House prices continue to rise as other dwelling values slow down

Australian house prices recorded another increase over the March quarter, while other dwelling types saw price growth slow down.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s (REIA) latest Real Estate Market Facts report the weighted average capital city median price increased 0.8 per cent for houses and decreased 0.8 per cent for other dwellings.

REIA President, Hayden Groves said the weighted average median house price for the eight capital cities increased to $1,033,621 over the March 2022 quarter.

“The median house price rose in all capital cities except Melbourne, Darwin and Canberra,” Mr Groves said.

“Increases ranged from 0.1 per cent in Perth to a substantial 8.2 per cent in Adelaide.”

Sydney has the highest median house price in the country at $1,590,932, while Perth is the cheapest at $525,750.

The weighted average median price for other dwellings for the eight capital cities is now $656,692, a quarterly decrease of 0.8 per cent.

Mr Groves said this demonstrated the nation’s strong demand for detached family dwellings.

“Over the quarter, the median price for other dwellings rose in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Darwin, remained stable in Perth and declined in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart,” he said.

Mr Groves said Sydney had the highest median dwelling value at $796,524, while Perth and Darwin were the lowest at $415,000.

Mr Groves said rents had grown across most capital and regional cities and extremely low vacancy rates represent a serious challenge to those seeking to change their housing options.

“Most major cities recorded fewer rental properties available than the previous quarter with declines in vacancy rates in Sydney (2.3 per cent), Brisbane (0.9 per cent), Adelaide (0.4 per cent), Canberra (0.5 per cent) and Darwin (1.6 per cent),” he said.

“Vacancy rates stabilised in other centres, but remained extremely tight in Hobart at 0.9 per cent, but improved in both Perth 1.2 per cent and Melbourne 5.2 per cent.

“House rents rose in the March quarter, the weighted average median rent for three-bedroom houses in the eight capital cities rising to $488 per week, a quarterly increase of 3.5 per cent.”

Mr Groves said rising rents reminded the nation to continue supporting privately owned residential rental housing in Australia. 

“With almost one-third of all homes rented by mum and dad investors, we cannot afford to disincentivise this group through the introduction of disempowering tenancy laws,” he said.

“During the quarter, the weighted average median rent for two-bedroom other dwellings increased to $450 a week, a quarterly increase of 3.4 per cent.”

Mr Groves said that geopolitics, the newly elected Federal Government’s response to their inherited economic conditions, and whether the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate rises do their job in curbing inflation and the housing supply challenge, will impact how the real estate market plays out in 2022.

“REIA is looking forward to getting to work with the new Federal Minister for Housing, the Hon. Julie Collins MP on a National Plan for Housing to deal with these fundamentals, particularly Australia’s short rental supply,” he said.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.