The month in review: Tasmania
By Herron Todd White
Population growth and employment opportunities are two key drivers of housing demand. Being an island state with a smaller population has many advantages such as a reputation for our pristine environment not to mention our ten minute commute to work but with regard to population growth our less porous state borders, comparative to other states, means slower population growth and subsequent housing demand.
Some economic forecasters are predicting slow growth for Tasmania. Tasmania’s Department of Employment has projected employment growth of 5.1% over the next four years to 2020. In line with Tasmania’s clean, green image and with the decline of traditional industries such as mining and forestry, the potential of Tassie’s tourism and food production sectors have been identified in more recent years as key areas of economic opportunity and is where a larger proportion of state economic development has been focused. These sectors are where the greatest growth in future employment opportunities is expected to occur.
Residential construction demand is more than 20% down on the same time as last year however, any effect of the state government’s increase in the first home builder’s boost announced in the May budget would be yet to be felt. Second home buyers or home owners who relocate to either a larger home, more well regarded suburb or closer to the city are currently the key driver in Tasmania’s residential property market.
In all areas where sales volumes were strongest in this second home buyer bracket houses were the predominant property type transacted. Recent sales volumes show that the greatest number of sales within this market segment have occurred in the following suburbs across the state;
Kingston is located on the southern outskirts of Hobart in the fast growing municipality of Kingborough. While residents of Kingston have a longer commute to the city, it is a fast growing, wellserviced suburb located between Hobart and the Huon Valley. The median sale price based on recent sales in this suburb, for this sector was $379,000. For this price in Kingston you could expect to purchase an older style 160 square metre home on just under 700 square metres of land. Similar numbers of sales occurred in Howrah, a suburb located on the Derwent’s eastern shore which is a short commute to Hobart’s centre and is popular because of its proximity to the Derwent River. The median price for recent sales in Howrah in this range was just a tick under $390,000 for which you could expect to purchase an older style 137 square metre home on a block under 600 square metres.
Newstead is an established residential suburb of Launceston located approximately three and a half kilometres from Launceston’s centre and is popular with families due to its proximity to the city and its facilities. Of the recent Newstead sales in this market segment $355,000 was the median price for which a 105 square metre modern unit could be purchased. For a touch above this median price at $360,000 you could expect to purchase an older style, 139 square metre house on just over 600 square metres of land.
North West Region
The Devonport region is the largest population centre in Tasmania’s north west and is located approximately 100 kilometres north-west of Launceston. The median price of recent sales within this second home market bracket was $353,000, for which you could expect to buy an older style, 190 square metre house in Devonport on a block just under 800 square metres.