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Australia home frenzy returns as prices surge most in 16 years

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Australian home prices rose at their fastest pace in 16 years in November as boom-time conditions return to the nation's largest cities.

[SYDNEY] Australian home prices rose at their fastest pace in 16 years in November as boom-time conditions return to the nation's largest cities.

National property prices jumped 1.7 per cent last month, the largest gain since 2003, according to data from CoreLogic Inc released on Monday.

Sydney and Melbourne continued to lead the rebound, with prices up 2.7 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively in the month. Annualised gains over the past three months in both cities are tracking in the mid-20 per cent range, CoreLogic said.

"The Australian housing market is now five months into an unexpected period of rapid recovery," CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said in a statement. "The question is, how long can such a high pace of capital gains be sustained?"

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Market voices on:

The housing rebound is a complete about-face from just six months ago when economists were debating how much further prices could fall.

In addition to record-low interest rates and a loosening of lending-curbs, prices are being driven higher by a shortage of properties on the market. That's led to a renewed fear among buyers that if they don't jump in now they could miss the chance to buy.

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