A rebounding property market has led the recovery from past economic downturns and it will again, because shelter is an essential commodity, according to Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley. “If you want to predict the future, look at the past,” says Pressley. “Real estate led Australia out of the 1991 recession. The unemployment rate hovered around 10% that year and the subsequent two years.” Over the three years ending 1993, all capital cities produced property price growth – ranging from 2% (Melbourne) to 27% (Perth). Regional property markets were as strong, if not stronger, including Townsville (37%), Toowoomba (33%) and Wagga Wagga (22%).

“It was a similar story 12 years ago with the global financial crisis – the biggest economic downturn in history,” says Pressley. Property prices again increased in eight out of eight capital cities over the three years ending 2010. Darwin (32%) and Melbourne (21%) were the best- performing capitals, while Ballarat (19%), Bendigo and Launceston (both 18%) and Armidale (17%) were among many strong regional property markets.