Sophie Foster 9 Jun 2022

Brisbane has cracked the global top 10 for the cities with the highest growth in property prices in the world, the only Australian capital to do so this year.

The Queensland capital squeezed in at 10 on the Knight Frank Global Residential Cities Index beating 140 cities worldwide, including all in Australasia, with its annual growth rate of 28.4 per cent.

The ranking was a massive jump on its position in Q1 last year when it ranked 89th worldwide, according to Knight Frank Australia head of residential research Michelle Ciesielski.

”It was inevitable Brisbane was one of Australia’s better performing cities given the relative value, recent population growth and outstanding lifestyle, as we’re also witnessing this trend with other smaller cities around the world,” Ms Ciesielski said.

“We saw Brisbane rise steeply up the ranking as a result of increased sales activity from east coast investors following the state border reopening, and more good quality homes strategically listed for sale given the increased competition in the buyer pool.”

Despite recent price surges, Ms Ciesielski expected Brisbane to continue to be attractive given current cost of living and household pressures.

“Australia’s three best performing cities for annual price growth at the end of Q1 2022 (Brisbane, Hobart and Adelaide) still have a $200,000 buffer between the median value of their city and Australia attracting first home buyers and investors from across the country,” she said.

Hobart ranked 12th globally with a 26 per cent rise, Adelaide was 14th (25.1 per cent), Darwin 23rd (19.9 per cent), and Canberra was in 26th position (18.4 per cent).

The biggest cities in Australia – Sydney (16.1 per cent growth) and Melbourne (9.2 per cent) – were ranked 31st and 66th respectively. The only Australia city on the index growing slower than Sydney and Melbourne was Perth (3.5 per cent) which ranked 121st.

City house prices rising at fastest rate since Q3 2004. Source: Knight Frank Global Residential Cities Index Q1 2022.

Asked if Brisbane was pricing itself out of its affordability advantage, Ms Ciesielski said “although we forecast all capital cities to trend back towards more sustainable levels of price growth by the end of 2022, Brisbane is likely to endure modest market sentiment as the official cash rate is repositioned to support the economy and the cost of living further impacts local households”.

She said significant government investment across Brisbane for transport, technology and amenity hubs would “not only draw more workers, but elevate the longevity in transforming as a global city”.

“The Olympics will place Brisbane and the surrounding areas on the world stage, not only for those already living in Australia, but those currently living abroad,” she said.

“Although Brisbane’s new housing pipeline is considerably lower than past years, the key developments earmarked around activity and transport hubs will transform the liveability of the city, as much as draw card of new job opportunities created.”

The Index found that despite the flight from cities during Covid-19, city house prices rose at their fastest rate since Q4 2004, up 11.5 per cent per annum on average.

Ms Ciesielski said Brisbane, Hobart and Adelaide attracted elevated population growth against the Australian average through 2021.

“This was felt most in the rental space, given many people moving to a new area tend to rent before making a purchase,” she said.

“Australia’s mainstream residential price performance has been heavily influenced by smaller cities and regional areas which have continued in 2022 to record solid price growth, due to the relocation of families and digital nomads to more affordable locations, investors returning to the market seeking a better rental yield and by others buying holiday homes for their retirement plans in the coming years.”

Knight Frank expected residential price growth in cities to slow this year but not plunge dramatically despite heightened uncertainty, rising taxes and more property market regulations (such as a ban on foreign buyers in Canada).

“We think a sudden shift to negative price growth is unlikely for most cities in 2022”, with any slowdowns tied economic growth, supply levels and employment, and the speed and scale of interest rates rises locally.


1 ISTANBUL 122.0%

2 ANKARA 111.7%

3 IZMIR 105.9%

4 HALIFAX 34.7%

5 PHOENIX 32.9%

6 MIAMI 29.7%

7 SAN DIEGO 29.1%

8 DALLAS 28.8%

9 HAMILTON 28.5%

10 BRISBANE 28.4%

* Ranked by annual % change (Q1 2021-Q1 2022)

(Source: Knight Frank Global Residential Cities Index, Q1 2022) 


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