Australian property value breaks $8 trillion barrier for the first time: ABS

homes-in-australia-near-the-beach

$8.29 trillion - it’s a barely conceivable figure, but according to quarterly figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday, that number represents the new total value of residential dwellings in Australia.

It’s a new high water mark for the value of Australia’s 10.6 million residential properties, swelled on by a record $449.9 billion increase during the March quarter.

As a result, the ABS revealed that the mean residential price in Australia rose by 5.4% over the quarter to $779,000, while property in Australia’s most expensive state (New South Wales) hit a new record average.

"The total value of residential dwellings in Australia surpassed $8 trillion for the first time. NSW accounted for approximately 40 per cent or $3.3 trillion of Australia's total value of dwellings,” said the ABS’s head of prices statistics, Michelle Marquardt.

“The average price of residential dwellings in NSW rose to $1.01 million. This was the first time any state or territory had seen the average price of dwellings rise above $1 million."

As the table below shows, New South Wales may be the most expensive state in the country by some distance, but prices have also increased considerably in every other state over the past quarter.

Mean price of residential dwellings (Source: ABS Residential Property Price Index)

December 2020March 2021Change
NSW$953,300$1,010,0005.9%
VIC$794,100$834,6005.1%
QLD$563,200$586,2004.1%
SA$503,700$524,0004.0%
WA$554,100$582,8005.2%
TAS$498,200$528,4006.1%
NT$458,700$480,4004.7%
ACT$767,100$809,6005.5%

Drilling down, the latest figures also show the continued strength of house prices in particular,  which were up 6.4% over the quarter - the largest increase recorded by the ABS since tracking began in 2002.

Prices of apartments and other ‘attached dwellings’ also rose, but by a relatively modest 2.7%.

“Price rises were observed in all segments of the housing market with growth in house prices continuing to outpace price growth in attached dwellings," Marquardt said.

"Results this quarter were consistent with housing market conditions. Strong demand for housing was supported by record low interest rates, government initiatives, and rising consumer confidence.”

While the latest price figures will no doubt be welcome news to many existing homeowners, they’ll do nothing to sideline concerns about the issue of housing affordability.

According to the Bureau’s latest lending indicators, the number of home loans being taken out by first home buyers has now fallen for three consecutive months, with suggestions that these buyers are, once again, beginning to be priced out of the market.

RELATED: Could first home buyers be shut out as property prices surge?

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