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If you’re wondering how much Australian house prices are, this blog post will run through the median house price and unit/flat price in Australia’s major cities.
Before buying a house in Australia, it’s crucial to research the Australian property market to learn about real estate trends and average prices in the different regions. The median house price in Sydney is currently 2.4-times higher than the median house price in Perth, for example.
While British expats from London or the southeast of England can usually buy a much bigger home in places like Perth or Adelaide than they could afford in the UK, anyone from a cheaper area moving to Sydney or Melbourne will find quite the opposite.
The price of my old 3-bedroom house in the West Midlands, for example, would only buy a studio apartment in Sydney.
Australian property prices have also increased dramatically during the pandemic, and many people are wondering when the Australian housing market will crash. Australian house prices have already started to fall in some regions, so this report will run through the current growth or decline rates in each city too.
Read on to find out more about the Australian housing market in 2022. Alternatively, watch my YouTube video below.
Changes in the Australian Property Market During the Pandemic
First, let’s run through some of the changes and trends that have emerged in the Australian property market during the pandemic. It’s important to get an understanding of why house prices stand at their current values and where they may be heading.
Australian Property Bubble/Boom
According to a report by CoreLogic Australia, property prices in Australia went up 22.4% on average during the 12 months up until the end of January 2022.
To give you an idea of how abnormal that level of growth is, the Sydney property market during that 12-month period went up 25.5% in value. Whereas, the Sydney house price growth over the previous 10 years was only 7.8% per year.
In a nutshell, Australia experienced a major housing boom in 2021 that has made property extremely unaffordable for many people.
Relocating from Cities to Regional Areas
One trend in Australia during the pandemic has been to move out of the major cities to live in regional areas.
Many people now work from home and no longer need to reach the office every day, and have therefore chosen to move to regional areas that are lower density with cheaper property prices.
Suburbs just outside of the capital cities have become very popular, which has created a larger demand for property in those regions and thus pushed up the price of homes.
Many regional areas in Australia have seen property prices increase at a faster rate during the pandemic than the capital cities, which is quite unusual.
For example, property in the Central Coast, which is a lovely beach area in New South Wales, just north of Sydney, went up 32% in value during the 12 months up until the end of September 2021.
Moving from City Centres to Lower-Density Areas
Another property trend during the pandemic is to move out of city centres to lower density areas on the outskirts of the cities or near beaches.
For example, in Sydney, a lot of wealthy city workers previously lived either in the city or in the Eastern Suburbs beaches, where they could easily reach their workplace. Many chose to move to the Northern Beaches region of Sydney during the pandemic, which is further out and generally lower density.
Property prices in Sydney’s Northern Beaches increased by 37.2% during the 12 months up until September 2021, more than any other local government area in Australia. The median house price in the region went up by $618k.
Moving from NSW and Victoria to Queensland
Another relocation trend during the pandemic has been to leave colder states, like NSW or Victoria, to move up to Queensland, which has a warmer, more tropical climate.
Brisbane and the surrounding regional areas, such as the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, have become really popular to live in, which has pushed their property prices up.
During the 12 months up until the end of September 2021, property values in the Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane, went up 30.2%. House prices in the Gold Coast, just South of Brisbane, went up 26.7%.
Buying Houses Instead of Apartments
Many people chose to buy houses in Australia rather than apartments during COVID-19, which further widened the gap in price between houses and apartments.
Growth in Australian Property Prices During the Pandemic
To illustrate how Australian house prices have changed during the pandemic, here are the growth rates for each of Australia’s state capital cities between the start of April 2020 and the end of May 2022.
Note that Sydney and Melbourne are slightly ahead of other cities in the property cycle, and both Sydney and Melbourne house prices have been coming down since early 2022. This has obviously reduced their average growth rates across the period compared to the other cities.
- With the highest growth in Australia between April 2020 and May 2022, Brisbane property prices increased by a whopping 40.5%.
- Adelaide had the second-highest growth during that period, with average house prices increasing by 39.7%.
- Third is the Canberra property market, with an average increase of 38.1%.
- Hobart had the fourth-highest rise in property values from April 2020 to May 2022, with a 37.2% increase.
- At number five is Darwin, which saw growth of 27.5% in property prices.
- Sydney had the sixth-highest level of growth during the first two years of the pandemic, with house prices increasing by 23.9%.
- The city with the second-lowest rise in property values was Perth, at 22.9%.
- The lowest increase in house prices during the period was Melbourne, with an increase of 10.5% on average.
Australian House Prices Annual Change in Value 2022
Next, I’ll run through the changes in property prices for each city during the 12 months to the end of May 2022, to give you an idea of current movements.
- The Australian city with the highest growth in house prices during the year to 31 May 2022 was Brisbane, with an average increase of 27.8%.
- Adelaide came second, with average property market growth of 26.1%.
- Third is the Canberra property market, with an average rise of 18.7%.
- Hobart had the fourth-largest gain in property values in the year to 31 May 2022, with a 17.3% increase.
