One in five Aussies shop under the influence


Home values rise $2400 weekly, a crypto called Omicron jumps 900% and Aussie's admit to SUI.

Here are five things you might've missed this week.

Median home value rises $2400 per week

one in five aussies shop under the influence westpac asic omicron

Figures from CoreLogic released this week show Australian property values jumped a further 1.3% in November, marking the 14th consecutive month of gains.

Over the last 12 months, home values have climbed 22.2% higher, adding an extra $126,700 to the median value of an Australian home. To put this in perspective, that's a weekly gain of $2436.

However, monthly price growth is slowing - down from the peak of 2.8% in March.

Tim Lawless, CoreLogic's research director, says "Virtually every factor that has driven housing values higher has lost some potency over recent months. Fixed mortgage rates are rising, higher listings are taking some urgency away from buyers, affordability has become a more substantial barrier to entry and credit is less available."

Dr Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist AMP Capital, is expecting a further slowing in average home price growth next year, followed by a peak in prices sometime in the second half of 2022 and falling prices in 2023.

Omicron jumps 900%

A newly launched cryptocurrency soared 900% this week. The reason? It's called Omicron (OMIC).

The crypto, first launched on 8 November 2021, leapt from $US65 on 27 November to a high of $US655 on Monday 29 November - a gain of 900%, following the announcement by the World Health Organisation that the newest COVID variant would be named Omicron.

The hype was short-lived. By Tuesday OMIC was trading at $US196, but the digital currency was back up to $US367 by December 2.

Unlike the big digital currencies, Omicron can't be purchased with fiat (notes and coins) currency. You need to first buy Bitcoin and then use it to purchase Omicron.

One in five Aussies shop under the influence

'Tis the season for shopping, but it's also the time of year when we're likely to crack open a few celebratory beverages. The two aren't always good mixers.

Research by Finder shows one in five of us - around 3.5 million people, have shopped online while drunk - with the average spend in a single booze-fuelled sitting being $328.

It turns out a few tipples are most likely to see us shop online for food, and surprisingly, more alcohol.

Finder's Kate Browne says, "While it's great to bag a bargain, it's not really a bargain if you're buying things you don't need, or worse, things you don't want once you've sobered up.

"The best way to avoid this is to make a wish list of the things you really want and compare retailers in advance."

Suburbs where you can buy with less than $100,000 deposit

The median home value nationally has just climbed to a whopping $698,170, meaning a 20% deposit would be close to $140,000, and even a 10% deposit would tally almost $70,000.

However, Aussie Home Loans has revealed the suburbs where it's possible to purchase a house or unit with a deposit of far less.

According to Aussie, there are close to 4,000 suburbs nationally where it's possible to buy a house with a deposit of $100,000 or below. These may not be your first choice of neighbourhoods, but Brad Cramb, CEO of Distribution at Aussie, says compromising on your first home suburb could be the key to homeownership in the current market.

The table below shows the most viewed suburbs on Aussie's online Suburb Spotter map where you could get potentially change from $100,000 for a first home deposit.

State 10% deposit 20% deposit
NSW Box Hill -  $61,150 Wyee - $83,000
Victoria Heidelberg West - $75,000 Dallas - $100,000
Queensland Carina - $75,050 Acacia Ridge - $90,500
South Australia Adelaide - $70,525 Ascot Park -  $96,200
Western Australia Scarborough - $78,200 Nollamara - $79,000
Tasmania Kingston - $63,050 Glenorchy - $96,000
Northern Territory Ludmilla - $56,200 and Bakewell - $93,200
Australian Capital Territory Phillip (10%: $56,650) None provided
Source: Aussie Home Loans

ASIC takes 'unprecedented' legal action against Westpac

Another week, another round of hammering for the big banks. This week it was Westpac's turn.

In what it calls an "unprecedented" move, money watchdog ASIC is taking Westpac to court over multiple civil penalty proceedings.

ASIC alleges widespread compliance failures across multiple Westpac businesses including its banking, superannuation and wealth management arms.

ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court says, "ASIC is disappointed to have to yet again commence legal proceedings, on this occasion no fewer than six times, against a major bank."

Among the issues being addressed, ASIC alleges that over a 10-year period, Westpac and its related entities, charged over $10 million in fees for financial advice that was never delivered because the customers were dead.

ASIC says Westpac has admitted the allegations in each of the proceedings and will remediate around $80 million to customers.

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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.