It’s not just Australia – across the world, residential real estate prices are rising.

It wasn’t long ago that real estate experts everywhere were bracing for the worst. The pandemic had sent the world into lockdown, shuttering businesses, costing tens of millions their jobs and putting housing markets into a deep freeze. The number of people asking lenders to pause their mortgage payments surged.

The fear was that house prices would collapse, rising unemployment would make it hard for home- owners to pay the mortgage and those who owned second homes would have to sell.

But house prices have soared even as the world suffered its worst slump since the Great Depression. From New Zealand to the US, Germany, China and Peru, the same phenomenon has taken hold: prices are rising.

Among the 37 wealthy countries that make up the OECD, real house prices rose 7% in 2020 — the fastest year-on-year growth in the past two decades.