Disclaimer: Budget Direct has taken all due care in providing the following statistics which have been obtained from the sources referenced throughout. Budget Direct takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the data.

Quick Stats

  • The median national property price is $549,918.
  • Between February 2019 to February 2020, the house price index in Australia rose by 6.1%, with a monthly rise of 1.1%.
  • Through analysis of Australia’s eight major capital cities, Sydney, NSW has the highest median property price at $872,934 while Darwin has the lowest median property price at $386,345.

Median home prices

The national house price index rose by 1.1% over the month of February. Sydney rose by 1.7%, and Melbourne rose by 1.2%. While there was a modest rise across most capital cities, Darwin property value decreased by 1.4%.

The best performing capital city between November 2019 to February 2020 was Sydney, with an overall rise of 4.6%. Recent data shows that every capital city, excluding Darwin, shows an upwards trajectory across pricing indexes.1 This increase could be a result of low mortgage rates, and better access to housing credit on a national basis.

Just 25 years ago, the median price for a house in Australia was $111,524, and a unit was $123,840. Fast forward to 2020, the median national value of a house has grown by 412%, and units 316%2 with the median national property price now $549,918. It’s predicted by 2043, with an average annual rise of 8.6%, the national median house value could be nearly 3 million dollars, and unit value 2.3 million. 

Weighted average property price index

This data shows percentage growth or decrease in residential property prices in Australia’s eight capital cities, it represents an aggregation of the established house price index and attached dwelling price index. 

Source: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6416.0Dec%202019

Median home prices Australia by city 2020

Capital city Monthly rise Annual rise Median property value
Sydney 1.7% 10.9% $872,934
Melbourne 1.2% 10.7% $689,099
Brisbane 0.6% 1.9% $503,265
Perth 0.3% 0.4% $439,453
Adelaide 0.1% -4.0% $442,691
Canberra 0.8% 5.0% $488,968
Hobart 0.8% -7.8% $386,345
Darwin -1.4% 4.1% $631,862
Capitals
combined
1.2% 7.3% $637,701

Sydney

The current median property price in Sydney is $872,934. Dwelling prices across Sydney increased by 1.7%, in February 2020, with an overall increase of 4.6% in the latest quarter. In the last year, Sydney dwelling values increased by 10.9%, and are currently sitting at -3.7% below the record high, which was set in July 2017. It’s predicted by 2043, with an average annual rise of 8.6%, the national median house value could be nearly 3 million dollars, and unit value 2.3 million.

Melbourne

The current median property price in Melbourne is $689,099. Dwelling prices across Melbourne increased by 1.2% in February 2020, with an overall increase of 3.9% in the latest quarter. In the last year, Melbourne dwelling values increased by 10.7%, and are currently sitting at a record high. 

Brisbane

The current median property price in Brisbane is $503,265. Dwelling prices across Brisbane increased by 0.6% in February 2020, with an overall increase of 1.7% in the last quarter. In the last year, Brisbane dwelling values have increased by 1.9%, and are currently sitting at a record high.

Perth

The current median property price in Perth is $442,691. Dwelling prices across Perth increased by 0.3% in February 2020, with an overall increase of 0.4% in the last quarter. In the last year, Perth dwelling values have decreased by -4.0%, and are currently sitting at -21.0% below the record high, which was set in June 2014. 

Adelaide

The current median property price in Adelaide is $439,453. Dwelling prices across Adelaide increased by 0.1% in February 2020, with an overall increase of 0.8% in the last quarter. In the last year, Adelaide dwelling values have increased by 0.4%, and are currently sitting at a record high.

Canberra

The current median property price in Canberra is $631,862. Dwelling prices across Canberra increased by 0.8% in February 2020, with an overall increase of 1.1% in the last quarter. Over the last 12 months, Canberra dwelling values have increased by 4.1%, and are currently sitting at a record high.

Hobart

The current median property price in Hobart is $488,968. Dwelling prices across Hobart increased by 0.8% in February 2020, with an overall increase of 1.9% in the last quarter. In the last year, Hobart dwelling values have increased by 5.0%, and are currently sitting at a record high.

Darwin

The current median property price in Darwin is $386,345. Dwelling prices across Darwin decreased by 1.4% in February 2020, with an overall decrease of -1.8% in the last quarter. Over the last 12 months, Darwin dwelling values have decreased by -7.8%, and are currently sitting -37% below the record high, which was set in May 2014.

