House prices rising at fastest pace in 32 years

Dominique Grubisa

Dominique Grubisa

House prices rising at fastest pace in 32 years

Prices for properties in Sydney, Hobart and Canberra surging fastest, according to new CoreLogic data.

The Australian property market is continuing to defy predictions it would be harmed by COVID-19 economic downturn, with housing prices rising at their fastest rate in 32 years, according to new industry data.

Figures from property market analysts CoreLogic show that housing prices surged an average of 2.8 percent nationally in March, with Sydney recording an increase of 3.7 percent over the month. Hobart, which grew by 3.3 percent, and Canberra where the increase was 2.8 percent, were not far behind, while all capital cities recorded price growth.

CoreLogic’s price database, the National Home Value Index, shows the March national price surge is the biggest monthly leap in Australian housing values since the heady days of the 1980s. Prices have not increased so rapidly across a single month since October 1988.

The trend across the full March quarter is also extremely strong. CoreLogic data shows the national housing market rose 5.8 percent across January, February and March, led by Hobart, where prices jumped 7.6 percent, and Sydney, where sale prices rose 6.7 percent.

Sale prices in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra and Brisbane are all at record highs.

Capital city rises for dwellings Past month Past quarter
Sydney 3.7 % 6.7 %
Melbourne 2.4 % 4.9 %
Brisbane 2.4 % 4.8 %
Adelaide 1.5 % 3.2 %
Perth 1.8 % 5.0 %
Hobart 3.3 % 7.6 %
Darwin 2.3 % 5.4 %
Canberra 2.8 % 6.0 %

Source: CoreLogic

CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless says his data shows that Sydney recorded its strongest full quarter rise in nearly six years. “The last time Sydney housing values recorded a quarterly trend this strong was in June/July 2015,” says. “Following [the 2015] surge, the pace of growth rapidly slowed as limits on investor lending kicked in to slow the market.”

For Australians who own property in regional areas, the news from CoreLogic’s data is also positive. Prices in regional areas rose 2.8 percent in the month of March and 6.3 percent in the quarter.

Regional NSW recorded the biggest monthly price growth, rising by 2.8 percent in March, while regional Victoria was not far behind with 2.6 percent growth. Over the full quarter, regional Victoria grew most (7.0 percent) followed by regional Tasmania and regional NSW.

Regional area rises for dwellings Past month     Past quarter
Regional NSW 2.8 % 6.6 %
Regional Vic 2.6 % 7.0 %
Regional Qld 2.3 % 5.8 %
Regional SA 1.4 % 5.9 %
Regional WA 1.7 % 4.8 %
Regional Tas 2.3 % 6.7 %
Regional NT 1.1 % 2.2 %

Source: CoreLogic

Interestingly, the month of March represented the first time in a year when capital city housing value growth outpaced that in regional areas.

“Housing values in regional areas are 11.4 percent higher over the past year, demonstrating the earlier stronger growth trend,” Mr Lawless said. “Capital city values are now 4.8 percent higher on an annual basis, with the acceleration in growth evident in March.”

The CoreLogic data also shows lower density housing is continuing to outpace higher density housing in terms of delivering a capital gain. House values rose 3.0 percent over March, while unit values rose just 1.9 percent. However, Mr Lawless suggested that the outlook for high-density housing might be brighter.

“Despite the underperformance, unit markets have turned a corner,” Mr Lawless said. “Sydney [has recorded] two consecutive months of rising values, while the Melbourne unit market has seen values consistently rising since October last year, with the trend accelerating over recent months.”

Dominique Gurbisa
Dominique Grubisa

Lawyer, Asset Protection Specialist and Property Educator

Dominique Grubisa is a practicing legal practitioner with over 25 years of legal and commercial experience. She is a property investor and developer, an entrepreneur with businesses in Australia and Southeast Asia, a speaker, educator, writer and published author. You may contact Dominique at

This column has been written for general information purposes only. It is not intended as legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such.