IT HAS been a hell of a year for the Australian property market.

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House prices have soared in Sydney and Melbourne, while remaining flat in Darwin and even retreating in a post-mining boom Perth.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate not once, but twice — in May and August — giving us some of the lowest mortgage rates Australia has ever seen.

Negative gearing has been debated relentlessly after Labor revealed its plan to limit the controversial tax concession to newly constructed homes if it were elected.

Joe Hockey outraged an entire generation when he said that people looking to buy their first home should just “get a good job”.

And Bernard Salt made the same mistake when he started the great ‘Avogate’ controversy of 2016. In a column in The Australian, the KPMG demographer declared that Gen Y could save for a deposit if they spent less on smashed avocado on toast at hipster cafes.

But as 2016 winds down it is time to prepare for what 2017 has in store when it comes to Australia’s unique housing market.