Sydney, Melbourne auction market heats up earlier than usual
- A rush of auctions is stirring the Sydney and Melbourne markets into action much earlier than usual this year as home sellers, buoyed by the strong appetite shown by buyers before Christmas, throw open their doors to summertime bidders.
- This week 174 auctions are listed for Melbourne, more than four times the count for the comparable week last year, according to SQM Research.
- It's a similar albeit more muted pattern in Sydney, with 53 auctions set for this week, a substantial step-up from a year earlier, The count rises to 278 the following week, double what it was last year.
- New listings of homes for sale through December jumped almost 14 per cent in Sydney, year-on-year and by more than 30 per cent in Melbourne.
- Clearance rates across the combined capital cities hit 69.4 per cent over the December quarter, the best quarterly result for the year, according to CoreLogic.
How Biden could solve America's health care problems
- But bipartisan negotiations on legislation to address surprise medical billing eventually stalled because deep-pocketed special interest groups spent millions of dollars opposing the reforms and lawmakers couldn't agree on the exact mechanism to determine how much providers would get paid.
- Neither side would get all of what they're looking for, but this "goldilocks" approach could be the ticket to increasing the number of Americans with health insurance -- particularly in states like Texas and Florida, where governors and legislators have consistently opposed full Medicaid expansion.
- But more consequential and durable reforms will require Biden to find a way to work both with progressives who are looking to replace what we have now with Medicare-for-all and Republicans who believe the ACA remains fundamentally flawed.
Grab an unlocked Google Pixel 3 XL for $300 at B&H Photo
- If you are looking for a smartphone with a good camera but don’t want to spend a ton of money, B&H Photo is selling a 64GB unlocked Google Pixel 3 XL for $300.
- The phone was released in late 2018, but it is still a solid contender for people who prefer Google smartphones and want a camera that offers solid image quality.
- Released in 2018 alongside the Google Pixel 3, the Pixel 3 XL is a solid contender for smartphones that include great cameras at a competitive price.
- The Google Pixel 3 XL was one of the tech giant’s two flagship smartphones released in October 2018, with both phones being praised at the time for their front and rear cameras, larger displays, and clean designs.
- For $300, the Pixel 3 XL seems like a great deal that delivers a ton of features and is ideal for people who are unconcerned about not having 5G support.
ASX to fall, Wall St rally loses steam
- Australian shares are set to open lower with shares falling in Europe and hovering near record highs in New York as the Biden administration moves to take control.
- European stocks lost steam heading into the close on Thursday, weighed down by oil and real estate shares, while the European Central Bank stuck to its monetary policy but warned a surge in COVID-19 infections posed a risk to the euro zone's recovery.
- The ECB offered few surprises after it kept its policy unchanged, while its president Christine Lagarde warned that a new rise in cases and the ensuing restrictions to activity would dampen activity in the near term and said the ECB was prepared to provide even more support for the economy if needed.
- ASX climbs 0.8pc as sharemarket joins Biden rally: Australian shares roared higher as investors welcomed the end of the unpredictable Trump administration and the improved outlook for trade and the global economy.
Stock picks to buy, 22 stocks still below pre-pandemic levels: Goldman - Business Insider
- Meanwhile, some smaller and more economically sensitive stocks have yet to reach their pre-pandemic levels as earnings have stalled.
- Hopes for a strong economic return got another shot in the arm when Democrats won two runoff Senate races in Georgia.
- Goldman Sachs consequently upped its economic and earnings estimates for the year.
- To help investors take advantage of the momentum cyclical stocks are expected to see, Kostin and his team put together a list of 22 stocks that meet the following two criteria: a share price still below the February 19 peak and expected earnings that are higher than those in 2019.
- The 22 stocks are listed below in ascending order of how far below February 19 levels their prices sat as of January 14.
- Get the latest Goldman Sachs stock price here.
Porsche's $79,900 base Taycan EV still pricier than Model S - Business Insider
- The base-model Porsche Taycan is finally here with a starting price of $79,900.
- And while that hugely undercuts the Taycan's former $104,000 base price, it's still not as cheap as the Tesla Model S.
- The base Taycan will join the Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo, and Taycan Turbo S as simply the "Taycan." Unlike the other models, the regular Taycan will be rear-wheel drive only; Porsche took out the front motor and said it subsequently shaved 200 pounds off the car's nose.
- Read on to learn more about the cheapest Taycan you can currently buy, which will hit dealerships this spring.
Why RBA boss Phil Lowe is chill as housing heats up
- And, of course, Dr Lowe will have had a close look at the Reserve Bank's own confidential research that argues that house values could jump 30 per cent over three years if near-zero interest rates persist.
- According to an internal Reserve Bank briefing note dated last November, a permanent 1 percentage point cut in the cash rate would increase real house prices by 30 per cent after about three years.
- The combination of a high jobless rate and extremely weak wages growth will act as a brake on rising house prices.
- The combination of a high jobless rate – although the unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 per cent in December, it is still significantly above pre-pandemic levels – and extremely weak wages growth will act as a brake on rising house prices.
Apple’s first VR headset reportedly includes a fabric design, a fan, and expensive price tag
- Apple is reportedly working on a VR headset that will include a fabric design, a fan, and an expensive price tag.
- Bloomberg News reports that Apple’s first VR headset may launch as soon as 2022 as a standalone device that operates through batteries, similar to the Oculus Quest 2.
- Bloomberg News also reports that the size of Apple’s VR headset, which is codenamed N301, is similar to the Oculus Quest, and some prototypes being tested include external cameras to enable some AR features.
- It will reportedly be an expensive and niche device, with some at Apple rumored to be anticipating that the company may sell only one headset per day at each of its retail stores, or less than 200,000 units per year.
- Apple has been working on VR and AR headsets for years, according to various reports.
Stock markets today: US set for more record highs on earnings and stimulus - Business Insider
- US stocks were set to notch up more record highs on Thursday, as upbeat company earnings and President Joe Biden's stimulus plans combined to lift markets.
- Investors rotated out of the dollar on Thursday morning, while Asian stocks rose sharply overnight on the premise that more spending from the US government will aid the global economy.
- On Wall Street the previous day, better-than-expected earnings from Netflix sparked a market rally that saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq jump 1.97% to a new record high.
- European stocks opened higher on Thursday, with the Stoxx 600 up 0.41% ahead of the European Central Bank's policy decision.
- Asian stocks rose overnight as investors welcomed Biden's presidency and focus on stimulus.
- The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note slipped 0.8 basis points to 1.082% on Thursday morning, as bond prices rose after recent falls.
House prices set for more than 10pc, GDP upgraded: UBS
- Rapid growth in new home sales under the Morrison government's HomeBuilder program and the proposed relaxation of responsible lending rules have economists lifting their forecasts on house prices, construction activity and GDP.
- The change to a more bullish forecast also has economists raising the prospect of the Reserve Bank not extending its $100 billion quantitative easing (QE) program in April.
- Separate to the responsible lending repeal, a key part of the economists' new assessment on the outlook for house prices is the boom in new home building and the rapid recovery in jobs.
- CoreLogic figures released earlier this month showed another 1 per cent gain in house prices December across the eight principal cities.
- But while house prices and jobs recover, some economists still expect an extension to the RBA's QE program, albeit with some "tweaks" likely.