30 years of champion markets show how property love is shared: PIPA

A comprehensive study by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has revealed how Australian property markets share the love around.

PIPA conducted a 30-year retrospective study of Australian capital city real estate to identify which cities were the hottest performers across each market cycle.

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos said the research showed no capital city market is ever the nation’s top performer indefinitely. Australia Market

“The facts prove Aussie investors and homebuyers over the past three decades have made solid returns across almost every capital city, depending on their ability to buy at the right time,” he said.

For example, buyers who bought in Brisbane in 1988 were blown away by gains over the next four years of that cycle, Mr Koulizos said.

“These owners saw the value of their asset double in less than half a decade, yet between 1993 and 1997, Brisbane was the county’s second-worst performing market.”

And for those who believe our biggest capitals are immune to cycles, think again, Mr Koulizos said. “From 2003 to 2007, Sydney and Melbourne were Australia’s worst two performing capitals, despite topping the table the previous five years,” he said. 

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

Mr Koulizos said while long-term investors invariably come out ahead with Australian capital city real estate, the biggest gains were made by identifying markets that have bottomed and are set to improve.

“Of course, many buyers don’t have access to the information or experience needed to monitor and predict property cycles,” he said.

“Investors should seek independent qualified property investment advice to give themselves the best chance of getting the best returns on their money, as timing the property market can be just as important as time in the market.”

A summary of Aussie markets 1988 to 2017

Darwin had the worst five-year period with a decrease in house prices of 10.5% between 2013 to 2017. Australia Market

This was due to the mining and resources bust.

Perth had the best five-year period with an increase of 139.8 per cent between 2003 to 2007 due to the mining boom.

Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney have all been at the top of the property premiership table.

Darwin has topped the list twice but has also been at the bottom of the list twice.

Whist Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth have all topped the list at some stage; they have never collected the wooden spoon.

A cycle by cycle breakdown of Australian capitals:

1988 to 1992

Brisbane house prices almost doubled in value.


1993 to 1997

Brisbane was the second-worst performer, but it was the best performer five years previously.

Darwin was the best performer, but it was the second-worst performer five years previously.

Canberra house prices actually fell over this five-year period.


1998 to 2002

Darwin was the worst performer, but it was the best performer five years before.


1998 to 2002

Darwin was the worst performer, but it was the best performer five years before.


2003 to 2007

Perth, Darwin and Hobart property prices more than doubled during this fiveyear period.

Sydney and Melbourne were the worst two performers, but they were the best two performers the five years previously.


2008 to 2012

Even though Darwin topped the list with a 36.8 per cent increase within this five-year period, it pales into insignificance when you consider that Perth topped the list the previous five-year period with a growth of 139.8 per cent.


2013 to 2017

Darwin property prices fell by 10.5 per cent.

Darwin was the worst performer, but it was the best performer five years previously.



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