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Regional house prices roaring as metro growth slows, politicians debate 'crisis'

John Howard questions whether there is a housing crisis, campaigning in Brisbane on Thursday

The latest house price data shows Australia’s property market boom may be about to taper off while regions outperforming capitals for house price growth.

Quarterly house price data published by digital property portal Domain indicates that Australia’s soaring property market could well be in its dying embers nationally, despite the South Australian market continuing to boom.

Australia’s median house price growth rate has dropped to 0.6 per cent – it sat at 6.3 per cent in December of last year.

House price growth across the combined capital cities is also drastically dwindling this quarter compared to last, 10 times slower this quarter than it was when recorded last time out.

South Australian capital city Adelaide is the best performing in Australia as far as house prices go, recording a 3 per cent rise in the last quarter and 28.1 per cent in the last year.

In regional South Australia, Light’s median house price for March 2022 is listed as $475,000, up 16.8 per cent in the last year and 23.4 per cent in the last five years.

In the last five years, median house prices in the Barossa have increased a staggering 31.4 per cent in half a decade and 9.5 per cent in the last year.

Naracoorte/Lucindale has also seen growth, recording a median housing price of $272,000, up 7.7 per cent in the last year, while Clare and Gilbert Valleys recorded a 29 per cent increase in the last five years and 11 per cent increase in the past 12 months, with a median house price listed at $360,000.

The news is less encouraging for those outside of the festival state, as quarterly prices for houses in Darwin, Melbourne and Canberra all decreased in the last quarter.

Earlier this week, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard caused a stir amongst prospective home owners and aspiring renters, claiming the nation isn't engulfed in a housing crisis.

With Australians increasingly struggling to get a foot in the housing market, Mr Howard told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday:

“I don’t accept there is a housing crisis.
“The cost of housing in this country is much higher than we would like, but a lot of the reasons for housing being expensive in Australia has been baked into the system over the years.
“And may I say, because of planning and other decisions made by state and local governments to push up the cost of housing.”
There are cost of living pressures now, there always are cost of living pressures.”
I can’t remember an election campaign where the cost of living was not an issue – every single one and I’ve been in quite a few.”

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said a balance needed to be struck in housing policy to ensure it did not put pressure on prices, but more could be done to help struggling families.

"We've been supportive about helping people into the housing market," he told reporters in Sydney.
"But it is a much broader story than the government's proposals.
"It's also a story around social housing.
"But these interest rate rises will hurt and Scott Morrison - who takes credit when the economy's going well - won't take responsibility for the fact that a decade now of attacks on real wages in this country make it harder for people to meet what will be the rising costs of their mortgage."

A study by Anglicare released on Thursday found that of 45,000 properties across Australia, only seven were affordable for a person on the JobSeeker payment and less than one per cent were affordable for those on the disability support or age pension.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson nominated the "housing crisis" as one of the reasons behind her preferencing against the Liberal Party in key seats.


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