Sydney house prices have jumped the most in a quarter since records began as Australia’s economy sprints out of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Harbour City led the nation in house price growth for the March quarter as it skyrocketed 8.5 per cent to an average of $1.3 million – faster than any experts predicted.

"This is the fastest quarterly acceleration of house prices since Domain records began in 1993," Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said.

"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."

Ms Powell explained the median unit price in Australia now sits at just under $5850,000 and a record high of $899,509 for houses.

 

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She said the median house price boomed over the March quarter with a 5.7 per cent quarterly gain, the steepest rise in almost 18 years, with all capital cities posting growth.

The areas with the strongest quarterly gains in Sydney were Baulkham Hills, the Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs, and the Hawksbury area.

"For homeowners, this is the fastest rate of capital growth on record,” Ms Powell said.

Industry professionals warned young Australians wanting to enter the property market to consider waiting for at least a year when house prices around the country are expected to drop.

Despite buyers taking advantage of the record-low Reserve Bank interest rates of just 0.1 per cent, industry professionals said from July 2021, big banks are likely to raise their variable interest rates.

 

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Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said with a decline in open house inspections and lockdowns in place, Finder’s property positivity index plummeted again as the housing market bounced back.

“Both the rock-bottom cash rate and FOMO (fear of missing out) have turbocharged prices, but fears of a property bubble are making many Aussies pessimistic that now is the time to buy,” he said.

However, despite more Australian’s thinking it’s not the best time to buy property, 74 per cent of Australian surveyed by Finder felt property prices in their area would continue to rise within the next year.

The data collected from 24,000 respondents showed that the latest figures in the Property Positivity Index sat at just 49 per cent.

 

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This was much lower than the 67 per cent of just six months ago, but higher than the 42 per cent at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020.

But the big banks are optimistic, with the ANZ bank predicting a 17 per cent rise in capital cities around the country, with Sydney coming in at 19 per cent increase.

Westpac forecasts capital city house prices to jump by 10 per cent in 2021 and increase by another 10 per cent by 2022, despite the Reserve Bank promising to keep their interest rate at 0.1 per cent until 2024.

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Emma Shepherd

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Emma Shepherd

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