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Housing Prices in Australia - 1970 to 2003


  • Peter Abelson

    () (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)

  • Demi Chung

    (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)


There have been few reliable published data for housing prices in Australia (as in many other countries). In this paper we attempt to provide an authoritative account of prices for houses and apartments (units) in Australia from 1970 to 2003. Where possible we draw directly on data from land title offices or on studies that draw on these data. The first part of the paper describes the main data sources. The main body of the paper provides best estimates of median house and unit prices and real price indices in the capital cities and in the rest of Australia. We also estimate how improvements in housing quality have influenced real house prices over time. In summary we find that there have been strong national trends, especially in recent years, and that house and unit prices have moved in similar ways. There were significant housing price booms from 1971 to 1974, from 1979 to 1981, from 1987 to 1989, and from 1996 through to 2003. After each of the first three booms, real prices tended to fall. However, in the long run real price rises outstripped falls. Consequently, real house prices rose by about 180 per cent between 1970 and 2003. Allowing for hous ing improvements, real prices rose by more like about 100 per cent over this period. However, both estimates give an exaggerated view of real price increases if, as we expect, there is a real house price downturn post 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Abelson & Demi Chung, 2004. "Housing Prices in Australia - 1970 to 2003," Research Papers 0409, Macquarie University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mac:wpaper:0409

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    JEL classification:

    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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