Standard house price indices measure average movements of average houses in average locations belonging to an average price segment and hence obscure spatial and cross‐sectional variation of price appreciation rates even within a single metropolitan area. This article combines penalized quantile regression techniques with the hedonic imputation approach to reveal such kind of variation. The method is applied to house transactions from Sydney between 2001 and 2014. The analysis finds significant variation across sub‐markets over time and in particular during the boom‐and‐bust cycle peaking in 2004. Appreciation rates were highest for suburban, low‐priced and lowest for inner‐city, high‐priced houses.