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The Global Vaccine Race

September 14th, 2020
The successful development of a COVID-19 vaccine has been called the biggest "bio-tech arms race" of the 21st century. While politicians across the world are trying to make headlines, according to experts, a single recognised winner is just one of many possible end-game scenarios. The details of any vaccine program remain unknown, with a combination of vaccines and boosters possibly needed, and the effects of different virus strains possibly influencing development and uptake timelines. ; ;

Most experts expect a vaccine to become widely available by mid-2021, which is about 12-18 months after the virus first emerged. While patience will be required, this timeline will be a major success if achieved. Vaccines usually take years and sometimes even decades to develop, with the current accelerated trajectory highlighting the importance of what would be a huge scientific feat. The success of any vaccine will be dependent on antibody response rates in trial participants, along with potential side-effects and supply issues as we emerge into 2021.

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House Price Growth Exceeds Wages

September 11th, 2020
The Australian economy continues to feel the effects of COVID-19, with the virus and virus response likely to affect every aspect of the economy for years to come. While far from immune, the housing market has been fairly strong in the face of very significant challenges. According to recent data, house prices have outperformed wages over the past financial year due to a weak labour market and better than expected property prices. While this is good news for many property owners, it does put ho [...]

Online Retail Sales Surge

September 7th, 2020

Household spending habits have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic due to lockdowns and social distancing. While most businesses in Australia and New Zealand are struggling to pay the bills, online retail sales are booming as people migrate from the high street to the virtual shopfront. Online retail sales were up 62.6% for the year in Australia, with online sales […]

Shrinking Economy Creates Mortgage Stress

September 4th, 2020

Australia’s shrinking economy continues to create stress, with weakening commercial and employment conditions forcing the nation’s first recession in many years. The pandemic is heaping pressure on every part of the economy, as new data from Digital Finance Analytics (DFA) highlights the struggle felt by many mortgage holders. Australian households are under very real mortgage stress, including 1.5 million people […]

Fixing Bikes & Lives

September 1st, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to isolation and loneliness for many, as mental health services around the world struggle to cope with increased rates of anxiety and depression. The insular nature of the virus has seen people look inwards and change the way they interact with the world around them. From exercise routines to home cooking and binge TV, people […]

Mental Health in a COVID World

August 19th, 2020

As we face the reality of a COVID-19 world, mental health has risen to the surface as an immediate and far-reaching health challenge. While the acute health impacts of the virus are well-known, and the economic effects of the lockdown are impossible to ignore, mental health challenges can be harder to define and more difficult to treat. As fear, worry, […]

Working from Home Here to Stay

August 19th, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to shake up the global workplace, with more people working from home than ever before. Once the domain of artists, freelance writers, and IT professionals wearing shorts, working from home has become the new normal for millions of people across the professional landscape. According to some experts, this trend is here to stay, as workers and […]

House Prices Down but Measured

August 18th, 2020

Australian house prices continue to fall due to the prolonged economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The slow and measured decline can be seen across the country, with Canberra and Adelaide the only capitals to experience positive growth over the last month. According to figures from Core Logic, national dwelling values were down -0.6% in July, with -1.6% growth recorded […]

How Aussies Spent their Stimulus Payments

August 10th, 2020

The Australian Government continues to invest record amounts of money into the national economy in an effort to insulate against the negative effects of COVID-19. Along with the massive JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs, one-off $750 stimulus payments have been made to millions of Aussies over recent weeks. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) tells us how the money […]

Hobbies at Home

August 3rd, 2020

The last few months have been challenging for everyone, as social distancing and isolation make the world a smaller and less friendly place. While keeping people apart is designed to bring us together in the long-run, it also gives us time and space for introspection and self-discovery. Lots of people around the world are discovering new hobbies during this time, […]

The Pros & Cons of the HomeBuilder Grant

July 22nd, 2020

The Australian Government announced HomeBuilder in June in an effort to stimulate growth and keep construction jobs alive. The scheme is available for buyers of newly built houses or units, and also covers substantial renovations of at least $150,000. For people and projects that meet the strict criteria, there is $25,000 available as a cashback to help offset the cost […]