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House prices defy pandemic to hit record high

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

National house prices leapt to new highs at the end of 2020, scotching dire predictions of a pandemic-induced market collapse.

Australia's houses are now more expensive than they have been at any time in history, just 12 months after the country was locked down due to a global pandemic.

Domain's quarterly House Price report showed that for the 2020 December quarter, Australia's national average price for a house was $852,940.

That's an increase of 5.8 per cent year-on-year and a dramatic 4.1 per cent lift in just one quarter.

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The nation's average was driven up by every single capital except Darwin and Perth posting record high house prices as buyers flood the market.

Sydney remains the most expensive market to buy a house, where the average for the city sits in excess of a wallet-squealing $1.2 million.

Melbourne is a close second with an average house price of $936,073, followed by Canberra ($855,530), Brisbane ($616,387) and Adelaide ($574,264).

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The top eight is then rounded out by Hobart ($533,845 – a record 12.4 per cent year-on-year increase), Perth ($563,214) and Darwin ($533,845).

Domain's Senior Research Analyst Dr Nicola Powell said while the value of houses jumped exponentially, the value of units climbed only modestly.

"National house prices reached a record high at the end of 2020. The 4.1 per cent gain over the December quarter to $852,940 marks the steepest quarterly jump in four years," Dr Powell said.

"House prices across all capital cities are now at new peaks, apart from Darwin and Perth.

"National unit prices increased a more modest 1.3 per cent over the December quarter to $574,245 and now are only 1.4 per cent below the mid-2017 peak and could surpass this high over the next quarter."

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According to Dr Powell, the reasons for the strong rebound of the housing market are numerous.

Take Melbourne for example – despite enduring the worst pandemic lockdown of any capital city, its year-on-year growth was a considerable 3.9 per cent.

"Despite the economic shock of COVID-19, Melbourne's housing market has defied the odds," Dr Powell said.

"Significant government stimulus, mortgage holidays, tumbling interest rates and a pause in market activity during lockdown provided support.

"First home buyers have stomped back into the market utilising incentives, low mortgage rates and a deeper savings pot as COVID restrictions reduce discretionary spending."

READ MORE: Sydney's 2021 property hotspots predicted

Domain House Price Report: December Quarter 2020

Capital city:

Average house price:

Year-on-year growth:



+ 6.7 per cent



+ 3.9 per cent



+ 5.6 per cent



+ 6.1 per cent



+ 9.1 per cent



+ 6.3 per cent



+ 12.4 per cent



+ 3.6 per cent



+ 5.8 per cent

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Source: 9News

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