Is the tide turning for Tasmania?

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Times have been tough for the Apple Isle in recent years, but some new figures indicate that the tide could finally be turning.

According to the REIT’s June Quarter Property Report, Tasmania’s market has just enjoyed the highest number of house sales in a quarter since the 2010 June quarter.

The report also showed a 5.7% statewide increase in house sales for the June quarter, which was up 10.1% for the year.

Further, Tasmania’s median house price recorded a 2% increase to leave it sitting at $311,000 for the June quarter.

REIT president Adrian Kelly said he was encouraged by both the strong quarter in house sales and the strongest month of June since 2009.

“With the increase in house sales for the quarter, the median time to sell a house decreased by eight days, with the median days on the market now sitting at 62 days for Tasmania.”

The report also revealed which suburbs had the highest median house price, the highest turnover, and which were the most affordable or expensive.

The three most affordable suburbs were Ravenswood, Mayfield and Gagebrook, while the three most expensive suburbs were Battery Point, Acton Park and Sandy Bay.

Kelly said that, while first home buyers remained steady at 17% of all house sales, he expected to see this drop back next quarter - following the removal of the First Home Owner’s Grant on 1 July.

“Second home buyers continue to hold over half the market, accounting for 52% of house sales and a median house price of $338,120. But interstate and overseas buyers were down slightly to 15% for the quarter.”

According to the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, business confidence in the state's economic outlook has also been improving.

In a recent report, the TCCI noted that the business community’s confidence in the outlook for the next 12 months was the highest it has been for three years.

Meanwhile, ABS statistics show there was a 2.2% increase in the number of Tasmanians employed over the 12 months to June 2014.

All of these features should be of interest to investors – particularly as Hobart continues to be the most affordable capital city in Australia, according to the latest RP Data Rismark home value results.

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