Australia’s house prices surged 6,556 per cent since the 1960s

 Key points

Australian housing prices have surged by a massive 6,556 percent since the early 1960s — an average increase of 8.1 percent every year, BIS says.

  • Short-term interest rates were a big driver of house prices, researchers found
  • Australia had the longest “upswing” in property prices, lasting half a century
  • Australia had the sixth highest rise in annual property prices compared to other advanced economies

Compared to other advanced economies in the past five decades, Australia had the sixth highest rise in annual property prices.

It was beaten by Spain (+9.9pc), UK (+9.3pc), New Zealand (+8.8pc), Italy (+8.8pc) and Ireland (8.7pc).

The United States, in comparison, had a 1,332 per cent lift in housing prices in the last five decades, and an average gain of 6 per cent per year.

Those findings were from the Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS), which researched the impact of short-term interest rates on house prices across 47 countries (advanced and emerging economies).

BIS also considered whether housing is a “good long-term investment”.

Short-term interest rates were a “surprisingly important” driver of housing prices, according to BIS’s research.

Unsurprisingly, its conclusion was “an unqualified ‘yes'” as housing prices rose by nearly 7 per cent each year across 20 advanced economies.

“One striking feature of house-price growth is its persistence,” said the report’s authors Gregory Sutton, Dubravko Mihaljek and Agne Subelyte.

“With the exception of Germany, Portugal and Switzerland, advanced economies have seen real house prices growing by an average of at least 6 per cent per year for 40 years or longer.”


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