Tasmanian real estate 'robust and active'

"With Australia’s cheapest housing, solid investment returns, and increasingly optimistic outlook, I remain positive on the direction Tasmanian real estate is heading," says REIT President Tony Collidge.


Tasmania recorded the highest number of quarterly real estate sales since March 2010 during the June quarter according to The 2016 Real Estate Institute of Tasmania's June Quarterly Report.

Hobart recorded a $10,000 increase in median house sale price to $395,000. The median house price held steady in Launceston and the North West Centres at $285,000 and $230,000 respectively. Launceston units/townhouses prices increasing 22% over the quarter.

REIT President Tony Collidge said the result came as a surprise. "With agents reporting stock shortages in most regions we expected sales to be down and prices to start moving upwards (which they have in Hobart)," he said. 

"What we’re seeing in today’s market place is a good level of buyer interest; a decrease in the number of properties for sale; and a general reduction in the time properties are taking to sell. There is good demand for property across all regions," he said.

Investors consumed more than 20% of Tasmania's property sales, and first-home buyers fell to a new low of 12.0% of property sales. During the quarter, 452 mainland buyers acquire property in Tasmania. Of these, 262 were acquiring property to move into (at a median price of $308,000), and 190 were investors buying at a median price of $265,000. Five sales to foreign purchasers were recorded during the period.

Tasmanians accounted for more than 80% of the island state's sales.

Most investor activity centred around Launceston (26% of investor sales), Glenorchy (31%) and Hobart (23%) municipalities. Sandy bay retained the crown as Tasmania’s most expensive suburb with 23 sales at a median price of $800,000. Zeehan was our most affordable town recording five sales at a median price of $55,000. Devonport (44 sales) was the top-selling suburb. Launceston (305), Clarence (275) and Hobart (232) were the three highest selling municipalities.

A total of 40% of Hobart properties were sold for between $300,000 and $600,000. In Launceston most sales occurred in the $150,000 to $400,000 range. In the North West, the main selling band was $150,000 to $300,000. Hobart recorded 11 sales over $1,000,000 for the quarter and Launceston had one.

First home owner grants fell from 2,562 in 2013/14 to 716 in 2014/15. In the June quarter there were 298 First Home Buyer sales. With 394 land sales recorded across Tasmania in the June quarter, only 45 (or 15.1% of all FHB) were acquired by first-home buyers. The state government's decision to only help those who wish to build a new home is no helping those needing assistance to buy their first established home.

"Clearly not every first home buyer wants to build or buy a new home.

Vacancy rates were below 3%, and and yields were generally above 5%.

Sales in the state have been constrained by the low volume of properties being put on the market. The number of properties for sale has decreased by more than 20% across most regions. In Hobart, Clarence and Kingborough Municipalities, the reduction in the number of properties for sale could be as high as 40%.

“With positive economic conditions, strong consumer sentiment, and with the state government’s focus on job growth, a positive environment exists for the local real estate market to continue to perform robustly and actively. With Australia’s cheapest housing, solid investment returns, and increasingly optimistic outlook for Tasmania, I remain positive on the direction that Tasmanian real estate is heading, concluded Collidge.

Source:  The Real Estate Conversation