With 2017 sales up 11.6 per cent on last year, Tasmania has continued to break ahead of the pack in terms of Australia’s state property markets.
The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s September 2017 Quarterly Report confirmed that the Tasmanian real estate market remains Australia's fastest growing, grossing $3.8 billion.
The REIT report showed 2414 sales worth $756.6 million for the same quarter last year -- in 2017 these figures increased to 2700 sales worth $914.2 million.
Hobart suburbs were at their highest median price levels ever. Hobart's median price is $436,250, up 1.5 per cent for the quarter, and 13.3 per cent for the year. Launceston house prices also demonstrated strong growth, gaining 13.2 per cent for the year to a median price of $300,000.
REIT data suggests that several of the major real estate market analysts who suggested Tasmania’s market was being driven by mainland investment were incorrect.
Tasmanians continue to control the local market accounting for 76 per cent of transactions. In 2017, interstate purchasers acquired 1,813 properties at a median price of $290,000. Of these, 812 were investors and 1,001 were moving to reside in Tasmania.
Tasmania joined New South Wales and Western Australia as key drivers of growth in building approvals, according to the ABS data, who reported earlier this year that Australian building approvals rose by 1.5 per cent in September, defying expectations of a more pronounced slowdown.
REIT president, Tony Collidge said Tasmania’s real estate and rental markets continued to be driven by strong local demand, and favourable economic conditions, a robust tourism market, and consumer optimism were encouraging positive growth within the state.
With regard to house sales, Launceston achieved 319 sales up 21.3 per cent on last year. The NW Centres also experienced an increase up 14.3 per cent to record 176 sales.
Shortages in the availability of properties for sale in Hobart saw its number of sales decrease 6.7 per cent to 526. Overall house sales across the state were up 7.4 per cent.
Unit sales were up a whopping 24.9 per cent over last year. Hobart (238 sales) was up 34.5 per cent, and Launceston (68 sales) increased 25.9 per cent. The median unit price has increased from $250,000 in 2016 to $277,750 in 2017.
Somewhat surprisingly, investors (362 sales) were only responsible for 20 per cent of sales. First home buyers who accounted for 220 sales at a median price of $275,000 remained steady.
"It is encouraging to see strong improvement in sales activity in the North and North-West markets," Collidge said.
Of concern is our ability, particularly in Hobart, to continue to meet the demands of such growth. I envisage the shortage of rental properties and properties for sale will see demand continue to push rents and prices higher.