Australian houses prices: then and now

Take a look at the price of property in Australia from 40 years ago to today and the factors that have contributed to this upward surge.

Fifty years ago, you could nab a house for tens of thousands of dollars. Today, headlines tell us that house prices are soaring through the roof, especially in Sydney.

Interestingly, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) Amanda Lynch says that housing-affordability issues have actually been brewing in Australia for quite some time.

Factors at play

“Although the level of affordability can vary cyclically, house-price and household-income data suggest that there has been an underlying structural affordability problem in Australia over the past half-century. From 1960 to 2006, real house prices increased at an average of 2.7 per cent per annum, ahead of a 1.9 per cent per annum growth per household real income,” Lynch says.

According to Lynch, myriad factors have affected the housing system and property prices in the last 50 years. These include an undersupply of housing, land-development processes and policies, the cost of construction and property-related taxes, as well as outside factors such as comprehensive taxation reform.

Spot the difference

To break it down, in 1973, median house prices across Australia’s capital cities looked something like this:

Sydney – $27,400

Melbourne – $19,800

Brisbane – $17,500

Adelaide – $16,250

Perth – $18,850

Canberra – $26,850

Hobart – $15,200

Darwin – $87,500 (information unavailable until 1986; this value reflects 1986 housing costs)

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Image courtesy of Stylish House/

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