Mercury (Hobart) - Property




MICHAEL WALSH from Roberts Real Estate in Launceston has been elected Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president.

An experience­d and respected contributo­r to the industry, Mr Walsh began his career in real estate a few decades ago and along the way has operated his own business as well as working for several local agencies.

After serving on the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania Board and Northern Branch Committee for several years he felt the time was right to step up to the plate and seek election as president of the REIT.

With sales prices climbing every month in Hobart and median values pushing higher and higher, the market is performing strongly, and Mr Walsh said he would be surprised to see much change on that front throughout this year or next year.

“We are all in the same boat,” he said. “Pricing real estate today is not easy; you can suggest a starting point but where a sale might end up is another matter entirely.

“And our open homes are packed with people, I’ve never seen anything like the current market.”

Mr Walsh said the boom of the early 2000s was spectacula­r and “taught us plenty about the buying public” but the current market is remarkable in different ways with pressure seemingly coming from every direction.

“We had a Covid stumble for a couple of months, but it has been remarkable to see how the market has reacted throughout the pandemic,” he said.

“Our biggest challenge remains stock levels and simply not having enough to meet demand.”

Mrs Walsh said if 100 people were asked where the market was heading, 100 different answers would be returned because nobody knows for sure what will happen next.

“We have drasticall­y low stock levels right now. Whenever we list a home for sale, oodles of people will come to inspect it, make offers and try to buy.

“Until stock levels rise, I think buyers will be scrambling in a very stock-poor market.

“The general opinion would be that our market conditions are unlikely to change a great deal in the near future.

“Whether that means prices wind back a little bit or continue to rise, that is the unknown.”

On the back of growing inquiry levels, some local agents believe there is a flood of people interstate waiting to make the move to the Apple Isle, and the dam will break once state borders reopen.

Mr Walsh said this theory was “a possibilit­y” as Tasmania appeared to be attracting buyers looking to make a sea or tree change.

REIT figures show about 15 per cent of all sales over the past year were interstate buyers and Mr Walsh said most of them (about 10 per cent) were people moving here to live rather than invest.

“Interstate investors will come to our market when all of the ducks line up — low values and high rents — but now that values are up, those core, profession­al investors may be looking at other areas that offer better returns,” he said.

Mr Walsh said when looking at the big picture, the data shows Tasmania has experience­d long periods of slow and steady price growth up to a point where the “rubber band let’s go and we catch up really quickly”.

“We are different here compared to the larger capital cities. In a short space of time, we can catch up to where we ‘should be’ but very very quickly,” he said.

“Historical­ly, a period of calm would follow a growth surge.

“But when will our next period of calm come along? It remains to be seen.”

 ?? ?? New REIT president Michael Walsh.
New REIT president Michael Walsh.

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