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2017 was a year when Australia's housing market didn't go to script

Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

When it’s all said and done, 2017 will be likely be regarded as a year when Australia’s housing market didn’t go to script.

Faced with a wall of supply following Australia’s record-breaking apartment construction boom in previous years, many were concerned that it would lead to widespread price declines, especially in Brisbane and to a lesser degree Melbourne.

House prices, in comparison, were expected to outperform.

However, that didn’t happen.

According to data released by CoreLogic this week, capital city unit prices rose by 5.1% last year on a weighted basis, topping a 4% increase in house prices over the same period.

As seen in the excellent chart below from Pete Wargent, co-founder and CEO of AllenWargent, posted on his blog, much of that was due to the Sydney housing market — the largest in the country — where apartment prices rose by 5.4% in 2017, far outpacing a 2.1% increase in house prices.


And while unit prices in Brisbane fell by 1.2%, those in Melbourne defied the doomsday predictions, jumping by an impressive 8.4%, all but ensuring apartment prices outperformed houses during the calendar year given the sheer size of the Sydney and Melbourne markets.

In other markets, unit prices rose by 9.1% in Hobart, making it the top performer of any capital city during the year. Elsewhere prices rose by 0.5% and 2.1% respectively in Adelaide and Canberra.

Perth and Darwin, along with Brisbane, were the only markets to experience falls, losing 0.9% and 8.8% respectively.

For houses, Hobart also topped the list for the fastest increase in prices at 12.9%, edging out Melbourne where prices rose by 9.1%.

Gains of 3.1%, 3.3% and 5.8% were recorded in Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra while those in Perth and Darwin fell by 2.6% and 5.3% respectively.

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