What it used to cost

Provides prices for groceries, houses and wages for Victoria, spanning the 19th to the 20th century.

Pricing chronology

1864 List of properties for sale by Mr. Robert Byrne, auctioneer, land and estate agent, &c Provides the prices for the sale of properties in 1864 (p.59-63).
1851-1893 Australians, a historical library

See Volume 10 (statistics), Chapter 20: Housing (p.347). Most statistics refer to national rather than state. It provides index of house rents, values of new dwellings and occupancy statistics.


1901-1990 Index to the historical microfiche series : statistical publications since Federation Includes figures on price indexes, occupancy rates and types of dwellings.
Before 1913 The value of land in Australia before 1913

Provides figures on Victorian crown land sales, detailing price per acre.


Before 1915 Prices, price indexes and cost of living in Australia

Includes current weekly house rents in metropolitan and country towns. Dates vary but range up to 1915.


1958-1979 Record of sales of properties

A monthly sales guide which lists properties by suburb and address, providing sale price, estate agent name and house details including measurements and room number.


1973-2005 Property sale statistics, Victoria

Divided into shires, this series provides sale prices for residential, rural and commercial dwellings. From 2006 on CD-ROM, access available within the Library.


1990's Australia in facts and figures

Provides various statistics on housing from the 1990's including housing loan rates, indigenous, public housing and housing affordability.



Browse through old newspapers to find house advertisements and sale results. Newspapers are held on microfilm in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms on the ground floor at the State Library of Victoria. 



Drawer location

The Age^



The Argus



The Herald



     Sun News Pictorial



Herald Sun



Australian Financial Review




^Google have digitised some editions of The Age.

We also hold some newspaper titles on database, mostly for more recent years. See 'popular newspaper archives' box on the right hand side of this page.

Median house price

The table below is for median house prices for the whole of Victoria. The median price is not the average price but the midway point in a list of prices from highest to lowest. Half the houses sold cost more than the median and half cost less.

1977 $37,000
1985 $75,000
1999 $131,500
2006 $299,000

Source: Property sale statistics



Housing for regulation gates to main channel at Malmsbury Reservoir,  rwg/1980

Decades of change

The book Decades of change includes detailed figures on wages, groceries and real estate as well as many other areas, organized by the decades of the twentieth century (1900-1988). Each chapter gives the weekly wage for that year according to chosen occupations, i.e. the weekly wage of a coachman in 1929 was $10 (figures are converted), the price of milk in 1929 was 7c per litre.

The book is also divided into a series of junior books, according to decade.

Catalogue searches

You can browse broader subjects headings by entering the below terms into the Library catalogue, and then use the links on the left hand side of the page to narrow your search.

Real property--prices--Victoria

Real property--Victoria

Real property--valuation--Victoria

Housing costs in the 1880s

The Pamphlet of useful information for persons wishing to either build, borrow, or invest details the cost of housing in the 1880s. Also includes some house plans and elevations.

From 2006-

The Department of Sustainability and Environment publishes data and analysis from the records of the Valuer-General Victoria for residential, commercial, industrial and rural property. 2006-2011 are available at the SLV on CD ROM.

Only the later issues are available on demand, 2006-7 need to be loaded and require 48 hours notice. Later issues are available online through the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.

DataVic has downloadable spreadsheets of housing prices for Victoria to Local Government level covering the years from 1985 to current.

From our Pictures Collection

Single story wooden house on a street corner, PCLTGN 231