Kiama among top 12 most expensive Australian cities for housing

Kiama has featured prominently in a list of Australia's top 40 most expensive cities/locations by median house price.

The list comes via new research from property market research firm Propertyology.

Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley said the data showed that seven of the 10 most expensive major locations in Australia are in regional areas.

Sydney has lost its mantle as having Australia's most expensive median house price, according to Propertyology.

"With a population of just 34,500 people and a median house price as at December 2018 of $987,500, Australia's most expensive city is Byron Bay," Mr Pressley said.

The list was based on the median house price as of December 2018.

The Kiama LGA was third on the list.

As of December 2018:

  • Kiama's median house price was $910,000; a growth of 26.4 per cent over the previous three years.
  • Wollongong's median house price was $755,000; a total three-year growth of 29.1 per cent.
  • Shellharbour's median price was $650,000; a three-year growth of 23.8 per cent.
  • Wingecarribee ranked at No.5, andShoalhaven at No.19.

Mr Pressley said the Kiama municipality's approximate population of 23,000 people makes it Australia's 100th largest township.

While Kiama's population ranking was No.100, Wollongong was No.13 and Shellharbour No.33.

"Kiama's median house price of $910,000 makes it Australia's third most expensive location, just below Sydney's $950,000," he said.

"It's further proof that population size is not a dominant driver of house prices.

"Kiama has an (outright) home ownership rate of an incredibly high 46 per cent, well above the national average of 31 per cent.

"Clearly the local lifestyle is worth the price tag for a lot of locals. Similarly, the cost of Kiama housing is not a deterrent for out-of-towners, with 68 per cent of its population growth last year coming from Australians relocating from a different city."

Mr Pressley did note the recent decline though.

He said the Illawarra's market was in a downturn stage, led by factors such as tighter credit conditions and greater housing supply.

"Over the past three years, the median house price has increased significantly in Wollongong (29.1 per cent), Kiama (26.4 per cent) and Wingecarribee (30.3 per cent)," he said.

"Recent data suggests that the growth cycle has ended in each municipality.

"The quarter ending January 2019 shows a decline of 1.3 per cent, 3.2 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively."

According to Propertyology, an increasing number of retirees are relocating away from capital cities.

Mr Pressley said many of the regional cities listed on Australia's 40 most expensive have a median household age that is well above the national average.

He said there was also a smaller number of people living within those households, plus outright ownership ratios are significantly better than the national average.