Australian house prices are showing no sign of slowing down

Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

If the latest figures from CoreLogic are anything to go by, Australian capital city house prices are continuing to accelerate.

Here’s a table from the group showing price changes in Australia’s five mainland state capitals over the past week, month and year.

Source: CoreLogic

Prices rose in all capitals last week, according to the group, led by Adelaide and Brisbane at 0.5%.

Over the past month, Melbourne, at 3.7%, have seen prices surge higher, closely followed by Sydney where they’ve increased by 2.2% over the same period.

Prices in both cities have now increased by 4.3% and 5.0% respectively so far in 2017. Adelaide, where prices have risen by 1.9% over the same period, comes in at a distant third place.

Reflective of the trend over the past 12 months, prices in Sydney have now increased by 18.9% from the same week in 2016. Price growth in Melbourne over the same period isn’t far behind at 14.7%.

CoreLogic says that prices in Sydney grew by 104.5% from January 2009 to February 2017, outpacing Melbourne where they increased by 87.7% over the same period.

Continued strength in house prices has seen housing affordability concerns take centre stage in Australian political circles in recent months at both the state and federal level.

Politicians have been floating any number of potential solutions to help address affordability concerns, including potentially allowing prospective first-home buyers to access their super to fund a deposit for home purchase.

The idea has drawn criticism from some parties, including from former Australian PM Paul Keating who said earlier today that as an economic idea it was “scandalous”.

Many suggests that allowing super to fund housing deposits will only increase demand, leading to higher prices and exacerbating affordability even further.

Other ideas, such as lowering or eliminating stamp duty for first time buyers, private-public partnerships to finance home purchases, allowing owner-occupier mortgage interest rate costs to be deductible from personal income tax and potential changes to the capital gains tax discount available to investors have all been floated as potential solutions to improving affordability in recent months.

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