Seven of the eight capital cities delivered growth in their house prices during 2020, according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

The price increases were highest in Darwin, which grew 12% last year, followed by Canberra’s 8.5%, Hobart’s 7.7% and Adelaide’s 6%. Melbourne was the only city to record a decline in its median house price, down 2% in 2020.

Sydney (up 4%), Brisbane (4.6%) and Perth (2%) all recorded moderate growth in their house prices, in a year when most of the nation’s cities defied the pandemic and its negative economic impacts.

The average growth figure for the combined capitals was reported by CoreLogic as 2.6%, a number that seems unreasonably low given that six of the eight cities had growth considerably higher than that.

Apartment markets did not fare as well as houses, with four cities delivering price growth, two recording no change and two (Brisbane and Sydney) having small declines in their median unit prices. The combined cities average was a rise of 0.2% in 2020.

So the capital cities did pretty well in the pandemic year, especially the smaller ones …

BUT …

Regional property markets across Australia out-performed the capital cities – and by a considerable margin.

CoreLogic data shows that the result for the Combined Regions was a rise of 7% for houses and 6% for units, compared to 2.6% and 0.2% for the Combined Capital Cities.

House prices rose –

  • 12% in Regional Tasmania (compared to 7.7% in Hobart)
  • 8.8% in Regional NSW (compared to 4% in Sydney)
  • 7.8% in Regional South Australia (compared to 6% in Adelaide)
  • 7.3% in Regional Queensland (compared to 4.6% in Brisbane)
  • 5.5% in Regional Victoria (compared to a 2% decline in Melbourne)

Unit markets also did well in the regions, with price increases headed by South Australia (up 11.7%) and Tasmania (up 10.5%).

NSW, Victoria and Queensland all recorded unit price rises between 5.5% and 6.5% in the regional areas.

The only regional market to record price decline was Western Australia, which dropped both for houses and for units.

So, overall, an amazingly positive result for property prices in a year that threw up all kinds of hurdles – and in defiance of the negative predictions by economists and journalists.

All this was achieved without a great deal of involvement from investors.

And that’s one of the things that will be different this year.

Stand by for a big big year in residential real estate in 2021.

News Archive