The market in Hobart moved little over the past year, with capital growth at just 2.8 per cent, according to RP Data. In the three months to August, values actually slid back, falling 0.8 per cent. Yet the housing sector may be on the rise, even as unit values fall. According to figures from the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania, the median price for houses in Hobart increased by 9.4 per cent over the year to June, though unit median values dropped by 6.8 per cent in the same period.
Sales are also gaining momentum after an extended downturn, according to the REIT. In the three months to June, turnover across Tasmania increased by 5.7 per cent. In the same period, sales in Hobart climbed 23 per cent and the outer suburbs recorded a jump of 53.8 per cent.
According to Herron Todd White, the Hobart market held its value the best in the wake of the GFC. In particular, the report highlights west and north Hobart as popular areas where growth is consistently above trend. Tranmere on the eastern shore is also attracting interest as residents take advantage of the government’s generous homebuilder’s grant.
Hobart is Australia’s cheapest property market. RP Data reports 63.2 per cent of houses are priced below $400,000, making it the only city where bargain properties are in a majority. The most affordable suburb is Clarendon Vale, where the median is just $159,159. Tasmania is the only state with no suburbs recording a median above $1 million.
Activity is also on the rise in Launceston, the state’s second biggest town. Over the June quarter, sales in the city accelerated by 14.4 per cent, the REIT reports.
However, prices in the town have softened, falling 3.7 per cent in the past year. Herron Todd White identifies Invermay and West Launceston as suburbs that are most likely to grow due to their proximity to the town centre.
The north west centres, such as Smithton, Burnie and Devonport, saw conditions ease over the past year. The REIT reports the median price in this region dropped by 1.5 per cent over the year while sales rose by 4.4 per cent.