Capital city: Canberra
Languages: English (official)
Population: Abt. 23 million
Area: 7,682,300 Sq km
GDP per capita: 60,979 in 2011
GDP current US$: 1,379 in 2011
Australia Housing Situation and Market Overview Case Study
Australia is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. A highly developed country and one of the wealthiest, Australia is the world's 12th-largest economy and has the world's fifth-highest per capita income.
Australia's military expenditure is the world's 13th-largest. With the "List of countries by Human Development Index" second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.
The country's emphasis on exporting commodities rather than manufactured goods has underpinned a significant increase in Australia's terms of trade. Australia is a major exporter of wheat, wool and minerals such as iron-ore plus gold, energy in the forms of liquefied natural gas and coal. Agriculture accounts for only 3 per cent and natural resources account for 5 per cent of GDP respectively, contributing to export performance. The service sector tourism, education, and financial services accounts for about 70 per cent of the country's GDP.
Australian cities offer a wide range of housing options, from a single unit in the city or a flat in a high rise building. Housing prices differ from city to city as well as from district to district. Typically, Australians like to live close to their workplace, schools and look for easy accessibility to community facilities.
As the big cities are expensive to live in, country towns are smaller and widely separated providing a more economical option. Rental housing is available for people of lower income. However there is a long waiting list for public housing as the rent is part of the income. Housing can be provided for people in extreme need.
The latest survey of capital city home prices shows the Australian property market is starting to pick up, with prices recording their largest quarterly rise since May 2010. The RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index shows that capital city house prices rose on average by 2.8 per cent in the March quarter. For the month of March, home values increased overall by 1.3 per cent.
In Sydney, Australia's largest and most expensive capital city housing market, home values rose by 3.4 per cent to a median price of $550,500, beating a record high reached in November 2010. In Adelaide, home values declined by 0.5 per cent in the quarter, making it the only capital city not to record improved prices.
"Given that home prices in most of Australia are still rising at a slower rate than wages and there appears good balance between housing demand and supply, Reserve Bank policymakers wouldn't be fazed at latest developments." RP Data says auction and private treaty sales have also recorded strong results in the period.