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Revealing 30 years of Australian house prices

An investigation into house prices in the Australian housing market over the last three decades; comparing the major capitals.


There’s no doubt that the average house price in Australia has increased substantially over the last few years. This is attributable to numerous social and economic related factors. When compared to other forms of investments, real estate has proven to be a secure investment and a safe hedge against inflation.


Throughout this article we’ll be investigating how the average Australian house price has performed over the last 30 years. We’ll also be exploring the factors that have contributed to its performance.


Melbourne house prices


1992 – 2022 (inflation adjusted dollars)

If you were buying a house in Melbourne 30 years ago, the average price that you’d have paid was $239,498. During this time, Melbourne was ranked the fifth most expensive city to buy a house in Australia.


In the 90’s, Australia was amid an economic recession. In 1991 Melbourne was reported as a hard-hit city with the average house price falling by 10 per cent in a two-year period.

In 2002, Melbourne ranked as the second most expensive city to own real estate in the country. The average home cost $392,198. It then increased to $547,479 in 2012 and ranked as number five (as the highest priced city within the Australian housing market).


As of today, the average house price in Melbourne is $806,196. Please refer to the graph for a visual representation of the average house price in Melbourne over the last 30 years.


Brisbane house prices


1992-2022 (inflation adjusted dollars)


Back in the 1992 Australian housing market, you could have purchased a home in Brisbane for $256,067. Brisbane was ranked as the fourth most expensive capital city to buy real estate in Australia.


In 2002 Brisbane’s median house price reached $338,059. During this time, house prices across the nation were being fuelled by a high demand from upgraders, first home buyers and investors. Nationally, from 2001 to 2003, house prices grew a staggering 20 per cent.


By December of 2012 the average home in Brisbane increased to $498,492. It’s now $779,895. Please refer to the graph for a visual representation of the 30-year increase in average residential dwelling values.


Canberra house prices


1992-2022 (inflation adjusted dollars)


If you were buying a house in Canberra in 1992, you’d have been looking to pay $300,635, on average. Canberra was ranked the second highest capital city for house prices. In 2002, Canberra held onto its rank with house prices reaching $508,788.


In December of 2012, Canberra house prices reached a new high of $582,362. While there was an uplift in the decade to 2012, house prices across the country were consistent and stable. This was reflected in relatively stable cash and interest rates leading up to 2012. The cash rate at the beginning of 2012 was 4.25 and dropped to 3.0 by the end of the year.


Currently, as of June 2022, the average residential house in Canberra is priced at $940,026. In ten years, prices grew by more than $350,000 for the Canberra property market; proving its strength as a housing market. Refer to the visual representation of the growth in this housing market over the last 30 years.


Sydney house prices


1992-2022 (inflation adjusted dollars)


In the last three decades, Sydney has remained the number one highest valued city for house prices. Its market has seen tremendous uplift in the last three decades. By the end of 1992, if you were buying a house in Sydney, you’d have been looking to pay an average of $355,070. This figure is quite outstanding, especially if you were to compare it to now.


In 2002, Sydney house prices almost doubled to $675,871. By 2012 it reached $723,810. To date the average home in Sydney will set a homebuyer back by $1,120,836. While Sydney will always be a great performer in relation to price growth, in the last two years it’s been fuelled by numerous factors. These include desirability from investors, foreign buyers, strong economic conditions, incentives, and more. The presented graph is a representation of the growth in Sydney housing markets in the last 30 years.

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