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AUGUST 2014 API
Dinah Lewis Boucher @DinahBoucher
Tasmania is Australia’s island state,
well known for its scenic landscape
and breathtaking beauty but
unfortunately also for its slower real estate
market of late. But recent reports say its
second largest city’s market is improving.
Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT)
board member James Bird says it’s clear
that confidence has returned to the
“It’s a funny thing, ever since the Federal
Election – which has nothing to do with
our market in reality – we’ve seen an
increase, just a general confidence in the
market,” he says.
“We’ve gone from the worst sales figures
and volumes in the last year... and in
the past six months, if you talk to the
agents now, we’re nearly back to a normal
market in a buying sense. It’s just the
vendors who don’t realise we’re back to a
And Bird says the numbers of buyers
in the market outweighs the numbers of
vendors wanting to sell.
“Everybody is looking for stock. We just
need stock and there’s not enough coming
onto the market,” he says. “In supply and
demand, you know what happens (prices
go up). The people who put their houses
on the market they can get a good price, if
not better than a fair price, because they
haven’t got the competition and they’ll
have a lot of people chasing them for it.
“T here are a lot of times now that we
have multiple offers on properties where
we didn’t have that for two to three years.
That’s a very good thing for the vendor.”
Australian Property Monitors senior
economist Andrew Wilson says
Launceston’s economy is positively
impacting its property market.
“Launceston is probably one of the
better performing markets, if not the best
performing market, in Tasmania,” he says.
“I was there earlier this year. I did a tour
of Launceston and Hobart and it was
certainly apparent that its market was
tracking at a higher level than Hobart’s.
“There was a more positive economic
environment there and I would expect
prices to rise continually in Launceston
for the remainder of the year, particularly
given the affordability advantages it has
over Hobart. I do think the growth there
will be around the five per cent mark this
year, which would be a good result.”
Wilson says changes to the First Home
Owners Grant introduced last year have
also generated activity.
“We’ve recorded Launceston up just a
tick over the quarter. The median rose
from $254,000 to $255,000. As I said, just a
modest increase over the quarter,” he says.
The REIT quarterly property report for
March this year shows sales rose in Hobart,
Launceston and the northwest centres over
the quarter, while all areas experienced
increases over the year. After a particularly
strong December quarter, Launceston
house sales were down 18.5 per cent for
the quarter but were up 25.1 per cent on
March last year.
Rob Zubin from My Property Hunter
says some Launceston suburbs are more
attractive to buyers than others.
“You’ve got suburbs like Mowbray and
Kings Meadows where they haven’t really
been affected by price,” he says.
“But there’s a lot of interest there with
buyers moving back into the market, both
a mixture of investors and homebuyers.
“Mowbray’s close to the university, so just
prior to Christmas there was a number of
investors buying there trying to capitalise
on the university market and rentals.
“Kings Meadows is developing as a
broader suburb of Launceston where
there’s a good mix of retail, commercial
and that’s getting more people out
there with jobs and the potential for
investors capitalising on the interest of a
lower vacancy rate and more appeal for
“Definitely for investors looking to invest
in Launceston, there are some great
opportunities if they do their homework
and recognise that it’s still got to be a
medium to long-term investment.”
Zubin says investors should consider
Tasmania when researching their
next investment property purchase,
but they have to be realistic about its
“If you’re looking for 10 per cent growth
then Tasmania’s not your market,” he says.
“But if you’re looking for good buying,
good return and some growth over the
medium to long-term it definitely is the
place that should be considered when
investors are reviewing their portfolio
The Tasmanian market was admittedly
treading water while the mainland was
full-steam ahead during the 2000s but its
current affordable price points means it
now represents very good value for money.
“W here is it not overpriced and I’m not
having to reach for my last investment
dollar while still getting a good return?”
he asks. “And that’s where places like
Launceston become a viable alternative
for an investor looking to spend maybe
$250,000 and get between seven to seven
and a half per cent return. So it’s just what
you’re looking for with value for money.”
And it offers residents the balance and
lifestyle that other capital cities may not
“Especially in Launceston, we’re just a
big country town,” Zubin says. API
Long the understudy to Hobart, Launceston is back on the property
investment radar thanks to its affordability and its promise of a more laidback lifestyle.
æWe just need stock and there’s not
enough coming onto the market.Æ James Bird
THE STATES // TAS
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