Investors looking for an affordable suburb that is likely to perform strongly would do well to consider Hobart suburb Lutana. With stunning views of the river and Mount Wellington, many will be shocked to discover that its median house price is under $300,000.
Lutana is just 5km north of the CBD. Part of the reason for the suburb’s affordability is its proximity to the Zinifex zinc works: in fact, the suburb was originally built by the Electrolytic Zinc company as homes for its employees at the nearby zinc smelter.
There have been issues with soil contamination due to past activities at the Zincworks – albeit with no danger to residents’ health – and current owner Zinifex has been spending significant amounts of time and money cleaning up the Zincworks since it acquired it 20 years ago. As a result, Lutana has been overlooked for several years. Meanwhile, many locals describe it as one of Hobart’s ‘best-kept secrets’.
The suburb is largely residential, with a few local stores on Brooker Avenue, but neighbouring Moonah has a significant retail amenity presence, with a sizeable shopping centre. Moonah also provides local schools.
It’s a small suburb, principally made up of detached houses. While there’s a sizeable retiree community, it is becoming more popular with younger families and there may be scope to add value to shabby properties through renovation – especially those built by the original Zincworks operator.
Rental yields are among the strongest in northern Hobart at over. The suburb also has a tight rental market, with a vacancy rate that's barely risen above 2% over the past five years, according to SQM Research figures.
Properties on the eastern side of the suburb may suffer from the aforementioned soil contamination issues, so buyers may wish to stick to the west of the suburb and would be well advised to carry out ground surveys prior to purchase.