House prices in Tasmania’s capital city have fallen for the first time in years, as prices across other parts of the state continue to boom, according to CoreLogic.
It’s latest property figures released on Friday reveal Hobart dwelling values fell by 0.2 per cent in January, taking the median property value to $457,785.
But while values fell for the month, they are still much higher than this time last year, rising 7.4 per cent since last January.
Corelogic’s executive research director Tim Lawless said the January 2019 fall in Hobart prices was possibly due to seasonal volatility.
“Hobart absolutely is starting to slow down,” Mr Lawless said.
“If we do see a few more months where the market has flattened out or some negative readings, that will be a pretty firm sign that the market’s peaked out,” he said.
“But most of the other indicators we’re seeing for Hobart in terms of stock on market, it remains really low.
Tony Collidge said some buyers were starting to be more cautious about the market. (ABC News: Rhiannon Shine)
“We’re still seeing transactional activity relatively high, migration rates seem quite strong … all those factors suggest we’ll probably continue to see values rising.”
Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Tony Collidge said the figures were also impacted by the kind of houses sold.
“Properties that are selling at the moment tend to be in the lower end of the market than at the top end,” he said.
“We haven’t noticed any drop in prices.
“We are starting to notice that properties are staying on the market a little bit longer, which is indicative of buyers being a bit more choosy.”
Mr Collidge said some buyers were also being cautious due to significant prices falls in Sydney and Melbourne.
“Some appear concerned that they’re not buying into a market at the top end and if market prices go down, they’re going to lose money,” he said.
Hobart real estate agents have noticed an increase in the number of properties on the market this year, compared to last year.
Prices accelerate in regional areas
Dwelling prices in Hobart started rising rapidly in 2016, and in the middle of last year the rate of annual value growth peaked at around 13 per cent.
While Hobart’s growth has since slowed, prices in regional Tasmania have gathered pace.
In Launceston, values rose 9.9 per cent in the year to January 2019.
“Only a year ago, the Launceston market was rising at about 4.5 per cent per annum, so we’re really seeing some acceleration,” Mr Lawless said.
In the south-east, property prices have risen 9.2 per cent since last January, and in the west and north-west prices have increased by 7.8 per cent in the same period.
Mr Collidge said Launceston is the state’s “investment capital” and he expected prices there to continue to rise.
“It’s been attractive, plus the prices there are so much cheaper than Hobart, I think there’s about $100,000 to $150,000 difference between the two, and you’re getting almost the same rents as you are for Hobart.”
Hobart’s rental shortage is not expected to get better any time soon.
“It’s going to take four to five year to get the properties we need into the market to alleviate the stress, but it will happen slowly over time,” Mr Collidge said.