Australia’s post-COVID property market has 218 markets where either house or unit median values in a suburb reached the million-dollar-mark, as a growing number of millennials to leave the inner-city for rural property arrangements.

CoreLogic’s inaugural Million Dollar Markets report, which compared data from May 2020 to May 2021, found a housing market upswing nationwide – each capital city market and ‘rest of state’ regions recorded an increase in values over the last 12 months.

Head of research Eliza Owen said Australia’s current housing boom has led to property value increases ranging from 5.0 per cent across greater Melbourne dwellings to a 20.3 per cent rise in values across Darwin.

“[This is] pushing a more vast range of markets up to, and beyond, the million dollar mark,” she said.

“In the last 12 months 218 markets joined the million dollar club; 198 of which were house markets and 20 unit markets. A quarter of the markets (24.8 per cent) that ticked over the million-dollar-median were in Sydney, with 54 suburbs seeing either house or unit median values in a suburb join the million dollar club.”

Ms Owen said the downside of spike made things disadvantageous for home buyers.

“For first home buyers, who tend to be more price sensitive, higher house prices and the volume of suburbs becoming million dollar markets are likely building on the challenges already faced by these prospective buyers around home ownership and affordability,” she said.

The latest ABS finance data showed April marked the third consecutive month of decline in finance secured for the purchase of property by first home buyers, with a growing number of millennials forsaking the inner-city for house and land arrangements in regional Australia.

A 2020 report assessing population trends in Australia also found a decline in young people wanting to live in capital cities.

The “Big Movers: Population Mobility in Australia” report, examining population movements and data between the last two national censuses, found more regionally-based millennials stayed in their hometowns or sourced other rural property opportunities elsewhere in regional Australia.

Data also showed Sydney — Australia’s biggest city — lost more millennials to the regions than it gained during the period.

Demographer Bernard Salt also claims millennials are forsaking the inner-city and are pursuing house and land arrangements in suburbia and beyond, with the author arguing the pandemic is Australia’s “control-alt-delete moment”, which can be used to create more opportunity for the property sector.

In his Demographic Destiny: Opportunities for Rural Victoria in the Post-pandemic Era report, Mr Salt found fewer young people are opting to leave rural areas post-COVID because of an advent of online services and remote working.

He added there will be a whole new cohort of young people to move to rural towns chasing liveability, natural beauty and amenities.

Bernard Salt will be speaking about property Opportunities in a Post-COVID country at the Australian Property Institute’s National Property Conference. The NPC will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on from October 13 – 15. Registration opens on 6 July and early bird prices are available until 17 August.