A quick update from RP Data's daily home value index of what is happening to dwelling prices in 2014 (click chart).
Over the year-to-date, Australia's capital cities have increased in value (read: price) by 4.1%.
When you consider that this is off the back of gains in 2013 and the related compounding effect, it's certainly been a strong start to to 2014.
Unsurprisingly, Sydney is leading the way with a strong start to the year.
This is true to the extent that SQM Research now believe that only rate hikes or unlikely amendments to the prevailing negative gearing laws can stop Sydney's market recording it's predicted 15-20% growth.
In Melbourne, auction clearance rates have been sliding quite noticeably although no such weaknesses have shown themselves in city-wide price indices...yet.
Stay tuned for the Australian Bureau of Statistics data, however, because some data providers believe that Melbourne will show somewhat weaker readings than what is implied above.
Rumours abound of real estate market activity in Brisbane picking up in a relatively robust manner, which is already reflected in some tidy year-to-date price changes.
Adelaide, as I noted in my last book, I've always thought of as the "slow and steady" performer.
Booms and busts are perhaps less likely in the South Australian capital, and the city does have genuine employment (and unemployment) headwinds, which partly accounts for why on a year-on-year basis Adelaide has the weakest growth of all of the major cities at 3.7%, in spite of generational low interest rates.
That said, due to the Adelaide market's poor performance over the last decade, housing affordability is far less of a pressing issue than it is elsewhere, so while interest rates remain low, there certainly remains some potential for the market to tick steadily higher.
And finally, Perth seems to be taking a breather in 2014 after recording very healthy gains in 2013.
While this could be related to the mining construction boom passing its peak - the unemployment rate in Western Australia remains the lowest rate of all Australian states, but is ticking slightly higher - over the longer term Perth has few property market worries.
The population growth rate in Greater Perth is a blistering 3.5% per annum, easily eclipsing that of every other capital city.
When considered over a period of decades, this rate of growth has the potential to change a capital city almost beyond recognition.
Indeed, where property owners and investors have a desire to understand why Australia's capital cities will continue to outperform the regional areas and will become more expensive over time, they would likely do well to digest and understand the country's actual and expected population growth by region.
Not only is the population growth massively stronger in every capital city than its respective regional counterparts, this trend is expected to become yet more pronounced as the decades roll by.
As noted in a recent post, Australia's sea change phenomenon has been declared well and truly dead.
A huge proportion of our population growth is now driven by immigration, and the data shows that immigrants follow the jobs to the employment hubs, and overwhelmingly reside in our capital cities.