Big lift in million dollar markets

More than 200 Australian locations became million dollar property markets in the last 12 months, as home prices rose at their fastest rate in more than 10 years.

Aerial photo of Shelly Beach and Cabbage Tree Bay in Manly, Sydney
High-value eastern suburbs such as Manly welcomed 54 new Sydney markets into the million dollar club. Photo: Shutterstock (Image source:

More than 200 Australian locations became million dollar property markets in the last 12 months, as home prices rose at their fastest rate in more than 10 years. 

Research from CoreLogic showed 218 new markets laid claim to a median house or unit value of more than $1 million at the end of May, as compared to the same time last year.

Over that 12 months, national property prices grew by 10.6 per cent, the highest growth rate since midway through 2010.

CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said the growth in house prices was undoubtedly a key factor in Australia’s high levels of consumer confidence, as well as the country’s quick economic recovery from the pandemic.

Ms Owen said the current value uplift in Australian housing continued to be extremely broad, with each capital city and rest of state region recording growth in the 12 months to the end of May.

However, while the home value uplift carried a significant number of Australian households into the millionaire’s club, Ms Owen said there were also downsides to consider.

“For first homebuyers, who tend to be more price sensitive, higher house prices have likely prevented home ownership,” Ms Owen said.

“This is evidenced by the latest ABS finance data, which showed April marking the third consecutive month of decline in finance secured for the purchase or property by this segment.

“Current dwelling values rises have been enabled by record low housing lending rates, which has increased borrowing capacity, and household debt. 

“The Council of Financial Regulators in Australia have noted the associated risk with high household debt levels, and will likely be monitoring this closely through the rest of the current upswing.”

Ms Owen said 54 of the new million dollar markets were located in Sydney, with 40 per cent of all sales in the Harbour City transacting for at least $1 million.

There are now 340 house and 79 unit markets in Sydney with a median value of $1 million or more, a 25.4 per cent rise since May 2020.

The prestige eastern suburb of Bellevue Hill ranks as Sydney’s top market, with a current median house value of $7.62 million.

In regional NSW, there are now 55 markets with a median value of at least $1 million, led by Byron Bay, where the median house price is $2.34 million. 

Across the border in Victoria, there are now 192 markets in the million dollar club, with 11 of those located outside of Melbourne. 

In May 2020, there were 143 Victorian markets laying claim to million dollar price tags.

Beachside Brighton ranked as Victoria’s highest-value market, with a median house price of $3.32 million.

Queensland was the only state to record more growth in million dollar markets outside of its capital, with 25 new markets outside of Brisbane hitting the mark in the 12 months to the end of May, and 22 in Brisbane.

Brisbane’s top value suburb was Teneriffe, with a current median of $2.06 million, while Queensland’s highest value regional market was Sunshine Beach on the Sunshine Coast, with a median of $1.92 million.

Overall, there are 51 suburbs in Brisbane with a million dollar-plus median, compared to 46 house and unit markets at that price point in regional Queensland.

Perth suburbs valued at more than $1 million rose from 26 at the end of May 2020 to 42 this year, with riverside Dalkeith the market leader with a median house price of $2.83 million.

Yallingup, in Western Australia’s South West, was the only regional market on the list, with a median value of $1.25 million.

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