The year that was in Australian real estate

Written by in Real Estate on December 23, 2016

What an interesting year it’s been for Australian real estate! There were winners (along the eastern seaboard), losers (in Perth and Darwin), and more than a few property owners who are ending 2016 in a fairly similar position to where they started.

But when all is said and done, how did Australia’s property markets fare overall – and is 2017 set to deliver any significant changes or big surprises?


If anyone was expecting Sydney property prices to keep screaming ahead at a rate of knots this year, then they were slightly misguided. Sydney’s booming price growth in 2015 slowed this year – but overall, the city’s property market continued to move forward, with CoreLogic figures showing growth of more than 10% over the year. Will that double-digit growth continue in 2017? Time will tell…  

Standout listing: Tri-level, mixed-use terrace in Surry Hills sold for $2.455m in November 2016


Melbourne once again recorded strong growth across the year, with REIV figures showing that houses appreciated in the inner city by 8.8%, while apartments grew 2.8%. The outer regions performed just as impressively, with capital growth of 8.3% (houses) and 5.7% (units).

Standout listing: Elegant Toorak mansion sold for $4.3m in March 2016.


At the beginning of 2016, many in the industry practically proclaimed 2016 to be ‘the year of Brisbane’ – but that didn’t quite eventuate. The most recent data from REIQ shows a record high median of $635,000, but throughout the year, values dipped and rebounded, signifying an inconsistent property market.

Standout listing: Grand century-old abode in Ascot sold for $2.125m in July 2016.


Adelaide has achieved annual capital gains of around 4-5% over the course of 2016, at a time when property owners across the state are holding onto their homes for longer than ever. “In South Australia, people have been hanging onto their homes for between 10-11 years, whereas 10 years ago, they were holding for 6-7 years,” says REISA President Alex Ouwens. This lessened market activity has translated to less pressure on property price growth overall.

Standout listing: Stylish, executive family home in Parkside sold for $2.06m in September 2016.


What can we say about Perth that hasn’t been covered many times over already? Are the majority of the city’s suburbs still retracting in value? Yes there are. Has 2016 been one of the worst years on record for landlords? That is correct. Are there any signs of sustained renewal or prosperity on the horizon? Not quite. Perth and the broader Western Australian market are still suffering under the weight of the mining downturn, and next year, we’re likely to see similar sluggish real estate results to 2016.

Standout listing: Prestigious East Perth home sold for $1.8m in January 2016.


While everyone was busy mulling over Melbourne and speculating about Sydney, Canberra has been quietly lifting its game. It’s been a great year for Canberrian property owners, as the real estate market within our political hub ended 2016 more than 8% higher than it began the year, reports CoreLogic. Experts are tipping further growth ahead in 2017.

Standout listing: Four-bedroom family home in Turner sold in May 2016 for $1.655m.


It’s an exciting time for Tasmania, which is finally making headway in the property game after a protracted period of sluggish growth. Whilst our tiniest state is still attracting the smallest proportion of investment activity when compared to its counterparts on the mainland, investor interest in the Apple Isle continues to grow, demonstrating investors’ renewed faith in the Tasmanian market.

Standout listing: Timeless terrace in Battery Point sold for $1.4m in January 2016.


Last but certainly not least is Darwin, which has “interestingly, and somewhat surprisingly, shown an improvement in growth conditions, with annual capital gains moving back into positive territory,” reports Tim Lawless from CoreLogic. Darwin dwellings recorded a 1.1% increase in dwelling values over the past 12 months. The results are supported by “a consistent rise in transaction volumes over recent months, however listing numbers remain very high across Darwin, which is likely to keep a lid on the pace of capital gains for the time being,” he adds.

Standout listing: Multi-tiered mansion in Stuart Park sold for $1.8m in September 2016.

With record low interest rates, are homes really unaffordable? Read more here.