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Slow paced year for the Apple Isle



2011 was no doubt a challenging year for the property market across Australia, even though the year ended better than it started.  The situation in Tasmania was in tune with the rest of the nation, experiencing the quietest year in property in over a decade.

 

 

Vendors get a raw deal

Sellers in Tasmania had a tough run in 2011, with properties typically staying on the market longer (70 days, compared to 56 in 2010) and more properties being listed than selling each month. Comparing year on year results, there has been approximately a 20% decrease in sales.  In terms of the median house price for Tasmania, this year it eased back 2.9%.

Looking at results for each region, it was the South and North-West areas that were hardest hit with a 4% and 10% decrease respectively. The North’s median house price actually remained steady for the year.

Not all bad news

Aside from downward trend of the overall market, there were some small pockets of success. Municipalities such as Brighton which has seen quite a bit of development, increased 10% for the year, George Town increased 18% for the year and West Coast had a 24% increase, although typically (and still is) one of the most affordable areas in Tasmania.

Another sector that defied the downturn was first home buyers. With interest rates at lower level than previous years and properties sitting on the market longer resulting in moderate discounting, first home buyers have taken the opportunity to purchase. Launceston in the north has been of particular interest for this segment with nearly double the amount of sales than the South.  This is due to the number of surrounding suburbs in Launceston with a median house price around that of what first home buyers typically spend, which is around $250,000.

Despite having a slow start to 2011, the market slowly crept back up to 2010 levels in the second half of the year. End of year results indicate that 2012 will possibly consolidate on this and all indications so far signal a return to greener pastures in Tasmania this year.