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Tassie tops regional market as WA outlook improves

The housing market in Tasmania has been the strongest performer across the entire country over the last five years – and the trend has not just been limited to Hobart.

According to CoreLogic‘s quarterly regional review, which looks at capital growth over the year to April, Launceston and the North East region remain the top performer across both the house and unit market. Houses in that region grew by 9.5 per cent over the course of the year, while units gained an impressive 16.2 per cent.

Overall, houses continued to be the better performer with 21 of the 25 house markets included in the analysis recording a rise in value, while units had fewer regions where growth was positive over the year.

For houses, Ballarat in Victoria was the area where houses sold the fastest at just 30 days, while the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven in NSW saw the biggest jumps in sales by 21.6 per cent.

The softest regional housing market in the country to April was Bunbury in WA, which saw a fall of 6.4 per cent, while the longest days on market was recorded in New England and the North West of NSW at 98.

For unit markets, Ballarat in Victoria was again the fastest to sell at just 30 days, while it also had the lowest vendor discounting at -2.3 per cent.

The weakest performing unit market in the country was Hume in Victoria with a fall of 10.3 per cent. Wide Bay in Queensland took to longest time to sell a unit with 105 days on average.

CoreLogic Head of Research Eliza Owen said much of the strength in the regional Tasmanian markets has been from the lack of supply and strong demand in Hobart, but that could be about to change.

“Launceston and North East Tasmania have unsurprisingly seen an uplift due to a spillover of demand from Hobart, and a bullish sentiment towards Tasmanian property markets,” Ms Owen said. 

“However, this is annual data and captures much of the demand prior to the onset of COVID-19. Monthly CoreLogic data is showing rents and property values have started to slip.”

Despite nearly five years of weakness in house prices, regional WA is starting to turn the corner, which according to Ms Owen was thanks to a resurgence in the mining sector.

“Parts of regional WA may see some stability in housing values over 2020, off the back of increasing optimism in mining as China recovers from COVID-19,” she predicted.

“This could represent a reversal of the housing demand dynamics we’ve observed over the past few years.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.