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Massive Rises Set House Price Records in March

House Price

House price rises have reached a record high during the March quarter, surging to an average of $899,509 across the country, with Sydney recording a $100,000 increase to the median house price.

According to Domain’s Quarterly House Price Report, the 5.7 per cent quarterly gain was the steepest rise in almost 18 years and the first time in more than a year that the capital cities have outperformed the regions.

Domain senior research analyst Dr Nicola Powell said all capital cities had posted growth in house prices, and it was the first time they had risen simultaneously for two consecutive quarters since 2009 post-GFC.

“Record low interest rates, improved household savings, low listing volumes, post-lockdown lifestyle changes, consumer sentiment roaring to an 11-year high, returning cashed-up expats and government incentives have all fuelled demand for housing and a strong market performance,” she said.

“National unit prices are now just above the previous price peak reached in mid-2017 at $594,340.

“The 8 per cent drop from mid-2017 to early 2019, as well as the 2.1 per cent COVID decline mid-2020, have now been recouped.”

Median House Prices – March 2021

House Price

^Source: Domain House Price Report 


Sydney house prices increased more than $100,000 during March to a new record of $1.3 million, which, according to Powell, was the fastest quarterly acceleration of house prices since Domain records began in 1993.

“This has pushed annual house price gains into double digit percentage growth, making it the steepest increase since the lead up to the previous price peak in mid-2017, at 12.6 per cent,” she said.

“Houses at the upper end are leading the charge, with the strongest quarterly gains recorded in the eastern suburbs, northern beaches, Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury. All Sydney regions have hit record high house prices.

“For homeowners, this is the fastest rate of capital growth on record … low mortgage rates have improved the affordability of repayments, but saving for a deposit is a challenge due to rapidly rising prices, low wages growth and low interest on savings.”


For the first time in 12 months Melbourne’s housing prices have risen at a faster pace than regional Victoria.

House prices surged 4.8 per cent to a median of $974,397, an annual increase of 7.3 per cent.

Dr Powell said she believed the city’s house market would crack the $1-million median house price during the next quarter.

“It will take just over half of the percentage growth recorded during the March quarter to achieve this milestone,” she said.

“The Mornington Peninsula continues to be the standout performer with house prices leaping 16.6 per cent compared to last year.”

Melbourne’s unit market continues to underperform but it was the only capital city to record a new unit price high, banking a 2.2 per cent rise during the March quarter to a median price of $568,793.

Powell said record low interest rates, and state and federal housing incentives had fuelled housing demand in Melbourne as residents reassessed lifestyle choices during multiple lockdowns.

“This will undoubtedly have spurred homeowners to rethink lifestyle choices, bring forward decisions or even readjust housing needs, resulting in booming levels of home loans financed,” she said.

“While this has been led by owner-occupiers, investors have started to make a comeback.”


Greater Brisbane has recorded a new record high median house price of $632,999. House prices have risen 6.2 per cent from the same time last year, which Powell said offered homeowners “steady capital growth”.

“Brisbane still has a two-speed market with unit prices falling during the quarter and year, down 0.5 percent and 1.1 per cent lower respectively,” she said.

“The divergence of house and unit prices has made the value gap between purchasing a house and unit the largest on record.”

Powell said the Gold and Sunshine coasts continued to perform, despite a slight easing off the pace of price acceleration on the Gold Coast.

“Prices hit new records on the Sunshine Coast, with houses providing some of the strongest rates of annual growth across Australia,” she said.

“Sunshine Coast house prices increased 6.9 per cent during March to $770,000, a staggering 19.4 per cent higher than one year ago. Units on the Sunshine Coast jumped 10.2 per cent during the quarter to $550,000, 18.3 per cent higher than last year.

“This is the quickest rate of price increases in roughly 17 years.”

Median Unit Prices – March 2021

House price

^Source: Domain House Price Report 


Adelaide house prices rose 3.7 per cent during the March quarter to a new record high of $599,706.

Powell said Adelaide’s south recorded double-digit annual house price growth at 11.6 per cent, but it remained the third most affordable city in which to buy a house after Perth and Darwin.

“For the first time on record it is now more affordable to purchase a house in Adelaide than Hobart,” she said.

“For houses and units, current sale transactions are at the highest level since 2007 … the flow of new listings has not been able to keep pace with buyer demand.

“Interstate migration has been a constant drain on housing demand, however the stark turnaround has netted a positive flow of residents into South Australia for two consecutive quarters – the first half year rise in almost three decades.”

Unit prices in Adelaide increased 1.1 per cent during the quarter to $344,062.


Perth house prices have reached their highest point in about five years and unit prices are the highest in almost three years according to Domain’s quarterly report.

