By Herron Todd White
June 2020

Hobart/Launceston/Regional Property Update

At the time of writing there are only 11 active Covid-19 infections in the state, four of those being hospitalised. Restrictions are slowly easing. Real estate agents can hold socially-distanced open homes and auctions.

However it is going to be a while before the island state is open to tourists from the mainland again with the premier saying he will announce in July when we may expect the border restrictions to ease.

Onto renovations and our ‘big green’ hardware stores have been the go-to during the last few months. Like elsewhere in the country many Taswegians have been working from home (or being out of work at home) and thus have the opportunity to tend to those odd jobs. However we have not seen wide scale larger renovations/extensions. Builders have reported an increase in the smaller jobs but a decrease in quoting opportunities for those larger capital expenditure projects.

Interestingly some Airbnb operators are taking this opportunity to undertake maintenance and upgrading works while their properties are having down time. Initially we did see a rush of these types of properties into the traditional rental market. This transition has now slowed with owners now choosing to undertake maintenance and wait it out.

The obvious withdrawal of mainland buyers from our market would be expected to open up opportunities for the local buyer and even local first home buyer. Headline reports had sales activity down a third in April in some markets. However we have not yet seen any discernible movement in pricing. Nor have there been a rush of first home buyers into the market. Perhaps the talk that the State Government is going to raise the FHG from the current $20,000 to $40,000 is the incentive this buying segment needs to keep their powder dry for the moment!

There is a general feeling with the easing of restrictions that the island with its natural ‘ocean barrier protection’ is well positioned to work its way out of the last few months. Hopefully the state will soon be virus clear. This can only enhance our clean/green image to the wider world and potentially encourage further migration from the mainland states and territories.

Interesting times ahead!

Speak with a Tasmania Mortgage Broker today.