Why Tasmania should be on your home hunting list

Thursday 01 Aug 2019

So you’ve been hunting for a home and nothing is quite hitting the mark? It’s either not what you’re looking for or – as many Australians are now finding – is way out of your budget. If you’re looking for a less conventional solution, we suggest you consider a move to Tasmania!  Why Tasmania? Apart from the fantastic food, eclectic arts and cultural scenes, and stunning natural surroundings you mean? Tasmania has become very cool in the last few years and it’s more than just retirees and sea changers jumping off the mainland for a better life on the southern island. Families and under 35s are also seeing the advantages of a stable and accessible property market, paired with a low cost of living. The lifestyle factors are just an added bonus.


Tasmania has long been an idyllic destination, but for most ‘mainlanders’ it remained just that – a destination. A range of factors have really boosted the image of the peaceful island state and it’s now viewed far more favourably, as much more than just a holiday or retirement destination. Its inspiring natural beauty, wonderfully preserved cultural heritage and of course the jewel in the state’s crown - MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art are all serious reasons alone to move there. Since opening, this outstanding private collection has launched companion festivals, ferry routes and more, all attracting greater visitor numbers to the state and boosting the local economy. More importantly though, it has transformed public perception of Tasmania as being ‘a little dull’, putting it squarely on the map as one of Australia’s most vibrant and exciting destinations for arts and culture. In conjunction with drawcard annual events such as The Taste of Tasmania, the biennial statewide cultural event Ten Days on the Island and of course MONA’s festivals Mona Foma and Dark Mofo, the island state now has more to offer than ever before.


As a result of its new cool credentials, Tasmania has made its way onto the coveted, unwritten ‘seachangers’ list – locations where Australians looking for a better quality of life (that also invests in a secure future), would like to move to. As housing affordability, a rapidly increasing population and general costs and pressures of daily life seem to be consuming the lifestyle of the mainland city dwellers, Tasmania has reached its tipping point. The perfect balance seems to have been struck, with a much-needed boost to its population and subsequent growth to the local economy.


The state recently recorded its highest population growth in almost a decade – much of it coming from interstate migration. The last set of ABS Census of Population and Housing data revealed that over 36% of recent arrivals (who had not been there a year prior) were under 35s – aged 25 to 34. Interestingly, the largest proportion of migrants are from overseas, so it’s an interesting point of discussion as to why they chose Tasmania – affordability must surely be a consideration. In terms of interstate migration, almost 14% relocated from Victoria and around 13% from Queensland.


This may give you the impression that the state is flooded with young hipsters and party folk, however the appeal seems to definitely be grounded in a strong desire for a better quality of life. Housing affordability is a huge part of this and Tasmania has continued to deliver reliable figures where house prices are concerned. The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s (REIT) most recent quarterly report showed significant increases in both Hobart and Launceston over the last 12 months. Hobart’s median house price increased by 9.5% to $502,750, while Launceston’s jumped an impressive 14.8% to $350,000. An important point to make here is that if you’ve already developed the mindset of spending upwards of $700,000 for an average suburb home in a mainland city, you could catapult yourself into a whole other level of lifestyle with an upmarket purchase in Tasmania. What would be a multimillion-dollar property in Melbourne could be yours in Hobart’s most exclusive suburb of Sandy Bay for example, where the highest prices have historically been around the $700,000 - $800,000 mark.


Tasmania’s annual achievements only endorse its position further. Residential sales continue to grow and achieve new benchmarks year on year, for the past 7 consecutive years. Rental vacancies are under 2.0% which is an all-time low and average rents on both houses and units have increased by almost 8% through the course of 2018.


So, if you are currently struggling to choose between a tiny apartment in a Brisbane or Melbourne high rise, or a run-down property, greatly in need of repair in the deep outer suburbs of Sydney, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy.  A multi roomed house with a garden, multiple parking spaces and positive cash flow, walking distance to local bars and cafes could be yours. As could a glamorous mansion, a cheap, cheerful and lucrative investment property and the potential to live the lifestyle you have only dreamt of before now.  Shouldn’t you be booking flights to Tassie right now?


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The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.