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Australia’s Property Market Rankings

Australia’s Property Market Rankings
June 23, 2024 Propertyology Head of Research and REIA Hall of Famer, Simon Pressley

7 of Australia’s 10-most expensive cities have populations fewer than 100,000.

Only Gold Coast (666,000 population), Sunshine Coast (365,000) and Sydney (5.4 million) are home to more than 100,000 people and among the Top 10 cities with Australia’s highest median house price.

Sydney is the only state capital among Australia’s 10 most expensive cities.

The inland regional NSW city of Bowral has a population of just 10,700. Yet it is ranked 6th in Australia with a median house price of $1.14 million.

Despite having a smaller population than 71 other Australian cities, Byron retains its Number One mantle with the highest median house price in the country ($1,545,000).

Among the 36,000 people who call Byron ‘home’ is a high portion of high-income earning professionals, most of whom couldn’t think of anything worse than living in a congested, concrete jungle.


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Byron is 760 kilometres north of its state capital city. Its 24 percent population growth over the last 20-years is well below the 35 percent national average.

16 of the 20-most expensive cities in the entire country are regional locations.

Hobart, Australia’s best performed property market over the last 20-years, is the only capital city which has the highest median house price in its respective state.

The Victorian region with the highest median house price is Surf Coast (which includes the townships of Torquay and Lorne).

The municipality of Adelaide Hills (think Hahndorf and Bridgewater) has South Australia’s most expensive housing.

Noosa (Queensland) and Busselton (Western Australia) have the highest median house price in their state.

Within the Illawarra region and just 120 kilometres south of Sydney is Kiama, Australia’s second most expensive city.

Four (4) inland locations have a significantly higher median house price than more than 100 coastal locations.


Related article: Proof that ‘water’ does not make real estate grow


One such inland location is the beautiful Yass Valley.

Located 1-hour north of Canberra and 2.5 hours from the coastline, the stunning countryside and amazing food-and-wine culture is reflected in Yass’s $890,000 median house price (ranked 14th and higher than 6 of 8 capital cities).

Meanwhile, Australia’s 5th largest city (Adelaide: population 1.36 million) sits in 31st position with a relatively affordable median house price of $765,000.


Diamonds in the rough

This time 5-years ago, there was a plethora of great locations across Australia where one could buy a low maintenance house for $500,000 or less.

In 2024, the new benchmark is circa $750,000.

There are currently 25 Australian cities, including three (3) state capitals, with a population of 50,000 or more and a median house price of less than $750,000.

Each of the 22 ‘mini capital cities’ listed above has quality infrastructure and an abundance of employment opportunities.

For those who need reminding, in every single year of the last quarter of a century, more Australians relocate away from capital cities to live somewhere in regional Australia than the other way around.

From one city to another, the lifestyle offerings are very diverse.

Queensland diamonds in the rough include the inland ‘Garden City’ of Toowoomba, the Fraser Coast (home to Australia’s very best year-round weather) and the tropical paradise of Cairns (median house price $610,000).

On a dollar per capita basis, Australia’s absolute best bang for a real estate buck is located in this country’s northern capital, Townsville.

Officially the biggest city in the top half of Australia, 14th largest city overall and now boasting the strongest economy in the country, Townsville’s median house price is an incredibly affordable $450,000.


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Those with an appetite for living among a setting of local wineries and great food experiences are spoilt for choice.

Cessnock in the heart of NSW’s Hunter Valley, Victoria’s magnificent Mildura (with a median house price of just $420,000) or gorgeous Geelong are a few such examples.

Housing in Mandurah in Western Australia, officially Australia’s fastest growing city over the last 20-years,  is still an affordable $590,000.

Three of my all-time favourite Australian cities are the border city of Albury-Wodonga which oozes culture (median house price $590,000), the glamorous Gold Rush city of Bendigo and the truly stunning and historic Tasmanian city of Launceston.

500 out of 530 Australian municipalities have a median apartment value of less than $750,000.

While that provides plenty of affordable options for owner-occupiers to consider, 2-decades of official evidence confirming seriously below par capital growth rates is a compelling reason for property investors to avoid all apartments.

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