Sydney has taken fourth place on a new list of world cities witnessing the most rapid growth in residential property prices.

The latest Global Cities Houses Price Index released by international real estate firm Knight Frank indicates that housing prices in Sydney rose by 19.9 per cent during the 12-month period from September 2014.

This means Australia’s largest population centre ranks behind only Shenzhen in China, Auckland in New Zealand and Istanbul, Turkey amongst the 165 cities around the world tracked by the index.

The manufacturing powerhouse of Shenzhen, situated just north of Hong Kong, saw a staggering 47.5 per cent increase in housing prices over the same period, on the back of the loosening of policy restrictions previously introduced by Beijing to cool overheating real estate markets in China’s first-tier cities.

Auckland took second place with a 25.4 per cent in housing prices, followed by Istanbul, where prices grew by 25 per cent.

In fifth after Sydney was the Chinese financial hub of Shanghai, where prices increased by 18.2 per cent.

Global housing markets would appear to be in fine fettle, with 121 of the 165 cities on the index logging price gains, for an overall increase of 4.4 per cent.

A total of five Australian cities made the top 100 list for housing price growth, including Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide in addition to Sydney.

Melbourne took 24th place with growth of 9.9 per cent, while Canberra was the next Australia city on the list, with growth of four per cent putting it at the 77th spot. Brisbane and Adelaide posted gains of 3.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.

In stark contrast to the housing price gains posted by cities along the eastern coast, both Darwin and Perth found themselves at the opposite end of the index. Darwin took 141th place with a decline of two per cent, and Perth came in at 152th place following a 3.3 per cent decline of housing prices in the Western Australian capital.