Australia's top performing suburbs for 2022 revealed


Australia's top performing suburbs for 2022, $150 school vouchers for NSW, and shareholders flock to AGMs. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

The big reveal: Australia's top performing suburbs for 2022

It'd be easy to assume that 2022 has been a shocker of a year for real estate. But not every neighbourhood has seen values head south.

top suburbs for property growth 2022

CoreLogic's Best of the Best Report 2022 identifies the top-performing suburbs for house price growth over the past 12 months, and some of the winners have hit double-digit gains.

The national frontrunner for price growth is Bingara in north-western NSW, where house values have jumped 36.2% over the past year.

Among the state capitals, Adelaide's outer northern suburb of Davoren Park notched up the highest metro gains nationally, with house values rising 34.7%.

Narrabeen on Sydney's northern beaches took out the wooden spoon, with house values dropping 26.8% through 2022.

Shareholders flock to AGMs

The number of shareholders attending Annual General Meetings (AGMs) this year has almost doubled compared to 2021 according to analysis by Lumi.

In the past, individual shareholders may have felt uncomfortable attending an AGM, but new hybrid AGMs that combine virtual and in-room attendance are making it easier for shareholders to have their say.

"The shareholder voice is louder than ever in Australia, and it's being driven by inclusivity and accessibility," says Oliver Bampfield, managing director for Australia and New Zealand at Lumi.

"Hybrid AGMs make it easier for shareholders to access companies and engage with them on the issues that matter to them."

Bampfield adds, "Younger demographics are socially conscious and are becoming more considered in the companies they interact with." He says they want their views known on issues such as ESG, executive pay, diversity, and cyber security.

A $150 helping hand for school kids in NSW

Stocking up on school equipment may be the last thing on parents' minds right now, but from Monday parents and carers in NSW can access $150 worth of new Back to School vouchers.

The vouchers can be used at registered businesses to help pay for school needs such as bags, uniforms, shoes, prescribed textbooks and lunch boxes.

Families need to apply for the Back to School NSW Vouchers via the Service NSW app, over the phone or by visiting a Service Centre.

how to claim nsw back to school vouchers

Accounting body warns of BNPL Christmas debt trap

Reserve Bank data shows consumers spent $16 billion using buy now, pay later (BNPL) during the 2021-22 financial year, up 37% on the previous year.

However, one in three users say BNPL has seen their debt levels rise to "uncomfortable levels".

Simon Grant, group executive for advocacy at Chartered Accountants, is warning consumers about relying too heavily on BNPL this Christmas.

Grant says, "While this payment method has allowed people to get products earlier than they otherwise would have, it has also created a financial black hole that some consumers are struggling to get out of.

"It may be tempting to load up your BNPL account with multiple or big purchases, but when the repayments all hit at once, week in week out, you will curse the holiday period and struggle to make ends meet."

The message is simple according to Grant: "Don't land yourself in a BNPL debt trap."

Avoid a Christmas crunch at car crash hotspots

The last thing any of us want over the festive season is the cost and hassle of a fender bender.  But some roads are more dangerous than others.

Insurer AAMI has just released its 2022 Crash Index, revealing the roads with a reputation for accident hotspots.

Based on over 350,000 car insurance claims, many of the hotspots such as the Hume Highway at Liverpool in Sydney's west are well-known danger zones.

However, driver behaviour can also be a key culprit behind bingles.

AAMI says nose-to-tail collisions account for the majority of prangs in Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria and WA.

In the NT, Tasmania and South Australia, collisions with stationary objects are the leading cause of accidents - often the result of driver distraction.

Be especially alert behind the wheel on Fridays as this is when drivers are most likely to be involved in a car crash, particularly between about 1pm and 4pm.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.