an 18-month low in London overnight following revelations in The Australian Financial Review the British hybrid estate agent ran a competition in NSW that encouraged their agents to pressure vendors to cut their asking prices.
- In some cases agents were able to convince their vendors to cut their prices by 20 per cent in the space of a week.
- News of the NSW vendor-discounting competition follows Purplebricks announcing a new fixed-fee of $8800 - nearly double what it charged when it launched here two years ago.
- WA's Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety which is leading a state consumer watchdog probe into the activities of Purplebricks, is investigating "suspected contraventions of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 and the Australian Consumer Law (WA) Fair Trading Act by Purplebricks Australia Pty Ltd".
iPhone XS and XS Max review: Apple's latest are the best yet. But do you need them?
- Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note or the iPad, the XS Max doesn't support many features tailored for bigger screens, such as another row of apps or a side-by-side display that lets you use two apps at once.
- Although Apple quietly discontinued some of its lower-cost devices, including the iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and the iPhone X, it still sells two older models -- iPhone 7 ($449) and the iPhone 8 ($599) -- at cheaper price points, if you want a replacement device without splurging for the XS line.
- If you're not in the market for another iPhone, can't afford one or just can't bring yourself to spend the money, consider upgrading your existing software to iOS 12 to make it feel new again.
- (It took me less than two hours to realize I access apps like Instagram way too much.) The feature also lets you set timers for how long you want to use certain apps.
ASX poised to edge lower at open
- Rises in market interest rates tend to boost banks and the S&P; financial sector rose 1.64 per cent, lifted by a 2.6 per cent increase in shares of JPMorgan & Chase.
- The STOXX 600 and leading euro zone stocks both rose 0.3 per cent to two-week highs with sentiment buoyed by hopes that the United States and China will return to the negotiating table after the latest tariff round.
- Hong Kong shares rose to a two-week high on Wednesday, joining a broad rally in Asian markets, as investors saw limited impact from an escalating Sino-US trade war, and bet on more stimulus from Beijing to bolster growth.
- Australian shares advanced amid more positive trade headlines as the major banks and miners lifted the market to its highest close in two weeks.
It looks like Nintendo could release a miniature Nintendo 64 console to compete with the new Sony PlayStation Classic
- But one of its classics — the Nintendo 64 — may be getting a miniaturized re-release, and it could arrive just in time to take on Sony's just-announced PlayStation Classic, which comes out on December 3rd.
- And, in addition to the 3DS, Nintendo's produces miniaturized, less expensive versions of its original consoles.
- In addition to all those things, Nintendo appears to be making a similarly small, less expensive version of the original Nintendo 64.
- To be clear, Nintendo hasn't announced such a console, nor has the company previously indicated it's interested in making a "Classic Edition" of the original Nintendo 64.
- Nintendo filed the same logo trademark in Europe for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System gamepad silhouette, and that same silhouette appears on top of the Super NES Classic Edition box.
Has Ripple Survived the Bitcoin Bubble?
- This has much to do with the fact that this asset holds intrinsic value within the cryptocurrency market, while it has recently seen its market dominance increase beyond the 50% mark despite its falling price.
- Not only this, but Bitcoin’s value has fallen at a slower rate than a host of alternative cryptocurrencies, with Ethereum having declined by more than 30% in recent times and Ripple apparently primed for a staggering 97% crash over the course of the next five years.
- While this would impact negatively on competing cryptocurrencies, diverse and centralized crypto assets such as Ripple are far better placed to survive the bubble.
- So regardless of recent price trends, the long-term outlook suggests that assets such as Ripple could well survive and supersede Bitcoin in the eyes of investors.
This $5 million dome-shaped home, known among locals as 'The Star Wars Home,' is hurricane-resistant and available to buy for the first time — take a look inside
- South Carolina's infamous dome-shaped home, dubbed "The Eye of the Storm," has been listed for sale for the first time ever with a $5 million price tag.
- The four-level, 4,047-square-foot home at 2851 Marshall Boulevard in Sullivan's Island was built in 1991 and was designed with the proximity of Mother Nature in mind.
- Its features render the abode heavily resistant to hurricanes, hence the house's name.
- Dome-home aficionado and designer George Paul built the abode in 1991 after Hurricane Hugo took out his parents' house.
- They wanted a home that would be invincible to the elements so that they "would have peace of mind for the rest of their lives," according to the listing.
- What resulted was the white concrete and steel shell of a home that can withstand deadly hurricanes coming in from the Atlantic.
Purplebricks ran competition to pressure vendors to cut prices
- Agents working for fixed-fee operator Purplebricks pressured vendors to cut their asking prices by as much as 20 per cent as part of a NSW "competition" which offered cash prizes for agents who secured the most price reductions.
- Called the "NSW Raffle" agents had to secure a minimum 5 per cent reduction on three properties to go into the raffle which offered a $5000 prize "generously supported by [Purplebricks co-founder] Kenny Bruce".
- In total, more than 100 vendors cut their asking prices – 28 by more than 10 per cent – as the company battled an increasing number of unsold homes and angry vendors who paid between $5500 and $7000 upfront to secure their services.
- Its strategy in NSW to incentivise agents to pressure vendors to cut their prices – rather than work to get them the highest price for their home – will likely attract further scrutiny from state consumer watchdogs, who are already examining the activities of Purplebricks.
Google Home Mini was the best-selling smart speaker in Q2
- Amazon’s Echo Dot may have been a bestseller on Prime Day, but Google’s Home Mini device is now the top-selling smart speaker worldwide, according to a new report out this morning from Strategy Analytics.
- The analyst firm says Google’s small speaker accounted for 1 in 5 smart speaker shipments in Q2 2018, edging out the Echo Dot with its 2.3 million global shipments compared to Echo Dot’s 2.2 million.
- Combined, these two entry-level smart speakers – the Echo Dot and Home Mini – accounted for 38% of global shipments, the firm found.
- Following the Dot, was Amazon’s flagship Echo device with 1.4 million shipments, then Alibaba’s Tmail Genie (0.8m), and Google Home (0.8m).
- While the Home Mini and Echo Dot combined accounted for 17% of smart speaker revenues, Apple’s HomePod alone took a 16% share of wholesale revenues.
- And in terms of devices above the $200 price point, the HomePod had a 70% revenue share.
Trudeau had better find out if his carbon-tax ‘backstop’ is actually legal
- With the clock ticking, the federal government must ensure the constitutionality of its carbon-pricing backstop by referring the questions to the Supreme Court of Canada.
- While some downplay the legal merit of the challenges, a federal carbon price represents new and far-reaching constitutional territory: No court has yet affirmed a general federal jurisdiction to regulate GHG emissions.
- Earlier federal governments sought direct answers from the Supreme Court on legislation that raised significant constitutional questions — particularly laws that stake out federal jurisdiction on novel issues.
- Notably, many constitutional experts also believed that federal jurisdiction for a national securities regulator was a slam dunk — until the Supreme Court decided otherwise.
- Moreover, if the backstop is a tax, it could be offside because our constitution requires a high degree of parliamentary control over taxes, and the backstop legislation gives discretion for the minister to decide which provinces face a federal carbon price.