“House prices rose 2.4 per cent over the March quarter, the fourth consecutive quarter of growth. Units notched a third consecutive quarter of growth, up 3.9 per cent … this uninterrupted run of price growth has not occurred since 2013 in the lead-up to the previous price peak reached in 2014,” Powell said.

“Houses remain $37,000 lower and units $50,000 lower than the 2014 record highs, with the price gap rapidly closing.

“It would take another three consecutive quarters at the exact same pace of percentage growth recorded over the March quarter for house prices to surpass the 2014 high.”

Powell said while Perth remained an affordable housing market, the rising prices were creating pressure to purchase before they accelerated too far.


Median house prices in Hobart have cracked $600,000 to a hit a record high.

Prices soared 7.6 per cent over the March quarter to $601,567 according to Powell.

“This is the steepest quarterly jump since 2017,” Powell said.

“This has pushed annual gains 15.9 per cent higher, the biggest jump since 2018… [and] it appears that house price growth is accelerating.

“At the end of 2019 Hobart was the most affordable capital to purchase a house.”

According to Powell, house and unit prices have increased 73 per cent and 67 per cent respectively during the past five years, surpassing every other capital city in Australia.


Canberra house prices are inching closer to a median value of $1 million after a 9.7 per cent lift during the March quarter. It has experienced the fastest acceleration of house price growth since Domain began recording the data in 1993, now with a median value of $927,577.

“This has pushed annual house price gains to 19.5 per cent, the steepest annual increase in 17 years,” Powell said.

“Canberra is a breakaway performer compared to the other capital cities, recording the strongest annual and quarterly house price growth.”

Powell said the strongest gains were at the upper end of the market in North Canberra, South Canberra and Woden Valley with a median above $1 million. She said it was largely due to higher average wages, job security and low mortgage rates encouraging people to upsize.

“Another quarter at the same percentage growth rate would push house prices above $1 million,” she said.

“This level of quarterly growth is normally the output of an entire year and is extremely rare for Canberra to experience in one single quarter.”


Following a multi-year downturn, prices have begun to improve in Darwin, according to Powell.

“For houses, this recovery continued and prices have hit the highest point since late 2018,” she said.

“House prices jumped 9.1 per cent during the March quarter to $554,295, the steepest quarterly rise since 2009.

“Unit prices declined a marginal 1.8 per cent over the quarter to $293,731.”

Powell said while prices had increased they were still $124,000 below the 2013 peak.


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Gold Coast

Residents in one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities are forced to sleep in cars as rental crisis bites

The rental situation in one of Australia’s fastest growing cities is so dire that desperate renters are having to sleep in their cars and in caravan parks.

Rental vacancy rates have plummeted below one per cent in most parts of the Gold Coast – down to below half a per cent in many suburbs – including Burleigh, Arundel, Coolangatta, Coomera and Varsity Lakes.

The rental squeeze is being driven by a range of factors, including Covid refugees coming from Melbourne and Sydney and also returning home from overseas.


The Gold Coast’s ‘surf, sun and sand’ reputation can be a trap for people who try to move there without enough money, as one community manager warns ‘don’t come here’ unless you are loaded 


9 Tallon Street, Upper Coomera – 26km from the beach – will cost you $700 a week. 

The Gold Coast has long had steep population growth but if anything it appears to have increased in recent years and the city’s housing is evidently not coping.

Leading demographer Mark McCrindle said recently population projections keep changing and the city reach a population of one million by 2034 – 16 years earlier than previously expected.

The imbalance between available properties and people who want them is so severe that it is creating an accommodation crisis leading to a homelessness problem in the city many Australians falsely romanticise as a dream place to reboot their lives.

Vicky Rose, manager of the Nerang Neighbourhood Centre, told Daily Mail Australia that 80 per cent of her enquiries are about ‘accommodation stress’, with increased homelessness inevitable.


Location, location: 1/30 Bullimah Avenue, Burleigh Heads went on the market yesterday for $750 a week and the agency has already been flooded with enquiries and applications. 

‘We are saying ‘don’t come here’, unless you have a job and plenty of money behind you,’ she said said.

‘People dream of the sun, surf and sand and yes it’s a great holiday destination, but it’s not a great place to live unless you can afford it.

‘The coast of living is up there with Sydney and Melbourne and people mistakenly assume its going to be cheaper.’

She said shonky landlords are making the situation worse by trying to cash in on the red hot market.

‘There’s a marked marked increase in long terms tenants – average joes – seeing their tenancy ended abruptly because they can’t increase the rent as much as they want.

‘So the owner kicks the tenants out saying they want to renovate, they paint one door and put it back on the market for an extra hundred dollar a week.’

Two property managers Daily Mail Australia spoke to both said the rental market was busier than they’d ever seen it, with applications for properties flooding inboxes.

