The average price of a house in Australia has risen to $656,800

Photo: Mark Dadswell/ Getty.

Australia’s 9.8 million residential dwellings were worth a collective $6.439 trillion at the end of the December quarter last year, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this morning.

The Bureau’s residential property price index (RPPI) said that capital city prices rose by a hefty 4.1% in weighted terms during the quarter, leaving the increase on the same quarter a year earlier at 7.7%.

The quarterly increase was the largest since the June quarter of 2015.

In dollar terms, that equated to an increase in the value of Australia’s housing stock of $274.8 billion in just three months.

The average price of a residential dwelling across the country rose to $656,800, an increase of $25,400 on the prior quarter.

The total number of dwellings increased by 39,600 over the same period.

Source: ABS

By individual capital, the ABS said that prices surged by 5.3% and 5.2% respectively in Melbourne and Sydney over the quarter, a result that fits with other alternative house price indicators.

Hobart, with prices up 4.5%, took out third spot, followed by Canberra and Brisbane with gains of 2.8% and 2.2% apiece.

Darwin was the only capital to record a drop in prices during the quarter, sliding 1.5%.

Source: ABS

From a year earlier, the ABS said that prices in Melbourne grew by 10.8%, the fastest of all the capitals. Sydney, at 10.3%, wasn’t far behind.

Prices also increased by 8.8%, 5.5%, 4.1% and 3.8% respectively in Hobart, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane, reflective of broad strength in the nation’s southeastern capitals.

At the other end of the spectrum, prices in Australia’s mining capitals — Perth and Darwin — went backwards, falling 4.1% and 7.0% respectively.

Nationally, and largely reflective of the strong performance from the Melbourne and Sydney markets — the largest markets in the country — house prices increased by 4.7% over the quarter. Those for attached dwellings rose by a smaller 2.3%.

This table shows the individual performance by capital over the quarter, breaking the results down by houses and attached dwellings.

Source: ABS

By individual capital, house prices in Sydney grew by 13.1% in Melbourne and 12.0% in Sydney over the year, easily ahead of third-placed Hobart at 8.3%.

House prices in Adelaide (4.3%) and Canberra (6.6%) increased but fell in Perth (3.8%) and Darwin (7.9%).

For attached dwellings, prices increased by a whopping 11.6% in Hobart, the fastest of all the capitals. That was near double second-paced Sydney at 6.7%.

Prices rose by a smaller 3.2% in Melbourne, and went backwards by 0.3%

Elsewhere, prices for attached dwellings recorded small gains in Canberra (2.0%) and Adelaide (2.9%) but fell in Perth (5.2%) and Darwin (5.0%).

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