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Melbourne house prices hotter than Sydney

Melbourne was home to the largest residential property price hikes in 2016, outgunning Sydney.

Homes in Melbourne were an average of 10.8 per cent more expensive in December than they were a year earlier, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Residential Property Price Index.

Sydney's home prices rose 10.3 per cent, followed by Hobart (8.8 per cent) and Adelaide (4.1 per cent), while Darwin was the softest market, as prices fell seven per cent.

Overall, capital house prices rose an average of 7.7 per cent in 2016.

NSW is still by far the most expensive state to buy a house, with the average price at $865,000 in December, up from $535,000 just five years earlier.

The average price in Victoria stands at $690,000, up from $507,000 in 2011.

Recent auction activity has been strong across the capital cities, with the national clearance rate at 76.2 per cent in the week ended March 19, up from 75.1 per cent a week earlier and 68.8 per cent a year ago, according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

MEDIAN CAPITAL CITY HOME PRICES

Sydney - $940,000 for a house, $740,000 for a unit

Melbourne - $700,000 for a house, $520,000 for a unit

Canberra - $628,000 for a house, $403,500 for a unit

Darwin - $520,000 for a house, $340,000 for a unit

Perth - $510,000 for a house, $421,000 for a unit

Brisbane - $508, 000 for a house, $385,000 for a unit

Adelaide - $430,750 for a house, $325,000 for a unit

Hobart - $381,200 for a house, $325,000 for a unit

Source: CoreLogic Property Market Indicator Summary week ending March 19

CAPITAL CITY HOUSING PRICES IN 2016

Melbourne - up 10.8 pct

Sydney - up 10.3 pct

Hobart - up 8.8 pct

Canberra - up 5.5 pct

Adelaide - up 4.1 pct

Brisbane - up 3.8 pct

Perth - down 4.1 pct

Darwin - down 7 pct

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Residential Property Price Index December 2016.