The country's hottest housing market is CANBERRA

Canberra residential property prices are beating every other state in Australia. According to figures provided by RP Data-Rismark, housing prices in Canberra have soared by 3.7% for the 3 months to May 2010, with the median price today being $508,500.

The ACT  government  have started selling land via a “virtual” ballot after buyers camped out for a week in freezing temperatures to secure blocks on offer. In the past Melbourne was leading the other Australian cities in property price growth.  However in the 3 months ending May 2010 Melbourne home values increased by 3.3 % to $480,000.

Sydney property market has remained the most expensive, with a median price of $517,250, a 2.4 per cent increase in three months.  Other areas in Australia have seen the property prices flatten out as higher interest rates bite.

A new suburb of  Forde,  located 14km north of the city, had hopeful buyers camp out for a week.  Developers eventually allocated numbers to potential buyers and sent them home. Matt and Corrina Lynch and their two-year-old twin daughters, Eva and Jordan, avoided the queues, moving into a former display home in Forde last October.

Mr Lynch, 35, a governance manager for law enforcement information agency CrimTrac, and Corrina, 31, a photographer, bought the four-bedroom display home because it was immediately available after their move from Woollongong, south of Sydney. “There were campervans, people in caravans and tents – it was quite a sight,” Mr Lynch said of the buyers queuing a week ago to get a toehold in the Canberra market.

Real estate agent Century 21 Canberra principal Brian Nancarrow  believes that the Canberra property market is currently experiencing boom-like conditions we have recently seen in Melbourne.  Prices for one-bedroom apartments had risen from $315,000 to $420,000 in the past year, driven by investors and the increasing international student market, Mr Nancarrow said.

The acting chief executive for the ACT Department of Land and Property Services, David Dawes, said the department wouldn’t again sanction the “first in, best dressed” method, which had resulted in buyers camping out. “We don’t want people doing that,” Mr Dawes said.

“It may be more common in Sydney and Queensland, but we don’t do it that way in Canberra.” Meanwhile, auction clearance rates in the major markets continued their steady decline over the weekend. In Sydney, just 58.5 per cent of listed properties were sold – down six percentage points on the same time last year. In Melbourne, the auction clearance rate was 55.4 per cent, down 25.7 percentage points on the same weekend last year.

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