The month in review: Tasmania
By Herron Todd White
Tasmania’s economic data remains relatively stable with unemployment at 6.9%, up slightly on last month. Economic developments, in line with Tasmania’s future economic focus, are mainly tourism and food production. Reported developments include expansion of Hellyers Road Distillery and two new farms in the North West, the opening of Stage 2 of the Blue Derby Bike Trail in the North and in the South, Houston Farm will increase lettuce production for export and Mount Wellington tours are being offered with guides specialising in and focusing on Tasmanian Aboriginal culture.
Conversely further contractions will be felt within the forestry industry as Forestry Tasmania undergoes restructure.
Tasmania’s cycle trails are creating quite a buzz enabling Tasmania to build on its tourism market traction which with other tourist draw cards such as Mona, our famous Salamanca markets, Port Arthur, Cradle Mountain and Cataract Gorge will reinforce Tasmania’s image as a sought after worldwide tourist destination. Strengthening tourism and food production industries that create and support employment and business opportunities will create stability and positive flows to other markets such as the housing market.
The Tasmanian residential property market has recently experienced higher volumes of sales across the state. Launceston in the north has enjoyed the greatest percentage rise in sales volumes relative to previous periods. Newstead, Newnham, Riverside and Mowbray are areas where the greatest volumes of sales have occurred in this region.
Suburbs in the south that have experienced the greatest sales volumes include Kingston, Sandy Bay, Blackmans Bay, Howrah and Lindisfarne.
In the North West region Devonport has had the greatest number of sales.
The scheduled reduction of the first home builders boost grant from July 2015 to $10,000 makes this market segment one to watch. With state budgetary challenges there is interest to see if the Government will extend the FHBB grant program to maintain economic and employment momentum within the construction and real estate sectors.