Housing boom shows no sign of slowing: What you've missed this week

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A new retirement income product launches, and Australia's turbocharged housing market shows no signs of slowing.

Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Lockdown payments

five things house prices

The federal government has announced temporary COVID Disaster Payments for Victorian workers affected by the latest lockdown.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible working visa holders will get up to $500 per week for losing 20 hours or more of work, and $325 per week for losing under 20 hours. People will need to have exhausted any leave entitlements, with the exception of annual leave, or other special pandemic leave.

Those currently receiving income support payments, business support payments, or the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment will not be eligible for this new payment.

The payments will apply to the second and subsequent weeks of lockdown.

To access the payment, go to www.servicesaustralia.gov.au or call 180 22 66.

New car sales set May record

New vehicle sales hit over 100,809 in May, a 68.3% increase on May last year and an 8.9% increase on 2019.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Chief Executive Tony Weber puts the result down to pent up demand due to COVID-19.

Toyota led the market in May with 21,156 sales, followed by Mazda (10,554), Kia (7124), Ford (6493) and Mitsubishi (6478). The Toyota Hi-Lux was the highest-selling vehicle (4402) ahead of the Ford Ranger (4254), Toyota RAV4 (4014), Toyota Landcruiser (3399) and the Isuzu Ute D-Max 3,058).

"While we cannot be certain about the future economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation, businesses and households are showing their confidence by purchasing new vehicles," he says.

"I expect this situation will continue to improve in the second half of this calendar year as confidence continues to grow, coupled with incentives such as the extension of the depreciation allowance for business which was announced in the Federal Budget during the month.

Magellan launches FuturePay on Chi-X Australia

Magellan is set to launch a new retirement income product on Chi-X. FuturePay will invest in low volatility, high quality global companies to build a portfolio that grows with inflation, is driven by returns and capital growth, and provides downside protection.

"The pay cheque stops and the super and savings need to be replaced with what you had from a pay cheque. The idea here is trying to replace a pay cheque - a predictable, known income," says Magellan CEO Brett Cairns.

"We think that FuturePay really addresses an unmet need in the Australian retirement landscape. The combination of a portfolio of high quality, low volatility global companies and a reserving strategy with on-going income support means that FuturePay has the potential to significantly improve outcomes for investors in retirement," adds FuturePay portfolio manager Paddy McCrudde.

Check your super insurance

Law firm Slater and Gordon is calling on Aussie workers to check their superannuation insurance ahead of stapling changes due to come into effect on July 1, provided the Your Future Your Super draft regulations get through parliament.

If it does, workers will have a primary super account that follows them from job to job, so it's important to check your insurance is appropriate for the job.

"Some total and permanent disability (TPD) and life insurance policies are industry or employer specific," says Slater and Gordon practice group leader Sarah Snowden.

"A policy may exclude jobs deemed as hazardous based on working conditions, or offer benefits only to those employed in a specific industry meaning a person who moves into a different role could be ineligible to claim against their own policy after paying premiums if they are injured or ill while working in that role."

Australian housing boom shows no sign of slowing

CoreLogic's home value index surged 2.2% in May, a stronger result than April's 1.8% but a bit weaker than the 32-year high of 2.8% recorded March.

"Values were up by more than 1% across every capital city over the month, with both house and unit values lifting across the board," says CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless.

"The combination of improving economic conditions and low interest rates is continuing to support consumer confidence which, in turn has created persistently strong demand for housing."

However, the market isn't moving as one.

"The most expensive end of the market is now driving the highest rate of price appreciation across most of the capital cities, whereas early in the growth cycle it was the most affordable end of the market that was the strongest," says Lawless.

"From a geographic perspective, it was the smaller capital cities that led the housing market out of the COVID slump, but now Sydney has risen through the ranks to record the largest capital gain over the past three months with values up 9.3%."

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David Thornton is a journalist at Money magazine and is one of the hosts of the Friends With Money podcast. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.