CoreLogic’s national home value index rose by 2.8 per cent in March – the fastest rate of appreciation in more than 30 years.
The growth rate was the highest month-on-month gain since October 1988, when values rose by 3.2 per cent.
The strong growth conditions remain broad-based, with values rising by at least 1.4 per cent across each of the capital cities, as well as ‘rest-of-state’ areas over the month.
Sydney had the greatest capital gains in March, with values rising by 3.7 per cent over the month and 6.7 per cent higher over the first quarter of the year.
CoreLogic’s research director Tim Lawless said the last time Sydney housing values recorded a quarterly trend as strong as this was in June/July 2015.
“Following this brief surge, the pace of growth rapidly slowed as limits on investor lending kicked in to slow the market,” Mr Lawless said.
NSW also recorded the highest gains across the regional markets, with values rising by 2.8 per cent over the month.
Sydney and Melbourne have now fully recovered from earlier downturn, and with an acceleration in capital gains across the two cities, the larger capitals have started to outpace many of the smaller cities previously leading the charge in growth.
Sydney dwelling values are now 2.6 per cent higher than their July 2017 peak, rebounding from a -14.9 per cent drop in values through to May 2019 and a further -2.9 per cent fall throughout the COVID downturn.
Melbourne housing values have also recovered from the -11.1 per cent fall between 2017 and 2019, and a subsequent -5.6 per cent drop in values during the height of the COVID-related downturn to reach a new record high in March.
Additionally, for the first time in a year, growth in capital city housing values outpaced the regional markets.
CoreLogic’s combined capital cities index recorded a lift of 2.8 per cent in March compared with a 2.5 per cent gain across the combined regionals index.
“Housing values in regional areas are 11.4 per cent higher over the past year, demonstrating the earlier stronger growth trend,” Mr Lawless said.
“Capital city values are now 4.8 per cent higher on an annual basis with the acceleration in growth evident in March.”
Victoria was the only state where regional housing values rose at a faster pace than their capital city counterparts, with a 2.6 per cent increase in the regions compared with a 2.4 per cent rise across Melbourne.
Lower-density housing continued to outpace higher-density housing for capital gains last month.
Nationally, house values were 3 per cent higher over the month, with unit values rising by a more modest 1.9 per cent.
Across the combined capital cities, the quarterly growth rate for houses – 6.5 per cent – was more than double that of units (3.1 per cent).
“Despite the underperformance, unit markets have turned a corner, with Sydney recording 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,” Mr Lawless said.