INDUSTRY NEWSNEWSTas

Sales activity starts to slow down across Tasmania

After a record 12 months for real estate sales across Tasmania, new data from the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania shows that sales and prices are beginning to slow.

The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s (REIT) March Quarterly Report shows the first three months of 2022 have seen Tasmania’s median house price increase a modest 1.7 per cent to $610,000, with unit prices remaining unchanged at $485,000 and land prices decreasing 5.2 per cent to $241,800.

Overall the Tasmanian market softened in the first quarter, recording 2846 sales with a value of $1.66 billion with the number of sales down 4.7 per cent on the previous quarter and down 11.2 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Activity across the state has varied greatly, with the number of house sales across Greater Hobart falling 18 per cent over the quarter while prices grew 5.8 per cent to $820,000.

In Launceston, sales numbers increased by 10 sales over the quarter to 279, while the median price fell 3.8 per cent from $600,000 to $577,500. 

Meanwhile, across the North West Centres sales were down 20.8 per cent over the quarter with the median price increasing 3.1 per cent to $453,500.

REIT President Michael Walsh said that over the past five months there has been an evident easing in the local real estate market. 

“Price growth had slowed but so has the number of properties coming onto the market,” Mr Walsh said.

“We are told that buyer inquiry levels and open home participation levels have dropped. 

“World unrest, the upcoming Federal Election, rising inflation and interest rate increases have buyers and sellers cautious.”

According to the report, first home buyer activity was down 13 per cent on the previous quarter, while investor activity remained stable, with sales numbers increasing by 1.3 per cent over the year to 567 but down 4.7 per cent for the past quarter.

Launceston retains its crown as Tasmania’s investment capital, with 24 per cent of its sales being used for investment purposes.

The North West Centres were just 1 per cent behind at 23 per cent and Hobart a distant third at 17 per cent. 

Rental property vacancy rates are still at historical lows being 0.9 per cent in Hobart, 0.8 per cent in Launceston, and 1.3 per cent across the North West.

Over the quarter median rents increased $5 in Hobart to $505, $30 in Launceston to $450, and $10 across the North West to $360.

Battery Point gained the status as Tasmanian’s most expensive suburb with a median sale price of $1,850,000 followed by Sandy bay $1,400,000 and Rose Bay $1,300,000. 

The most affordable regions remain Rosebery ($160,000), Zeehan ($172,500) and Queenstown ($202,500).

Mr Walsh said that tight supply is still an issue across the state despite houses prices rising 31.3 per cent, unit prices up 26 per cent and land prices 31.4 per cent higher over the past 12 months.

“The affordability level of both our sales and rental markets can only be addressed by increases in supply,” he said.

“The shortage of housing supply and rental accommodation is not unique to Tasmania but is being experienced across the whole nation.

“Unfortunately, there is no quick fix.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.