Home prices vs income

In Australia, there is currently 1.8 trillion dollars’ worth of outstanding mortgage debt.3

House pricing across Australia has steadily increased since the 1980s. Between 1980–2015, The OECD’s price to income ratio index shows a 78% increase.4

According to recent data, the median gross household annual income is currently $88,4525, with the national median house price across Australia’s capital cities is sitting at $637,701.

That makes the median house price 7.2 times the current median gross household income.

Between 2007–2008, the median gross household annual income was $83,564, while the national median house price across Australia’s capital cities was approximately $475,000.

That made the median house price 5.6 times the gross annual household income.

Over 12 years, house prices have steadily inclined, while median household income has remained relatively stagnant. It’s estimated that property prices in capital cities will continue to grow in 2020 into 2021, following an increase at the end of 2019. According to Domain, a key factor in this growth is lower interest rates.6

Median capital city house prices over time

Sydney

Melbourne

Brisbane

Adelaide

Perth

Hobart

Darwin

Canberra

In most Australian capital cities, house prices are appearing to stabilise and enter a new period of growth. According to recent data, Australian’s are spending 35% of their gross annual income to service their mortgage.7 31% of people earning less than $50,000 state they would struggle to raise a 5% deposit for a property, while 41% state they would struggle to raise more than 10%.

Home prices vs rent

According to CoreLogic Data, a third of properties across Australia (33.9%) had estimated mortgage repayments that were lower than weekly rental repayments.8 An example of this can be seen in Hobart, where rent value grew 5.8% between January 2019 – 2020, outpacing property value growth by 5.0%.

In comparison, only 7.1% of properties in Sydney are more affordable to buy instead of rent. Data suggests this percentage is in areas of Sydney with high levels of units that have limited price growth.

Capital City Median Rental Price (Unit) Median Rental Price (Houses) Median Property Value
Sydney $510 $525 $872,934
Melbourne $420 $430 $689,099
Brisbane $385 $410 $503,265
Adelaide $315 $390 $439,453
Perth $310 $370 $442,691
Hobart $410 $460 $488,968
Canberra $460 $580 $631,862
Darwin $360 $495 $386,345

Percentage of properties in capital cities where having a mortgage is less than renting

Source: CoreLogic

Australia vs other countries

According to recent data sources, Australian property prices are amongst the highest in the world. Sydney and Melbourne’s median property prices are 60% less affordable than the US’s Seattle and New York.9 House prices are predicted to grow by 8% in 2020, with unit prices expected to grow by 6%.10

Housing affordability is a major problem across Australia, sources show that property prices have more than doubled since the early 2000s.11 Internationally, Sydney ranks as the third most unaffordable housing market behind Hong Kong and Vancouver. Sydney is the least affordable capital city, with a median multiple of 11.0, Australia’s national median multiple is 5.9.

Country Median Property Price Median Gross Household Income Median Rental Price (per week)
Australia $549,918 $88,452 $380
New Zealand $629,000 (NZ) $102,613 (NZ) $515 (NZ)
USA $247,084 (US) $65,666 (US) $252 (US)
Canada $531,000 (CAN) $71,011 (CAN) $431 (CAN)

New Zealand

New Zealand’s most unaffordable housing market is the city of Auckland, with a median multiple of 8.6, which decreased from 9.0 in 2018. Housing affordability, similarly to Australia, is a primary concern across New Zealand. According to New Zealand’s 2019 IPSOS survey, more than 5 out of 3 (62%) of New Zealander’s believe they cannot afford to buy a home in their local property market. Housing affordability is in the top 3 concerns for people living in New Zealand, including poverty and inequality of healthcare.

USA

The USA has a moderately unaffordable property market, with a median multiple of 3.6. Factors that contribute to this lower ratio include – the growth of household income and lower unemployment nationally. According to the 2019 Demographia Survey, the USA has the most favourable property market. Los Angeles (LA), is the least affordable city with a median multiple of 9.2. Californian property markets are noted to be the least affordable across the USA.

Canada

According to the most recent Demographia Survey, Canada has two of the ten least affordable housing markets. Key issues surrounding affordability is the growth of house prices in contrast to household income. Vancouver has the second least affordable housing market with a median multiple of 11.9, Canada has an overall moderately affordable median multiple of 3.9.

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