Brisbane takes over as Australia’s second-most expensive city

The Queensland capital has beat Canberra and Melbourne for the second-highest median dwelling value, a position it has not held since 1997.

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CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless attributed Brisbane’s record rise to extremely low levels of supply.

In January 2024, Brisbane’s median dwelling value overtook Melbourne’s, but the cause was largely compositional with “the overall median dwelling value in Melbourne being weighed down by a high concentration of relatively cheap units,” according to CoreLogic.

Now, however, houses in Brisbane have overtaken Melbourne houses in price. The median house price in Brisbane is currently $937,479, which is $190 above the Melbourne median house price.

Previously one of the cheaper East Coast markets, the Sunshine State’s momentum accelerated during the pandemic, with Brisbane values increasing at more than give time the pace of Melbourne. Since the onset of COVID, Brisbane dwelling valued have increased 59.8 per cent, compared to just 11.2 per cent in Melbourne.


According to Lawless, low supply is the “best explanation” for the difference in growth rates.

“The number of properties available for sale in Perth and Adelaide remain more than -40 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year while Brisbane levels are -34 per cent below average,” he revealed.

“Inventory levels in these markets remain well below average despite vendor activity lifting relative to this time last year. Fresh listings are being absorbed rapidly by market demand, keeping stock levels low and upwards pressure on prices.”

Conversely, in Hobart – where listings are 41 per cent above the five-year average – home values have dropped -0.5 per cent over May, and home sales are -6.4 per cent below the five-year average.

Across the six capital cities that saw an uplift in house prices last month, Lawless stated that the “common denominator remains a mismatch between housing supply and housing demand.”

“To say the housing market has been resilient is an understatement,” the research director said. “Despite worsening affordability pressures, from both a purchasing and a rental perspective, Australian residents still need to keep a roof over their heads.”

Across Australia, dwelling approvals remain -23.5 per cent below the decade average, and multi-unit approvals are almost -44 per cent below the decade average, despite a small uplift in supply compared to this time last year.

Sydney remains the most expensive capital city, with a median dwelling value of over $1.15 million. Perth saw the steepest monthly growth, with the median dwelling price rising 2.0 per cent in May to $736,649.

Only Darwin and Hobart saw declines over the month of May.

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