Mercury (Hobart) - Property
BUYERS ON TARGET
The incredible demand for Hobart’s most expensive suburb is adding a premium to house prices, writes Michelle Singer.
COMPETITION remains higher than ever for Tasmania’s most expensive and arguably most liveable suburb, Battery Point.
The historic enclave, with only 1225 private dwellings, continues to attract buyers of all demographics en masse as locals, mainlanders and expats appreciate its lifestyle and qualities.
In the six months to June 30, 2021, Battery Point’s median house price increased 23.1 per cent to $1.6 million, according to Real Estate Institute of Tasmania figures.
There were fewer than 10 houses sold for the first half of the year and average days on market fell to single digits. It’s a new record low according to REIT’s data, which goes back to 1996.
The top sale for the year to date is 11 Mona Street, a five-bedroom 1878-built Victorian Gothic-style family home on 1814sq m, which sold through Peterswald for Property in May for $5.1 million.
With seven additional sales in July and August, including three $2 million-plus transactions, there is no denying Battery Point’s perennial popularity.
Petrusma Property agent Stuart Benson says the lack of listings and overwhelming demand made forecasting any price on a Battery Point home increasingly difficult.
“I look back six months and consider some of the prices achieved at the end of summer and think ‘wow what a bargain’,” he says.
“What’s always a challenge, and this applies to almost any property in Hobart let alone Battery Point, is this is probably the cheapest the market will be for a very long time.
“It serves to reinforce there’s an incredible lack of supply and we live in a city where the quality of life we enjoy is making it more and more desirable particularly to people from interstate and expats returning home.”
Of the 100-plus inquiries made within the first four days of Mr Benson’s campaign for 7 Francis Street, Battery Point, 40 per cent of the interest originated from Sydney and Melbournebased buyers.
Expats too are looking to secure property, sometimes years in advance of planned returns to Australia, as they worry about not being able to afford to get back into the market.
Other key considerations driving the Battery Point interest is the irreplaceable combination of its historic charms and in the case of many properties offered this year, including Francis Street, a tasteful and sympathetic renovation.
“Two of the groups who are desperately keen are in the midst of restoring older properties in inner city suburbs,” Mr Benson says.
“They see this as the opportunity to avoid the heartache, stress and challenging elements that come with a new build. Having the opportunity to avoid the design and build phase is seen as a big bonus with a property like this.
“A lot of people see a modern extension without the challenges and time and that’s been the consistent message here.”