Residential property prices across the nation have been surging since the New Year, with results stunning even the most seasoned observers.
We in the regions can only scratch our heads at what, in particular, has been happening in our biggest cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
Down south, the Victorian capital's median house price has risen by a whopping $60,000, while a similar story is being told for Sydney.
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And those markets are not expected to flatten any time soon - contradicting predictions in 2020 that there would be a drop in median prices, flowing on from the COVID-19 pandemic - with Melbourne tipped to rise by 16 per cent and Sydney by 19 per cent in 2021.
For anyone living outside the big capitals, all this translates to an almost surreal sense of reality. It almost certainly puts paid to plans anyone might have to relocate from the regions.
Unless it's a crucial part of career advancement, there isn't really any need to do so anyway.
Albury-Wodonga has long touted its premier position as one of the strongest and most diverse regional economies in the nation, backed up by a cultural, sporting and social fabric that makes it a great place to set-up home.
We have seen property prices go up markedly here before.
Back in the very early 2000s, older East Albury houses that were around the $135,000 mark in the previous decade broke through the $300,000 barrier.
But that soon settled, to be followed by year-upon-year of steady though unspectacular price growth.
That in itself wasn't a bad thing, given it demonstrated the depth and strength of the twin cities' economy.
It's now clear though that another residential housing boom has arrived, with a host of sales above the million-dollar mark and general results of such consistency that we are part of a new normal.
That has to be a good thing.
But it is also a reminder of the critical work that has to continue to be done to ensure there is equality of access to affordable housing for all in our community.
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