Misty Kelly, of agency The Blue Door had received 50 enquiries and seven applications within two days of listing a four bedroom house with a pool at Upper Coomera, 26km from Main Beach.

‘There’s a huge demand, not enough properties and that creates a lot of pressure,’ she said.

‘People are sounding desperate.’

‘I’ve been an agent for 15 years and this is nothing like I’ve ever seen before.’

Ms Kelly said because there is more demand than supply, she advises young people not to move out of home because ‘prices are inflated’.

‘They need to let those people really in need get a property and not go homeless.’

Aside from people moving from interstates, she’s also seen people coming home from overseas move into their investment properties.

Carmen Kennedy, of Coomera Realty told the Gold Coast Bulletin people are ‘desperate’.


Ashmore Palms Holiday Village has seen a big increase in people moving in after they couldn’t find a rental property on the Gold Coast 

‘They were just so desperate, staying in cars and sleeping at caravan parks. It’s been pretty tough couple of months for people out there,’ she said.

Both Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park and Ashmore Palms Holiday Village confirmed to the Daily Mail they had seen increases in people booking in because they couldn’t find a home to rent.

‘I’ve never seen it like this before,’ Carly Stanaway of JW Prestige, told Daily Mail Australia.

‘A lot of people are struggling, they are all applying for same property at once,’ she said.

‘They keep putting in applications getting knocked back, even though they have good applications, it’s just because so many people are applying.’

She was holding two open houses within two days of listing a modest brick semi at 30 Bullimah Avenue, Burleigh Heads, where the rent looks Sydney-like at $750 a week.

The suburb’s vacancy rate is just 0.4.


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Controversial Burleigh Theatre Tower Wins Support


The Gold Coast City Council’s planning committee has voted four-three in favour of new plans for an apartment tower above the old Burleigh theatre and arcade.

Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings amended the plans after receiving 86 submissions and a petition objecting to the development at 64 Goodin Terrace and 1823 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads.

The new plan, designed by Conrad Gargett, reduced the number of apartments by six to 30 with adjustable screens on the western façade as well as four commercial tenancies, a gym and podium-top pool.

The 14-storey tower will be called the De-Luxe Apartments after the mid-century De Luxe Theatre and Old Burleigh Arcade, which were incorporated into the design.


▲ The front and back of the 14-storey old Burleigh Theatre development by Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings. 

Council officers said the adaptive reuse included several improvements to the heritage building but finishes and colours used on the theatre would have to be investigated.

“The proposed design retains the majority of the significant fabric at the front of the site,” the officers said.

However they suggested a few minor amendments to the plans including changes to the proposed shopfronts of the beachfront theatre.

Weiya purchased the 1667sq m site for $18.5 million midway through 2019 and lodged plans to develop the site a year later.

The majority of concerns about the application surrounded the heritage building and its lack of reference in the new design, however this was an intentional decision by the developer which was supported by the council.

The proposal is due to go before a full meeting of the council next week.

Meanwhile, the council is currently planning improvements to public space in Burleigh including adding trees, seating, a large mural and festoon lighting along James Street as well as moving pedestrian crossings.


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Dreamworld to build $75 million resort under new agreement


Dreamworld could soon have a $75 million resort and tourist park across the road in Coomera.

The company entered a non-binding agreement on Wednesday with accommodation developer Evolution Group to fund and build the resort on the land owned by the theme park’s parent company Ardent Leisure.

The hotel would include 240 four-star rooms, 40 bungalows and a five-star tourist park with 100 powered sites and restaurants, conference facilities, pools and a gymnasium.

Dreamworld Resort guests would also have offers to access the Dreamworld and WhiteWater World theme parks throughout their stay.

Dreamworld chief executive officer Greg Yong said the arrangement would boost tourism.

“This announcement is another positive step in the recovery of our parks post-COVID and will have a significant economic impact not only for Dreamworld, but also for the northern Gold Coast, one of Australia’s fastest-growing regional corridors,” he said.

“The project will create employment within the local community and contribute to the regeneration of tourism on the Gold Coast.

“The hotel and tourist park will complement Dreamworld as a premium entertainment destination and add a new level of convenience for guests who will have our theme park and water park on their accommodation’s doorstep.”

Queensland theme parks were forced to close in March last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and Dreamworld and WhiteWater World reopened in August, offering discounted tickets in an attempt to attract people in for the September school holidays.

Evolution Group boss John Robinson jnr said he looked forward to collaboratively delivering high-quality accommodation options for guests.

“The Evolution Group team is a family company providing over 2200 rooms around Australia through our resorts and accommodation houses,” he said.

“Having Australia’s favourite theme park on the doorstep of this development will certainly provide guests with action-packed getaways.”

Dreamworld and Evolution Group would work together to obtain planning approvals, while Ardent Leisure would explore options to maximise the value of its surplus land.


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