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ASX sluggish, stamp duty stoush and 3 other things to start your day

Stock exchange graph and houses in the suburbs
ASX sluggish, affordable housing and a stamp duty stoush and 3 other things to start your day.

ASX: The local share market is expected to have a subdued start to the day after  US stocks fell overnight as mixed economic data and hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official fueled concerns the central bank may not ease its aggressive policy tightening.

St Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard said rate hikes so far "have had only limited effects on observed inflation", and that the central bank needed to continue raising interest rates by at least another full percentage point.

More pain for the UK: Britain faces a record hit to living standards this year as surging inflation erodes incomes, the country's budget forecasters warned, after Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt announced more pain, with tax rises now and spending cuts further ahead.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said household disposable incomes would fall by 4.3 per cent in the current financial year and by 2.8 per cent in 2023/24, the sharpest declines in records dating back to the 1950s.

Affordable homes still scarce: Australia’s property market is cooling off but the downturn is concentrated at the premium end of the market, with affordable properties becoming harder to find.

The number of homes listed below $600,000 on realestate.com.au has fallen to a record low.

Despite rising interest rates triggering a slowdown in the residential property market, the share of homes advertised on the site for less than $600,000 has plunged to 35.8 per cent.

Also read: 32,00 jobs added as unemployment falls

Also read: New dollar coin featuring vegemite and the Queen

Stamp duty stoush: NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has accused the opposition of being out of touch for opposing his first home buyer reforms, as the NSW parliament sits for its final day before the March 23 election.

The government passed a series of major pieces of legislation during its final weeks, including laws criminalising coercive control, and making big changes to stamp duty for first home buyers.

First home buyers are now able to choose between paying a lump sum of stamp duty, or a smaller annual land tax on their property.

Early learning summit: In some good news for young Australians and their parents, the Federal Government has announced it will host a National Early Years Summit in February as it builds its "whole-of-government approach" for Australia's children.

The Government's early-years strategy, to be unveiled on Friday, will coordinate programs and funding directed at children and ensure accountability isn't lost through efforts being scattered across various departments.

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