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There are few places in Australia where homeowners haven’t seen the value of their properties rise over the past few years.

“Around Australia, property owners in beachside suburbs have seen the largest price growth gains over the past five years,” PropTrack economist Anne Flaherty said.

“The rise in remote working and desire for lifestyle in the wake of COVID-19 has been a key contributor to this growth, with demand unlikely to waver anytime soon.”

These are some of the highlights from around Australia, where the median house price has exploded in the past five years.

Byron Bay, NSW

Byron, Byron, Byron – much of the talk about real estate over the past few years has centred on the northern NSW beach town of Byron Bay.

Its burgeoning A-List celebrity population is contributing to the excited chatter, while the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns in Melbourne and Sydney are also drawing plenty of migrants.

“Right from the very first COVID lockdown, people have fled the cities for more space, freedom and a relaxed and healthy way of life, made possible with their new-found ability to work remotely,” local agent Su Reynolds of First National Byron said.

Five years ago, the median house price in Byron Bay sat at a neat $1 million, but these days it’s at a whopping $2.85 million, PropTrack data shows. That represents a 185% increase – and a $370,000 annual increase on the house median.

Over the past five years, the median house price in Byron Bay has exploded by 185%. Picture: Getty Images

Those who bought real estate at lower prices are celebrating, but not everyone is thrilled.

“The sharp increases in both property prices and rental prices have seen many local residents suddenly unable to afford to live here,” Ms Reynolds said.

“Many businesses are also experiencing difficulties finding staff due to the lack of affordable housing. The town feels very different without the backpackers and overseas tourists too.”

The surge of buyers and investors from out of town aside, she said the percentage of sales to locals has stayed consistent at about 50%.

“The strong capital growth has allowed residents an opportunity to reinvest,” she said.

This Palm Springs-style home sold well before auction. Picture:

Ms Reynolds recently sold 8 Pacific Vista Drive in the town’s centre, in a highly sought-after pocket dominated by stunning homes and just a stone’s throw from Tallow Beach.

The newly built five-bedroom, three-bathroom dwelling, inspired by a Palm Springs-style aesthetic, attracted strong interest, and fetched $5.6 million.

The property had strong interest due to its styling and position right near the beach. Picture:

The outlook for 2022 is for an increase in supply but for demand to remain consistent – and potentially balloon.

“I expect there will be slightly more properties on the market and demand to remain high. As our international borders open, we expect there will be more expats coming to live in our region,” Ms Reynolds said.

Sunshine Beach, Queensland

Those who’ve visited the picturesque and exclusive pocket of Noosa will be well aware of equally lovely Sunshine Beach just next door.

With bushy national parks to the north and south and the coast to the east, it offers a quieter and more relaxed pace to its bustling, ultra-trendy neighbour.

And over recent years, people have flocked there to secure themselves a slice of the good life – especially buyers from interstate.

“Most recently, there’s been an increase in expats and Brisbane buyers looking for a place in the sun,” Kathy Wise from Sunshine Beach Real Estate said.

“The change in the work landscape – the ability to work from home – plus low stock levels, the lure of living a more idyllic lifestyle, being able to commute, wanting to escape lockdowns…that’s really driven an extraordinary growth.”

This Sunshine Beach home recently sold for $4.37 million. Picture:

The median house price currently sits at $2.8 million and has surged 157% over the past five years, rising a whopping $1.71 million in that time. In the past 12 months alone, the median house price has surged 33.3%.

A recent sale that highlights the strength of the local market, particularly prestige properties, is 57 Orient Drive. That four-bedroom, four-bathroom home with sweeping ocean views sold prior to auction for $4.37 million.

Palm Beach, NSW

Famed for being the setting for Summer Bay, the fictional town in long-running Aussie soap Home and Away, Palm Beach is hardly a place that’s flown on the radar.

