Sydney house prices have hit a new record, and have grown at their strongest rate in more than a year.
The Domain Group’s quarterly house report has shown a 2.7% rise for Sydney prices over the September quarter, taking the median house price in the city to a record $1,068,303. Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson put some of the city’s price growth down to investor activity, which surged 9.2% for the year to August.
“The growth is raging back into Sydney. We have auction clearance rates in the mid-80% range, and there were two interest cuts in August and May this year,” Wilson said.
According to Domain, the city’s lower north shore saw the strongest growth, with house prices up 12% year-on-year.
Melbourne saw strong growth over the quarter as well. The median house price in Melbourne hit $773,669, a 3.1% rise for the quarter and 9.1% higher over the year. Wilson said Melbourne and Sydney were outliers compared to other capitals.
“This is clearly a two-speed housing market, maybe three-speed. Melbourne and Sydney are in front, and maybe it’s second gear for all the other markets except Darwin and Perth. They’re in reverse still,” Wilson told the Australian Financial Review.
Indeed, median prices fell 3.3% for the quarter in Darwin, down 10% year-on-year, while Perth prices fell 2% over the quarter to be 3.8% lower for the year. The median price in Perth, at $566,609, is at its lowest since March 2013, Domain said.
Darwin and Perth were the only capital cities to see year-on-year price declines, though prices were down on a quarterly basis in Brisbane and Adelaide. Brisbane median prices fell 0.9% for the quarter, while median prices in Adelaide edged 0.3% lower.