New research released by RP Data blames the lack of residential land for putting the upwards pressure on house prices, as the Spring selling season kicks into gear.

The median selling price for land in capital cities is currently $247,000 and the cost of land, per square metre, has grown eightfold since 1990, according to RP Data.

RP Data national research director Tim Lawless blames this lack of residential land and shrinking lot sizes in capital cities for causing our housing affordability problem, News Ltd reports.

Land prices have become a key contributor to rising home prices — particularly in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, he told News Ltd.

The data suggests the cost of materials and labour have changed very little, so it is the rising cost of vacant land that has pushed up housing costs.

“The combination of smaller land lot sizes and rising prices is likely to continue,” News Ltd quotes Lawless.

The latest data released by RP Data revealed that in the last 12 months alone, Sydney has experienced over 16% price growth and Melbourne prices have climbed over 11%.

Victoria’s capital has also seen a spike in auction clearance rates, as the Spring selling season has heated up.

More than 1,000 homes went under the hammer in Melbourne over the weekend, according to News Ltd, and the city saw its clearance rate climb to 77.7%, up from 73.1% for the same weekend last year.

“It was the highest pre-grand final auction Saturday Melbourne has ever had,” Australian Property Monitors senior economist Andrew Wilson told News Ltd.

Sydney saw a clearance rate of 83.9%, which was the highest result since February. Brisbane saw the weakest auction weekend, with a 48.1% clearance rate, while Adelaide’s clearance rate was 69.1%. Canberra saw a 57.8% clearance rate, while Perth’s was 52%.