Houses are growing in value in Australia. Average house prices nationwide rose 12% last year, led by the luxury end of the market.
Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent says the impetus for the gain has come from a healthier share market, reasonably stable employment and a sense that Australia has dodged a very big bullet.
The hot spot among the state capitals was Melbourne, where house prices jumped by 18% last year.
Even Sydney, which was particularly hard hit by the financial crisis, registered an increase of 12%. The median house price there is now almost $A600,000.
Australian Property Monitors, which carried out the survey, thinks prices will rise by a more modest 8% - 10% this year as existing homeowners upgrade, although that 's still well ahead of the inflation rate.