Australia's top 20 suburbs – John McGrath

A million dollars used to sound like a fantastical amount of money.

To some it still is, but to those that live in Sydney it will barely get you a small house.In his recent column in Switzer, John McGrath explains what’s behind the upwards bolt in property prices.


How times have changed.John Mcgrath
In June 1995, only 1% of house sales in Sydney over the previous five years were above $1 million.
By June 2015, that percentage was 36.8%.
In 1995, only 0.6% of apartments sold above $1 million.
Today it’s 11.6%.
I love to think of all the people who bought property back in the 1990s and are still holding those properties today.
Real estate investment should always be a long-term play and these buyers have done incredibly well.
The prevalence of million dollar sales has obviously grown exponentially over the years.
What was once the price tag of only the most exclusive homes in Sydney’s best suburbs twenty years ago is now the median price of hundreds of suburbs across Australia.
According to CoreLogic RP Data, there are 437 suburbs across the country in the $1 million club.
Just three years ago, around the commencement of Sydney’s current growth cycle, it was half that number at 220 suburbs (June 2012).


Most importantly, they demonstrate the tremendous wealth that can be generated through property as long as you buy sensibly (location, location, location) with a long-term view.
Secondly, they remind us that the prices we cannot imagine today will be the reality of tomorrow.
Twenty years ago, who would have thought $1 million would be considered a basic budget for a family home?
Who would have thought a one-bedroom apartment could sell for that?
In Sydney today, this is a reality.
A million dollars isn’t what it used to be.
In fact, one data supplier is already reporting the median house price for the entire city at $1 million.
Here’s Australia’s top 20 suburbs for median value (houses)

  1. Point Piper, NSW $5.596 million
  2. Centennial Park, NSW $5.199 million
  3. Vaucluse, NSW $4.125 million
  4. Bellevue Hill, NSW $3.810 million
  5. Tamarama, NSW $3.534 million
  6. Peppermint Grove, WA $3.505 millionhouse gold area suburb location property market
  7. Whale Beach, NSW $3.322 million
  8. Dover Heights, NSW $3.250 million
  9. Toorak, VIC $3.229 million
  10. Watsons Bay, NSW $3.209 million
  11. Longueville, NSW $2.996 million
  12. Double Bay, NSW $2.950 million
  13. Palm Beach, NSW $2.760 million
  14. Dawes Point, NSW $2.752 million (apartments)
  15. Mosman, NSW $2.701 million
  16. Clontarf, NSW $2.683 million
  17. Rose Bay, NSW $2.680 million
  18. Northwood, NSW $2.575 million
  19. Bronte, NSW $2.525 million
  20. Dalkeith, WA $2.471 million

Source: CoreLogic RP Data


  • Forrest, ACT $2.119 million
  • Unley Park, SA $1.716 million
  • Teneriffe, QLD $1.512 million
  • Fannie Bay, NT $1.084 million

Source: CoreLogic RP Data
Suburbs in the $1 million club across Australia and within the top three states

  • 2010 – 262 suburbs (151 in NSW, 42 in VIC, 31 in WA)
  • 2011 – 254 suburbs (153 in NSW, 44 in VIC, 29 in WA)
  • 2012 – 220 suburbs (136 in NSW, 37 in VIC, 28 in WA)
  • 2013 – 246 suburbs (153 in NSW, 39 in VIC, 35 in WA)
  • 2014 – 355 suburbs (232 in NSW, 51 in VIC, 46 in WA)
  • 2015 – 437 suburbs (302 in NSW, 61 in VIC, 39 in WA)

Source: CoreLogic RP Data
You might also be interested to know that the number of suburbs with a median value of $2 million has also grown significantly from 32 suburbs in June 2014 to 48 suburbs in June 2015.
Forty are in Sydney, five in Melbourne, two in Perth and one in Canberra.
As our $1 million club grows, the greatest advantage is for those who already own real estate.
The downside is younger Australians are finding it tougher to get into markets like Sydney.
As always, markets evolve and young buyers will find a way.
The Gen Ys are ‘rentvesting’ and I think we’ll see more families leaving Sydney for Melbourne and Brisbane soon enough, given the big disparity in median house prices between the three East Coast cities.

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