subscribe to our newsletter

No capital city immune to housing market cycles

All of Australia’s capital cities have been sensitive to housing market cycles over the past three decades, with price growth dominance shared across the country, according to new research.

According to a 30-year retrospective study by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), housing market growth was shared between capital cities, with no capital reporting consistent growth over the past three decades.

For example, the research found that between 1988 and 1992, Brisbane was the strongest-performing capital city with price growth of 99 per cent, while between 1993 and 1997, it was the second weakest-performing capital with value growth of 3.8 per cent.

Similarly, over the five years between 1993 and 1997, Darwin’s housing market experienced the sharpest price growth, with value increases of 56.5 per cent, but it performed weakest in the following five years (1998–2002) with price growth of 5.1 per cent.

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos claimed that no capital city, including Australia’s largest capitals of Sydney and Melbourne, were immune to market cycles.


“From 2003 to 2007, Sydney and Melbourne were Australia’s worst two performing capitals, despite topping the table the previous five years,” the chairman said.

“Of course, if you backed your judgement and bought in Sydney any time after 2007, you’d be very happy with your decision now.”

A summary of PIPA’s findings are as follows:

  • Darwin had the worst five-year period with a decrease in house prices of 10.5 per cent between 2013 and 2017. PIPA attributed the slump to the mining and resources bust.
  • Perth had the best five-year period with an increase of 139.8 per cent between 2003 and 2007, with PIPA attributing it off the back of the mining boom.
  • Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney have all held stints as the best-performing capital over the 30-year period.
  • Darwin has topped the list twice but has also been at the bottom of the list twice.
  • While Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth have all topped the list at some stage, they never ranked as the weakest-performing cities.

Mr Koulizos added: “The facts prove Aussie investors and home buyers over the past three decades have made solid returns across almost every capital city, depending on their ability to buy at the right time.”

[Related: Sydney and Melbourne dominate 10-year price growth list]


No capital city immune to housing market cycles
housing market, cycle, property market, capital city, housing market growth, Property Investment Professionals of Australia

Are you a new-to-industry broker in the process of growing your business? Then there’s some great news: The Adviser’s New Broker Academy is back in 2021 and will provide you with essential insights into cutting-edge tools, strategies and processes to fast-track to success. Don’t miss your chance to attend. To secure your FREE place, visit newbroker.com.au now!

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib is the news editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2017, Charbel completed internships with public relations agency Fifty Acres, and the Department of Communications and the Arts.

You can email Charbel on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Latest News

The chief of Australia’s largest bank has said lenders should act pre-emptively and shift their floor rates for mortgage serviceability am...

Total household wealth reached a high of $13.4 trillion in the June quarter, primarily due to rising property prices, according to the Aust...

The property exchange settlement platform has been granted approval to establish an Electronic Lodgement Network in the ACT.  ...

Join Australia's most informed brokers

Do you know which lenders are providing brokers and their customers with the best service?

Use this monthly data to make informed decisions about which lenders to use. Simply contribute to the survey and we'll send you the results directly to your inbox - completely free!

How long do you think it should take to discharge a mortgage?

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.