- Fifth place is Sydney house prices, with annual growth of 10.3%.
- Darwin house prices had the sixth highest rise, at 6.4%.
- Melbourne had the second-lowest property market gain, at 5.8%.
- The city with the lowest annual rise in property values to 31 May 2022 was Perth, with an increase of only 5.6%.
Australian Median House Prices June 2022
To give you an idea of Australia’s varying property markets, here are the current median house prices in Australia for each capital city using the the CoreLogic monthly property report released at the start of June 2022.
Remember that median means the middle value, so half the properties in those cities will be cheaper than the specified value and half will be more expensive.
- The median house price in Sydney as at 1 June 2022 was $1.4 million, making it the most expensive Australian city to buy a house.
- Canberra house prices were the second-most expensive, with a median value of $1.1 million.
- Melbourne house prices were the third-highest of the capital cities in Australia, with a median value of $992k.
- Brisbane had the fourth-highest property values for houses, with a median price of $886k.
- Fifth place was Hobart, with a median house price of $797k.
- Adelaide houses had the sixth-lowest value in Australia, with a median price of $688k.
- With a median house price of $584k, Darwin had the second-cheapest house prices.
- The capital city with the cheapest real estate in Australia in the year to 31 May 2022 was Perth, with a median house price of only $583k.
Australian Median Unit/Apartment Prices June 2022
If you’re interested in buying an apartment in Australia, here are the median prices for units (flats) from the same June 2022 CoreLogic report.
- Sydney unit prices were the most expensive in Australia, with a median value of $830k
- The second-most expensive city was Melbourne, with a median apartment price of $629k.
- Canberra unit prices were the third-highest of the capital cities in Australia, with a median value of $622k.
- Hobart had the fourth-highest unit prices, with a median value of $590k.
- Fifth-most expensive for flats was Brisbane, with median price of $499k.
- Adelaide apartments had the sixth-lowest median value in Australia, at $416k.
- With a median price of $411k, Perth had the second-cheapest unit prices in Australia.
- The city with the cheapest real estate in Australia for apartments, during the year to 31 May 2022 was Darwin, with a median unit price of only $370k.
Average Quarterly Property Growth Rates in Australian Cities to 31 May 2022
To give you an idea get of where the property values are heading in each city, I’m going to run through the growth or decline for each of the capital cities in Australia during the three months from 1 March 2022 to 31 May 2022.
- The Australian city with the highest quarterly growth in house prices was Adelaide, with an average increase of 5.7%.
- The Brisbane property market had the second-highest growth in the quarter, with an average gain of 4.6%.
- The third-highest gain was in the Perth property market, with an increase of 2.7%.
- Darwin had the fourth-largest gain in property values, with a 2.2% increase.
- Canberra also saw property market growth of 2.2%.
- Hobart had the lowest gain of the Australian cities that rose in price during the quarter, at 0.3%.
- Melbourne house prices dropped by 0.8% during the period.
- The city with the largest decline in property values during the three months to 31 May 2022 was Sydney, with a decrease of 1.4%.
When Will Australian House Prices Fall?
As you saw above, average house prices in Sydney and Melbourne have already started to fall. Canberra property prices also declined in May 2022, and the Hobart property market started to drop in June 2022. The growth in the other cities has slowed down too.
While the Australian housing market still has a long way to drop before reaching pre-COVID prices, and some cities are still rising in value, it does seem Australia’s property bubble, or housing boom, has ended for much of the country.
The national housing value index in Australia declined by 0.1% in May 2022 and 0.6% in June 2022.
How Interest Rates are Affecting the Australian Housing Market
Something important to note about Australia, is that inflation is currently over 5%, which is very high. Th cost of living has gone up at the fastest rate in 20 years.
To counteract the high inflation, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) began raising the Cash Rate Target on 4th May 2022, for the first time since 2010. This rate is the Australian equivalent of the Bank of England Base Rate and affects interest rates across the country.
Increasing the Cash Rate means that interest rates on mortgages will go up, and many existing borrowers will see their mortgage payments rise. Higher interest rates will also decrease the amount that home buyers can afford to borrow, thus lowering house prices in Australia.
The Cash Rate Target has so far been raised from 0.1% to 1.35% (as at 6 July 2022), and rate raises are predicted to continue throughout the year.
I hope that was useful for those of you thinking of moving to Australia or simply buying a house in Australia for the first time. If you’ll be renting when you first move over, read my post on rental prices in Australia next.
To learn more about Australian homes, check out my post on Australian vs UK houses!
If you want to look at property for sale in Australia, the best real estate websites in Australia are realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. They are similar to Rightmove in the UK.
Let me know in the comments if you’re thinking of buying a property in Australia, and how you’re finding the process!
Lisa Bull, founder of Dreaming of Down Under, has been living in Australia as a British expat since 2015. After travelling to every state and territory in Australia and living in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, Lisa knows from first-hand experience the best destinations to visit in Australia and the best budget travel tips. Her guides on this blog have been read by over 700k readers and helped thousands of people achieve their dream of living in or travelling Australia.