High demand coupled with tight supply are fuelling a solid rise in house and rental prices, according to the June quarter edition of the Mortgage Choice/Real Estate Institute of Australia Real Estate Market Facts.

Melbourne properties were the best performers in the three months ending June with the median house price jumping by 10.2% to $420,000. Brisbane followed closely with a healthy 6.2% increase in the median price to $366,250. Sydney edged slightly higher but Perth prices fell by 3.8% to $466,500.

The rental market in Darwin topped the charts in the same period, producing the country's highest rental gain for a two-bedroom home: a massive 36.4%. The city has also overtaken Canberra with the highest median rent for a three-bedroom house at $395 per week.

Rental properties in Canberra and Sydney remained in hot demand with a two-bedroom home fetching $330 per week. Adelaide remains the cheapest city to rent a property, at a median rent of $250 per week for a three-bedroom house and $200 for two-bedroom dwellings.

Graham Joyce, president of Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, said the price increases across the country are hitting the pockets of both homebuyers and renters hard. "While rent increases offer the prospect of improved yields for investors, attracting more investors back into the housing market, the price increases will continue to put pressure on rents."

Vacancy rates have also tightened across the country, led by Darwin with a vacancy rate of just 1.2%, less than half the industry vacancy rate benchmark of 3.0%. Adelaide vacancy rates stood at 1.3%, Melbourne and Sydney at 1.4% and Brisbane at 1.5%.

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