But before COVID-19, this idyllic part of Sydney was a “destination suburb” where 70% of dwellings were used as weekenders for city dwellers or seasonal holiday homes, David Edwards from LJ Hooker Palm Beach said.

“This was a complete juxtaposition to the neighbouring suburb of Avalon Beach, which was transitioning into the new ‘go-to’ suburb for affluent young families looking to establish community roots,” Mr Edwards said.

“In response to changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire and ability to escape the urban sprawl has seen many holiday houses converted into primary residences.”

brick home on the ocean in Palm Beach recently broke the region’s record. Picture:

That surge in demand was met with an unwillingness from owners to part with their prized properties, putting upward pressure on prices.

It’s been a big year, with the median house price skyrocketing by 47.2% to $5.2 million – but that’s nothing.

Over the past five years, that median has surged from $2.4 million back then, representing a 117% growth – and the nation’s highest dollar value increase, with a $2.8 million difference.

“During 2020 and 2021, the Upper Northern Beaches – Palm Beach and Whale Beach – have been viewed as a safe, uncongested haven, while the ability to work from home allowed people to reassess their work-life balance,” Mr Edwards said.

“Living and working in paradise suddenly became not only achievable, but acceptable.

“I wouldn’t say the profile of buyers has changed dramatically, outside of some of them being quite a bit younger. A big driver has been our expat clientele who are eager to come home over the COVID period now more than ever.”

The Iluka Road home sold for a reported $27 million. Picture:

But it was a Sydney hospitality magnate who recently bought 64-66 Iluka Road, a five-bedroom, three-bathroom home set on two waterfront titles.

John Szangolies and wife Heather paid a reported $27 million for the home, which is their second in Palm Beach.

“It’s the highest price ever recorded on Sydney’s Northern Beaches,” Mr Edwards said.

Goodwood, South Australia

The suburb of Goodwood in inner-city Adelaide has undergone considerable change over the past few decades, becoming a trendy and sought-after pocket.

A mix of excellent accessibility, great schools, a friendly community feel, and desirable amenities have made it a property hotspot, local agent Josh Gillespie from Ray White Unley said.

“It’s perfectly located between the two main coffee and restaurant precincts of the inner-south, being King William Road and Goodwood Road,” Mr Gillespie said.

“In the centre you have beautiful Souter Park. It’s strolling distance to the tram, which connects the city to the bay. It has the best public and private schooling the state has to offer.

“We have our own cinema, The Capri, which is like stepping back in. I must mention the local wine bar, The Good Gilbert, as well as En Japanese Bar, which is Japanese dining at its best, and Roll on Saigon, which I’d argue serves up the best Vietnamese Banh Mi rolls in the whole state. Goodwood literally has the lot.”

Goodwood is full of charm and character. Picture:

Buyers seem to agree, with the median house price rising 72% over the past five years to $1.28 million.

In the past 12 months alone, that median has surged by 56% year-on-year, thanks in large part to COVID, Mr Gillespie said.

“Buyers have realised how important it is to be able to live your best life locally and that starts with the location of your home,” he said.

“The number of homes I’ve sold to interstate expat families moving back to good old Adelaide from the big smoke has been phenomenal.

“A big part of that is driven by employers now understanding that working from home is a very feasible option across many industries.”

24 Owen Street sold for $2.31 million. Picture:

A recent sale highlighting the strength of the market is 24 Owen Street, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom heritage cottage on a prized street across from Souter Park which fetched $2.31 million.

But a real jaw-dropper came in the form of two side-by-side properties – a 710sqm block with a four-bedroom character home on it at 36 Albert Street, in need of some serious TLC, and a 590sqm block at 38 Albert Street with two self-contained units occupying it.

A buyer recently bought two side-by-side properties for a staggering $3.12 million. Picture:

That unique opportunity to snap up a combined 1300sqm of land in a prized pocket of Adelaide generated plenty of interest.

A buyer forked out $3.11 million for the pair.

