Mercury (Hobart) - Property

LOOKING BACK TO MOVE FORWARD

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House of the week ...................................................... 6, 7

Commercial...................................................... 38, 39, 40

Open homes..................................................................36

PROPERTY prices and rents will continue to rise because we do not have the number of properties available to meet the current demand.

The lack of rental and housing stock has put an unpreceden­ted upward pressure on prices and rents.

While the number of homes for sale and for rent remain at their present low levels, rents and prices have no option but to continue to increase.

To understand what has happened and why we find ourselves in this crisis today, we need to go back to 2012-2014.

At this time, Tasmania had Australia’s worst performing economy and highest unemployme­nt rate; people were leaving the state in droves.

Negative population growth resulted in the number of properties for sale and for rent increasing, creating lower house prices, and increasing rental vacancy rates. At this time we had Australia’s most affordable housing.

In 2014 a new State Government was elected. Shortly after an upswing in consumer and business confidence was recorded.

Things started to turn around and our economic conditions significan­tly improved. Jobs growth meant that fewer people were leaving the state.

Affordable housing and the “slower laid-back lifestyle” appeal of Tasmania was attracting many mainlander­s to the state.

Positive population growth saw most of the surplus rental and vacant establishe­d dwellings consumed by this growth.

We failed to recognise that in time a situation would arise where we would not have enough dwellings to meet consumer demand.

Being so small, Tasmania has not been able to keep pace with the demand placed on it for rental and private housing accommodat­ion.

No one foresaw the explosive increase in demand that would occur for rental or private housing since 2014.

Our chances of meeting this requiremen­t were never going to happen.

Our housing and rental problems started about seven years ago. We saw exponentia­l growth in our agricultur­al and aquacultur­e areas. At the same time tourism exploded, and the UTAS aggressive­ly grew its enrolments, particular­ly overseas students.

Public housing waiting lists doubled to almost 4000 applicants, and with more people visiting the state, Hobart struggled to meet tourist accommodat­ion, private rental, public/social housing and new buyer needs.

From 2014 we saw a significan­t rise in Airbnb because, in part, we didn’t have enough hotel accommodat­ion and this took many properties out of the long-term rental market.

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Could a real estate tsunami push the Tasmanian prop
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