Australia’s hottest location for housing is located in the ACT according to new figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

Released this weeks, the HIA’s latest Population and Residential Building Hotspots Report  has identified more than 600 housing hotspots across the county, with the ACT- South West topping the list.

For the purposes of the report, a hotspot is defined as an area where population growth exceeds the national average and where the value of residential building work approved is in excess of $100 million. The final ranking of the hotspots is determined by their respective population growth rates.

“A total of more than 220,000 new dwellings were commenced last year, so it’s no surprise there was a strong performance among housing Hotspots across Australia,” HIA economist Diwa Hopkins.

“Today’s report identifies a total of 602 Hotspots spread right across Australia’s eight states and territories. Nearly all jurisdictions were represented amongst the National Top 20 Hotspots,” Hopkins said.

The ACT- South West took first place with $216.4m worth of residential approvals in 2014/15 and an annual population growth rate of 127.3%.

Victoria’s Cranbourne East took second spot on the list, with $328.6m worth of work approved in 2014/15 and an annual population growth rate of 32%, followed by NSW’s Cobbitty - Leppington in third with $363.m of approvals and an annual population growth rate of 26.1%.

Harrison in the ACT came in fourth with $101.7m of approvals and a growth rate of 22.8%, followed by the Northern Territory’s Palmerston - South  with $102.1m of approvals and population growth of 22.4%.

Source: HIA

While NSW and Victoria combine to account for 10 of the top-20 hotspots, Hopkins said there are positive signs that areas that have been struggling recently are showing signs of improvement.

“In the final analysis, the fact that ten of the Top 20 Hotspots are located in NSW and Victoria speaks volumes. These two states have been the engines of the strong upturn in new home building over the last few years,” she said.

“It is also encouraging to see WA still perform strongly this time at the national level, considering the difficulties arising from the natural resources downturn.”