Tasmania

The Smartline Report – June Edition

The month in review: Tasmania

By Herron Todd White
June 2016

Tasmania’s state economic data continues to remain relatively stable with unemployment at 6.6%, up slightly (0.2%) since the end of 2015 but 0.8% lower than at the same time last year while the gap between Tasmanian and the national average unemployment rate has widened. The Australian Bureau of Statistics measure of job vacancies for the state remained stagnant for the past year departing from the national average where gains were made.

Building approvals continue on a downward trend and are somewhat lower than at the same time last year. This cooling could be attributed to the shrinking First Home Builders Boost (FHBB) grant. The grant was reduced from $20,000 on 31 December 2015 to $10,000 on 1 January 2016 for first home buyers or builders of new residential dwellings. Some land developers appear to have anticipated this cooling towards the end of 2015 and were attempting to bring forward demand with advertised incentives such as new cars and gift vouchers. Incentives were also extended to the building industry and are still being offered.

Tasmania’s future economic focus continues to be predominantly education, tourism and food production. Educational developments include a $10 million redevelopment of Latrobe High School; approval by Hobart City Council of a $90 million University of Tasmania performing arts hub; and a $3.6 million refurbishment of the South Hobart primary school.

In tourism, the following developments have recently been announced; government funding for several regional festivals and tourism events; a $40 million runway extension at Hobart; an increased number of Qantas flights into Hobart; a $2 million upgrade of the South Cape Track; Regional Tourism assistance to help development and expansion on Bruny Island for a visitor experience centre by Bruny Island tours and expansion of Bruny Island Cheese Company’s cellar door; a $300 million capital works project to be implemented over ten years to upgrade the Sandy Bay shopping precinct; road and pedestrian access improvements within Hobart.

Recent agricultural developments include: assistance to rebuild and monitor the affected Pacfic Oyster Mortality Syndrome industry; approval of the Southern Highlands irrigation scheme; opening of the Blue Banner pickled onion processing plant in Ulverstone; investment by Bosch into a Tasmanian agricultural technology company enabling them to expand their operations and develop a global outlook with global licensing.

The Tasmanian residential property market continues to experience small annual increases in sales volumes across the state and in some areas, stock shortages have seen some capital growth in the major population centres. Statewide centrally located suburbs that contain a good range of facilities, larger infrastructure such as shopping centres, educational and health institutions and public transport tend to be popular with renters and purchasers alike and are viewed as having the best capital growth potential.

Kingston, Howrah, Blackmans Bay, Glenorchy, New Norfolk and Sandy Bay are suburbs where the greatest sales volumes have occurred recently in the south, while in the north the suburbs of Riverside, Newstead and Newnham have experienced the greatest recent volumes of sales. In the north-west region, Devonport has seen the greatest number of sales.

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Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2016. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325

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