Australia is in the middle of an emerging bubble in housing. There should be no quibbling about a percent here or a decimal point there or trying to excuse the sharp rise by arguing that it followed a fall in the first half of last year. The reality is that they exploded across Australia in the past six months of 2009 and finished the year on a surge.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm today that showed house prices jumped a huge 13.6% in the year to December, with a rise of 5.2% happening in the December quarter alone. The September quarter's increase was boosted to 4.4%.