Land prices surge
The weighted median vacant lot value rose by 4.8 per cent in the December quarter to a record high of $254,406, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
Vacant lot prices rose by 9.3 per cent over the year, while volumes are declining sharply, implying a shortage of shovel ready land for homes in some capital cities.
The rise was driven by massive annual increases in Melbourne (+16.3 per cent), Sydney (+10.7 per cent), and Adelaide (+10.3 per cent).
There were however also increases in Brisbane (+5.4 per cent), Hobart (+3.1 per cent), and Perth (+0.9 per cent).
Sydney has the most expensive median vacant land price, rising by 65 per cent over the last five years to $455,000, which is about 45 per cent of the median house price in the harbour city.
The increase in median lot values came despite a significant drop in sales volumes since 2015.
Lot sales totalled 10,756 in the December quarter, down by 23 per cent from Q3 2016, and by a massive 40 per cent from the prior comparative period.