The September quarter was another positive step for the Tasmanian real estate market, according to the state’s peak real estate body.


While the three-month period didn’t see the state’s market take any massive strides, the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) said the results from the quarter indicate Tasmania is heading in the right direction.


“The results are definitely a good sign. The September quarter is usually the weakest, so the results this year were really pleasing,” REIT president Tony Collidge told Your Investment Property Magazine.


“It’s going along at a steady level as well. We’re seeing gradual increases across areas of the market, not massive, sudden jumps that will then end up with the guts of the market dropping out,” Collidge said.


According to the REIT figures, Tasmania’s median house price now sits at $310,000 after a 1.6% increase over the quarter, and is now 2.8% higher than it was at the same time last year.

Over the quarter the median unit price increased by 3.6%.


While house sales dropped by 1.2% over the quarter, Collidge said the fact that sales are up 15% compared to the same time last year is another positive sign.


Unit sales have also increased over the year, up 14.1% in the last 12 months.


Looking locally across the state, Launceston recorded the highest number of sales at 315, up 11.7% on last year, followed by Clarence 267 (up 13.6%), Glenorchy 193 (up 12.2%) Hobart 192 (up 20%) Kingsborough (down 6%) and Devonport 112 (up 3.7%)


Collidge said the increase in sales is being driven by local buyers, which he believes is another strong sign for the Tasmanian market.


“There’s still not a huge involvement from people from the mainland and there’s only minimal activity coming from foreign investors,” he said.


“The majority of sales are local buyers, which shows people in Tasmania are becoming increasingly confident in the market and that’s a great sign.”


The REIT figures show that less than 20% of sales during the quarter were to Australian buyers from outside Tasmania, while only six foreign buyers grabbed Tasmanian property in the quarter.


The increased confidence in Tasmania’s market is likely down to the state enjoying a period of political stability and improving economic conditions.


“Over the last 18 months to two years the political environment here has been really stable and in Hobart we’re about to see work start on about $1 billion worth of infrastructure.


“That’s going to drive growth and create employment over the next five to 10 years and that’s only going to make more people confident.”


While Tasmania may not yet be the location of choice for investors, Collidge believes conditions are forming that could see an increasing number turn their attention south.


“Sydney’s dropping off at the moment and Melbourne’s sort of hitting its peak, there’s a lot of activity in Brisbane and south east Queensland, but I think we’re going to see, along with Adelaide, a lot of investors begin to be attracted by the opportunities.


“One real positive for the state is our vacancies. In Hobart the vacancy rate is about 2%, while the highest is the north-west coast at 4%. Along with that, the rental yields here are really good, so there are great opportunities for people to get affordable, positively geared investments.”