As our first uninterrupted year since pre-pandemic days, 2022 has been a much-welcomed readjustment. That said, with the ebbs and flows of the local and global economy, potential world wars, stand-out pop culture moments, new ways of working, and extreme weather events to navigate, it’s been a crazy ride! Let’s strap in and look back on the standout moments dominating the headlines and driving the most change in 2022:
1. Her Majesty, The Queen & The Royal Family
In February this year, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking a phenomenal 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms, and the Commonwealth. And in September, only seven months later, she passed away at the age of 96. Her passing sparked a celebration of life, commiserations, and conversations about the Crown’s relevance in modern society. Queen Elizabeth’s wishes are now being fulfilled with King Charles III officially sworn in (along with Queen Consort, Camilla Parker Bowles), and plans are underway to roll out the new currencies featuring King Charles III portraits from December.
2. The return of global sports events
This year has seen the return of spectacular sporting highlights – from the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing to the Commonwealth Games, Tour De France Femmes, and, most recently, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In our own backyard, the Australian Open was again back in full swing. We saw Rafael Nadal take home his second Australian Open title and 21st major singles title, with the ‘King of Clay’ now holding the record for winning the most men’s singles major titles. He then broke his record shortly after – winning his 22nd Grand Slam Trophy at the French Open. We also basked in pride as our fellow Aussie Ash Barty became the undefeated champion of the Women’s Singles this year.
3. Cybercrime grows, and corporations are the new targets
With an increasingly heavy reliance on technology to run our businesses, we’re also increasingly vulnerable to a new kind of threat – cybercrime. Since 2021 there has been an 85% spike in online scams, with almost half of attacks targeting SME businesses. It’s not only SMEs facing the brunt of it, though. Larger corporations like Optus and Medibank have also felt the effects of cybercrime this year as hackers up their game and actively seek out weaknesses in cyber security armour.
4. The Russian-Ukrainian War, threatening peace as we know it
In February, we watched on horrified, as the long-standing feud between Russia and Ukraine came to a head. Russian President Vladimir Putin commenced a “special military operation” on Ukraine, intending to “demilitarise and denazify” the country. Aside from being a humanitarian crisis, the war caused a significant strain on global oil prices and saw fears of World War 3 arise. But through tragedy also came beauty. Social media platforms like Tik Tok helped to spread news, insight, and truth from ground zero – unfiltered and not politically driven, and people flocked to book Airbnb stays in Ukraine as a means to provide direct aid to those on the ground.
5. Third La Niña brings a flurry of floods
This year in Australia, the weather event known as La Niña wreaked havoc. Torrential rain engulfed the Eastern coast leading to the nation’s worst recorded floods. Areas such as Southeast Queensland, the Wide Bay-Burnett and parts of coastal New South Wales took much of the blow, with Brisbane’s city being swallowed by its waterways. Most recently, Melbourne suffered rare flooding, which saw the Maribyrnong River overflow, flooding suburbs and causing major road closures. Although a time of grief, communities banded together to provide helping hands and support where needed. Organisations such as GIVIT continue to collect donations, redistributing them to those who need them most.
6. Pop culture popped off
From the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, 2022 has been full of juicy pop culture stories. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck reunited and got married, Elon Musk bought Twitter and recently, Kanye West reportedly lost US$2 billion in one day after antisemitic tweets. We also lost many iconic stars, like Olivia Newton-John, and we saw the release of films from the Marvel Multiverse. And, of course, pop culture 2022 wouldn’t have been the same without Tik Tok continuing its influence – not only when it comes to culture but also ultimately changing how we consume music and content.
7. Hybrid working is here to stay
The way we work has dramatically shifted over the past two years. And now, the hybrid approach is the new working norm. A recent survey of 1,000 office workers in the U.S. and Canada found that 68% of employees like to work from home at least three days a week. Thanks to this new expectation, there is increased flexibility, helping us all to maintain a more positive work-life balance.
8. Post-COVID business boom
With The Great Resignation, career-defining changes for many, shifts in employee expectations and moving business standards, 2022 has been a year of a huge change in the working world. More than 1 in 5 Australians changed jobs within the last year, and almost 1 in 4 are considering leaving where they are currently. These changes came with plenty of positives – many began following their passions, and data from the U.S. Census Bureau also found that in the first quarter of 2021 and 2022, there were major increases in new business formations compared to 2020 and prior years. If you, too, are thinking of making a career-defining change, why not become a First National Real Estate member in 2023? With a strong network of professionals at your fingertips, autonomy, and flexibility, it’s the perfect place to be your own boss and grow a fulfilling career in real estate.
9. Australasian property market exploded
Real estate is an industry that has seen major changes over the past two years, but this year it kicked off with a boom. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that January had more new listings than it had in the last eight years. Active buyers were at an all-time high, while interest rate rises cooled things down. Yet, the collective wealth of Australian homeowners has increased by $2 trillion. With the change in lifestyles, lockdowns and introduction of hybrid work, there has been a marked increase in demand for properties in regional areas across Australia and New Zealand – especially those which are an easy commute to the main cities.
And that’s a wrap on the 2022 rollercoaster!
This year has seen some lows, and some extreme highs, particularly in property. And although nothing is guaranteed, affordability in the property market is starting to look promising. Contact your local First National Real Estate team in Australia or New Zealand today to get ahead of the curb and jumpstart your property journey. Make 2023 your year!