Prices pushed upward while transactions dipped in Tasmania last year


Median prices in Hobart and Tasmania have never been higher than they were in 2019.

WITH the last bead having been slid along the abacus, the 2019 figures from the REIT are in and they certainly tell a tale about the Tasmanian property market.

In many instances, 2019’s statistics struggled to keep pace with 2018 — from first-home buyers to $1 million-plus sales to land sales to the number of investors.

The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s data showed 10,940 transactions in 2019, down from 11,300-plus in the previous two years.

While 454 less transactions year-on-year sounds like a large fall on the face of it, 10,940 was still more sales than any year from 2010 to 2016.

With transaction numbers dipping last year, prices climbed upwards and the state’s median house price hit an all-time high at $381,000.

House prices have never been higher in Greater Hobart than they were in 2019, with the median reaching $516,000.

REIT president Mandy Welling said a drop-off in transaction numbers and higher median prices were a “reflection of the lack of stock”.

NEW REIT President

An extreme shortage of stock is having a wide-ranging effect on Tasmanian real estate, Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Mandy Welling says.

She said last year was “especially active”, with many buyers house-hunting but few properties available, and homes were often sold with multiple offers on the table.

“This obviously increased the median sale price,” Mandy said.

“With our first-home buyer numbers being down, I would again suggest that there was a lack of stock in the price range applicable to a lot of potential first-home buyers.

“More land releases in affordable areas, more development, the extension of the FHBG [First Home Buyer’s Grant] until June 30 and the Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme could all assist young buyers to acquire some real estate to call home.”

In 2018, Tasmania set a record with 181 $1 million-plus sales, but it took a step back in 2019 to 175 — a figure that was still higher than any other year.

While there were 1612 first-home buyers in 2018, last year 1459 got their first foot in the door, primarily buying houses (69.3 per cent), but also some units (13.9 per cent) or land (16.7 per cent).

Foreign buyers continue to be just a blip on the Tassie market radar. There was a 17-sale dip from 85 back to 68, which represents less than 1 per cent of total sales for the year.

Tasmania’s investor numbers dropped from more than 2500 in 2018 to 1937 last year — a fall of more than 20 per cent.

Mandy said that with an already stressed rental market, the fall in investor numbers was a “major concern”.

The number of interstate buyers fell last year from 2348 to 1694. The total of interstate investors also dropped from 1029 to 631.

In 2018 about 43 per cent of interstate buyers were investors, but last year that number slid back to 37 per cent.

Mandy said markets around the country had been gaining momentum and it was understandable that investors would be seeking opportunities in arenas outside of Tasmania.

“Last year we saw fewer people migrating to Tasmania, and I think this too is a negative side-effect of a market with supply-and-demand concerns,” she said. “Everyone has heard the stories of investors from interstate snapping up Tasmanian properties, but things have shifted, it is not the case.”



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