Mercury (Hobart) - Property - - Hot Topic - JAR­RAD BEVAN For in­for­ma­tion on the as­so­ci­a­tion, visit na­tion­alse­

WHEN it comes to dis­cussing the state of the lo­cal real es­tate mar­ket, the re­cently aired con­cerns of a group of se­nior Tas­ma­ni­ans were as broad as the Bass Strait.

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Tas­ma­nia pres­i­dent Tony Col­lidge was a guest speaker for the lo­cal branch of Na­tional Se­niors Aus­tralia.

He spent 45 min­utes giv­ing a thor­ough as­sess­ment of the lo­cal mar­ket, from the de­pre­ci­ated state it was in af­ter the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis through to the more re­cent heights of na­tion-lead­ing home value growth along­side a crit­i­cal short­age of homes to buy and sell.

Among many top­ics, he spoke about the im­por­tance of se­lect­ing the right real es­tate agent and where to look for ex­pert ad­vice on top­ics such as the ef­fects sell­ing a house might have on a se­nior’s pen­sion en­ti­tle­ments.

When the time came for the group to ask ques­tions, the re­sult was fas­ci­nat­ing. Few posed de­tailed ques­tions about their own hous­ing sit­u­a­tions, but many had “big pic­ture” ob­ser­va­tions to make.

There were ques­tions about the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, the in­ter­state firms work­ing in Tas­ma­nia, and the short­age of ap­pren­tices that are be­ing groomed to be the state’s home builders of the fu­ture.

A hot topic was the plan­ning sec­tor and whether coun­cils were un­der­staffed or ill-pre­pared to deal with the level of de­vel­op­ment Tas­ma­nia needs.

One at­tendee at the meet­ing said: “Coun­cils need to get off their back­sides and fig­ure out a way to pass de­vel­op­ments sooner.”

Mr Col­lidge said there were ques­tions that might have been bet­ter di­rected to Pre­mier Will Hodg­man on top­ics such as job prospects in this state, and how young Tas­ma­ni­ans could ex­pect to buy a first home when prices had in­creased so much.

There was a lighter mo­ment, too, when Mr Col­lidge was asked if he would ac­cept a nom­i­na­tion to make him the pres­i­dent of this branch of the NSA.

One com­ment from an au­di­ence mem­ber may have hit the nail on the head for many peo­ple. She said she would like to move from her home, but feels like do­ing so has be­come an in­sur­mount­able chal­lenge.

“I live in For­est Road in West Ho­bart, but at my age I would like to live some­where flat,” she said.

“Ide­ally that would be still be in West Ho­bart, but closer to the city.

“Un­for­tu­nately, it is hard to find a place to buy that would be the right fit for my needs.” So now, she feels stuck. “I don’t know what to do next,” she said. “Sell­ing up, mov­ing out and buy­ing a new home will not get any eas­ier the older I get. I sup­pose for now I will have to stay put.”

Tony Col­lidge

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