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Australian house prices continue upward trend, with demand outstripping supply


The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has compiled a report for the December quarter of 2023 indicating a steady rise in property prices within the Australian residential housing market. The REIA’s latest Real Estate Market Facts report revealed an overall increase in property prices across the nation. According to REIA President, Ms Leanne Pilkington, the weighted national average of median prices from the eight Australian capital cities, referred to as the national median price, saw a rise of 1.8% for houses and 1.7% for other dwellings. Ms Pilkington elucidated, “The national median price for houses rose to $1,005,242, over the quarter, an increase of 1.8%.”

The report further detailed that Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, and Hobart experienced an upswing in median house prices, while Melbourne and Darwin faced declines. The magnitude of these increases varied, with Canberra seeing a minimal hike of 1.1%, whereas Perth celebrated a robust growth of 7.5%. Sydney maintained its position as the city with the highest median house price at $1,595,310, marking it 58.7% higher than the national median. Darwin, on the other hand, recorded the lowest median house price at $560,000, 44.3% lower than the national median.

Concerning the trends over the past year to the December quarter, the national median price for houses ascended at a more stable rate of 5.3%. The median price for other types of dwellings also saw an increase to $658,953, representing a quarterly growth of 1.7%. Other dwelling prices went up in all capital cities apart from Melbourne and Hobart, with variations ranging from 0.8% in Canberra to 4.0% in Adelaide. Sydney again topped the list with the highest median price for other dwellings at $795,994, 20.8% higher than the national median, while Darwin presented the lowest median price at $405,000, which is 38.5% lower than the national median. Over the course of 12 months to December, the national median price for other dwellings uplifted by 5.8%.

The REIA report also touched upon the rental market, revealing that the national median rent for three-bedroom houses climbed to $585 per week, marking a quarterly rise of 2.6%. This increase was observed in all capital cities except Sydney, where it remained unchanged. Darwin led with the highest quarterly increment of 6.8%. As for two-bedroom other dwellings, the weighted average median rent ascended to $583 per week, a subtle quarterly increase of 0.4%. Rental prices improved in Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, and Darwin, and stayed stable in the remaining capital cities, with hikes spanning from 0.4% in Darwin to 5.4% in Canberra.

Vacancy rates within the December quarter witnessed a decline in Sydney and Adelaide, but remained steady across other capital cities. The most notable decrease occurred in Sydney by 0.2 percentage points. Adelaide continues to present the most constrained rental market, with a vacancy rate of just 0.5%. The weighted national average of vacancy rates from the eight Australian capital cities slightly rose to 1.6% over the quarter, down by 0.1 percentage points over the quarter and by 0.2 percentage points over the past year. Darwin and Melbourne reported the highest vacancy rates at 2.9% and 2.3%, respectively.

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