Last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released their heavily anticipated Residential Property Price Index for Q3 2020, showing growth in median prices for most cities and regional markets. Why was Q3 of so much interest? Aside from Melbourne, Q3 is when most of the country shifted the coronavirus pandemic to their rear-view mirror. Accumulatively, the growth in housing values represents approximately $90 billion of additional equity in the residential property market. The total value of dwelling stock is now at a record high $7.28 trillion. In addition, the average Australian home is worth 4.5 percent more than it was 12 months ago.
Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth were Australia’s best capital city performers for quarter-on-quarter performance in September. They recorded 1.6, 1.5 and 1.4 percent quarterly growth respectively. For obvious reasons, Melbourne was alone when it came to declines, recording -0.3 percent quarterly growth. In the attached dwelling market, Brisbane and Perth outperformed the other capitals, heralding the positive 2021-23 forecasts made of these two cities by many economists toward the latter part of 2020.
The winners of 2020 were regional markets, having experienced considerably less disruption to life than the virus hotspots of major capitals. Houses in regional WA, for instance, experienced a 7.8 percent increase in median price over the 12 months to Q3 2020. At a suburban level, the Blue Mountains suburb of Leura grew by 7.8 percent between January and November 2020. That’s not to say 2020 didn’t produce some unexpected results. Despite being near the epicentre of the country’s second coronavirus wave, the inner-north Melbourne suburb of Coburg recorded a median house price increase of more than 17 percent over the calendar year. Earlier in 2020, REA reported the suburb had joined the list of esteemed million-dollar suburbs.