Image – Canva
  • Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra outperformed Sydney and Melbourne
  • Hobart's market grew 5.9 times over 20 years
  • Every capital city had periods of falling prices

Despite the widespread belief that price growth comes from Australia’s largest capital cities, new research has found that Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra have been the strongest-performing property markets over the past two decades.

Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) board member and property academic, Peter Koulizos, found that the smaller markets have outperformed Sydney and Melbourne since 2002.

Koulizos found that Hobart’s market has grown 5.90 times over the past 20 yeast, ahead of Adelaide (4.1) and Canberra (4.08).

Brisbane’s housing market increased 4.05 times over that period, followed by Melbourne (3.49) and Sydney (3.48).

“We always hear about the property markets of our two biggest capital cities because a large proportion of our national population live there, but when it comes to the performance over the long-term, they both are well down the leaderboard according to my analysis,” Koulizos said.

“According to the ABS data, Hobart was the star performer by a country mile over the past two decades, which just goes to show that smaller cities as well as major regional areas can be sound property investment locations.”

Hobart runs hot

Mr Koulizos’ analysis found that the median established house price in Hobart was 5.9 times higher in December 2022 than it was in March 2002, with its median price soaring from $123,300 to $727,000 over the period.

Adelaide’s market was the next best performed with the established median house price 4.1 times higher than 20 years ago with its price increasing from $166,000 to $680,000. Coming third was Canberra, where its median house price is currently 4.08 times more than it was in March of 2002 with its price growing from $245,000 to $999,000 over the period.

Koulizos said our three biggest capital cities produced stellar established median house price increases over the period, too, with Brisbane’s quadrupling from $185,000 to $750,000; while Melbourne and Sydney’s more than tripled, increasing from $241,000 to $842,000 and $365,000 to $1.27 million respectively.

Peter Koulizos – source: supplied

Perth and Darwin laggers

In contrast, Darwin and Perth, both lagged their east coast counterparts, with their established median house prices just 3.16 and 3.05 times higher now than in March 2002.

Darwin’s price is now $600,000, up from $190,000, and Perth’s median price is currently $580,000, up from $190,000 two decades ago, he said.

“What these statistics also showed was that every capital city had periods where median house prices fell, rose, or flat-lined because of a variety of economic factors, including two major global events over the time period in the GFC and the COVID19 pandemic,” Koulizos said.

“As property investment professionals we always encourage property buyers to purchase property as a long-term investment and to do their best to ignore any temporary impacts on median prices or markets more generally. That’s because, as these results show, real estate has a proven history of performance over the decades, with our nation offering a plethora of places – capital city and regional – where homeowners and property investors can strategically purchase property.”

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