Three suburbs in the Australian Capital Territory have emerged as the nation’s leading housing markets, according to the latest analysis of population growth and building approvals.

In the 2014 edition of its Population & Residential Building Hotspots report, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) has identified more than 40 ‘hot spots’ around Australia – localities in which the dollar value of new dwellings approved for construction during 2012/13 amounted to at least $100 million and which saw proportional population increases during that year which exceeded the national average of 1.8 per cent.

In terms of rankings (according to population growth), the Australian Capital Territory dominated the list, with Crace, Boner and Casey taking out the top three spots with population growth of 58.1 per cent, 43.3 per cent and 40.6 per cent respectively.

With eight individual markets in the Top 20, meanwhile, Victoria performed well, while Western Australia had four (all in the Top 10) and New South Wales and Queensland managed three and two respectively.

Of particular interest in major cities was the strength of inner Melbourne (ranked fourth), where the HIA noted that a whopping $385 million in dwelling approvals and 22.7 per cent population growth augured well for the revitalisation of the nation’s second largest city.

real estate hot spots

Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett said markets in the ACT and Victoria had defied gloomy predictions, and that while no markets in Tasmania or South Australia had made the Top 20, “the gradually improving situation in both markets means that we can look forward to them battling it out at the national level in the near future.”

Garrett welcomed the spread of the hotspots across geographic regions, and said overall momentum in residential construction started last year and has continued into 2013/14.

“New dwelling commencements in Australia rose to 162,000 during 2012/13, an increase of 11.7 percent,” he said. “The HIA Hotspots report shows that the expansion in activity has been quite broad based, with a good showing by most states in the nation’s hottest local markets.”

“Further strong growth during 2013/14 means that we can look forward to the Hotspots club gaining more new members in the next report.”