Winning the house price lottery around Australia

These are the top median house price growth results over the past five years in each state and territory where a minimum dollar value change of $500,000 was recorded.

New South Wales

Suburb Median (Houses) 2016  Median (Houses) 2021  % Growth $ Growth
Palm Beach $2,400,000 $5,200,000 117% $2,800,000
Vaucluse $4,538,000 $6,800,000 50% $2,262,000
Bronte $3,035,000 $5,260,000 73% $2,225,000
Bellevue Hill $4,440,000 $6,625,000 49% $2,185,000
Dover Heights $3,350,000 $5,352,500 60% $2,002,500
Byron Bay $1,000,000 $2,850,000 185% $1,850,000
North Bondi $2,505,000 $4,200,000 68% $1,695,000
Fairlight $1,980,200 $3,675,000 86% $1,694,800
South Coogee $2,205,500 $3,900,000 77% $1,694,500
Collaroy $1,900,000 $3,580,000 88% $1,680,000


Suburb Median (Houses) 2016  Median (Houses) 2021  % Growth $ Growth
Portsea $1,701,000 $3,000,000 76% $1,299,000
Sorrento $1,000,000 $2,005,000 101% $1,005,000
Somers $744,000 $1,706,750 129% $962,750
St Andrews Beach $675,000 $1,627,000 141% $952,000
Toorak $4,500,000 $5,450,000 21% $950,000
Black Rock $1,473,750 $2,247,500 53% $773,750
Middle Park $2,072,500 $2,839,000 37% $766,500
Lorne $890,000 $1,647,000 85% $757,000
Blairgowrie $745,000 $1,490,000 100% $745,000
Anglesea $650,000 $1,360,000 109% $710,000


Suburb Median (Houses) 2016  Median (Houses) 2021  % Growth $ Growth
Sunshine Beach $1,090,000 $2,800,000 157% $1,710,000
Minyama $1,070,000 $1,975,000 85% $905,000
Sunrise Beach $715,000 $1,550,000 117% $835,000
Tallebudgera Valley $795,000 $1,541,250 94% $746,250
Mermaid Beach $1,395,000 $2,100,000 51% $705,000
Noosa Heads $852,500 $1,557,500 83% $705,000
Noosaville $907,500 $1,605,000 77% $697,500
Doonan $730,000 $1,410,000 93% $680,000
Currumbin $722,250 $1,400,000 94% $677,750
Palm Beach $703,500 $1,325,000 88% $621,500

Australian Capital Territory

Suburb Median (Houses) 2016  Median (Houses) 2021  % Growth $ Growth
Deakin $1,091,250 $1,880,000 72% $788,750
Garran $857,000 $1,478,000 72% $621,000
Denman Prospect $450,000 $1,050,000 133% $600,000
Griffith $1,310,000 $1,900,000 45% $590,000
Red Hill $1,285,000 $1,872,500 46% $587,500
Yarralumla $1,320,000 $1,892,500 43% $572,500
O’Connor $910,000 $1,425,000 57% $515,000

South Australia

Suburb Median (Houses) 2016  Median (Houses) 2021  % Growth $ Growth
Goodwood $745,000 $1,282,000 72% $537,000
Toorak Gardens $1,245,000 $1,780,000 43% $535,000
Linden Park $780,000 $1,300,000 67% $520,000
St Georges $972,500 $1,490,940 53% $518,440


Suburb Median (Houses) 2016  Median (Houses) 2021  % Growth $ Growth
Sandy Bay $768,500 $1,340,000 74% $571,500

Western Australia

Suburb Median (Houses) 2016  Median (Houses) 2021  % Growth $ Growth
Cottesloe $1,700,000 $2,550,000 50% $850,000
Dalkeith $2,200,000 $2,975,000 35% $775,000
City Beach $1,685,000 $2,350,000 39% $665,000
Quindalup $715,000 $1,242,500 74% $527,500



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