Debbie Shankar - 7 Sep, 2015

Housing Boom Finds New Strength

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New research suggests that property listings in Perth and Darwin have risen by more than 20 percent, as median home prices stagnate or fall in these regions. However, other Australian capital cities have seen marginal increases in listings and strong median price increases. Home construction costs vary from city-to-city depending on the type of property that is being constructed.

Perth and Darwin

According to CoreLogic RP Data listings in Darwin are up 20.1 percent to 1,565 and Perth is up 20.3 percent to 19,668. Homes in Darwin are taking 82 days to sell at 7.3 percent discount, and Perth homes are taking 83 days to sell at a 6.4 percent discount.

Perth home values rose marginal during July by 0.1 percent to $530,000 while units fell 5.7 percent to $420,000. Darwin however, experienced declines in both the house and unit sectors. Housing prices fell by 5.7 percent to $570,000 in Darwin, while units fell by 3.2 percent.

Home construction costs in Darwin, at entry level, for a 4-bedroom dwelling range from $1,800 to $2,200 per square metre, with elevated dwellings costing between $2,500 and $2,700 per square metre. Prestige construction typically costs between $3,000 and $5,000 per square metre.

Average construction costs in Perth, at the lower end of the market, range from $915 to $1070 per square metre. At the top end of the market, construction costs span from $2,300 to above $3,000 per square metre.


Canberra had the greatest decline in property listings for the year to August 16 2015. Numbers were down by 11 percent to 1,919. Housing prices in this city rose by 1.4 percent to $593,000. Units, however, fell by 0.6 percent to $412,000. Canberra homes were selling in 34 days at a 2.2 percent discount.

In Canberra, the cost of new home construction remains high. A new 4-bedroom home will cost between $1,400 and $2,000 per square metre, with extensions on existing homes costing between $2,500 and $5,000 per square metre.


Hobart witnessed a growth in both sectors, with house prices rising by 2.4 percent to $320,000 and units rising by 3.8 percent to $282,000. Hobart listings fell by 8.9 percent to 2,539. Homes in this area were selling within 65 days at 6.2 percent discount.


Median home prices in Brisbane have increased by 4.6 percent to $490,000. However, the median unit price for this city decreased by 2.5 percent to $380,000.

New property construction in Brisbane for a 3 to 4-bedroom entry level home will set you back between $900 and $1,100 per square metre. Courtyard homes, on smaller allotments, can cost as much as $1,200 to $1,300 per square metre. Quality builds cost between $2,200 and $3,300 per square metre and architectural designs are typically over $3,500 per square metre.


Adelaide was Australia’s 3rd strongest market, with median home prices rising by 3.4 percent to $425,000 and unit medians rising by 3.1 percent to $342,000. Adelaide homes sold in 64 days at 5.8 percent discount with listings up by 1.0 percent to 7,330.

Over the last 5-years, Adelaide’s building costs are gradually rising. At the lower end of the bracket, homes can be built for approximately $1,250 per square metre in the outer suburbs. Middle suburbs with better quality housing are priced at $1,600 per square metre, and higher end housing in inner city locations can be priced up to $5,000 per square metre.

Sydney and Melbourne

Sydney and Melbourne are still the strongest markets in Australia. Property prices in these capitals are still rising at record rates, with experts questioning when they will peak. Sydney’s median home price reached $922,000 during July with 19.8 percent growth. June recorded a 17.8 percent growth, and May a 16.4 percent growth.

Sydney’s median unit price rose by 11.9 percent to $660,000 compared to a 9.5 percent growth in June and an 8.8 percent growth in May. Sydney’s median number of days on the market was 26 days with an average of a 4 percent discount on the asking price. Listings in Sydney fell by 1.9 percent to 18,611.

Melbourne, on the other hand, witnessed a median home price growth of 12.3 percent to $630,000 after having a rise of 11.2 percent growth in June and 9.8 percent in May. The median price of units in this city rose by 4.8 percent to $484,000, compared with 2.4 percent in June and 2.9 percent in May. Properties were selling, on average, within 31 days in this area at a 4.6 percent discount. Listings in this area fell by 6.4 percent to 27,591.

For home buyers who are looking to buy a new property in Sydney, entry level project 3 and 4-bedroom homes in newer estates are selling for between $1,400 per square metre to $1,700 per square metre. Custom built homes, where the purchaser has some say in the design, colour scheme and choice of fit-out are priced from $1,600 to $2,000 per square metre. Knock down rebuilds in established suburbs cost $2,500 to $4,000 per square metre, and dual occupancy $1,800 to $2,500 per square metre. Prestige homes, which command a sale price of $3 million or more can typically be built for between $5,500 per square metre up to $9,000.

Melbourne’s building costs are a little more hospitable with a 3 to 4-bedroom of up to 150 square metres costing $1,000 to $1,200 per square to build. These homes completed typically sell for $365,000 or more. Whereas prestige homes built in Melbourne can cost $2,500 to $3,000 per square metre. Two prestige properties that recent sold in Melbourne fetched between $4.4 and $5.5 million or $4,000 to $4,250 per square metre.

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