Australia's housing markets ended 2020 with solid gains across capital cities and regional markets, setting a positive outlook for the year ahead, according to the latest report from CoreLogic.

Over the year to December, national house prices grew by 3%, driven by the 2% growth in capital cities and 6.9% gain in regional markets.

Tim Lawless, research director at CoreLogic, said the year was characterised by a mild dip in values as transaction activity turned volatile due to the lockdowns and restrictions. 

In fact, the number of property sales plummeted by 40% through March and April but finished the year with almost 8% more sales relative to a year ago as buyer numbers surged through the second half of the year.

"Despite the volatility, housing values showed remarkable resilience, falling by only 2.1% before rebounding with strength throughout the final quarter of 2020," he said.

The rebound, however, is not surprising, given the rapid and substantial monetary and fiscal response from the government, Lawless said. For instance, the record-low interest rate continues to play a key role in supporting housing market activity.

"Containing the spread of the virus has been critical to Australia’s economic and housing market resilience,” he said.

The table below shows the changes in house prices across capital cities:

Australia’s housing markets ended the year with price gains across regional and capital-city markets.