Hobart DocksThe Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) confirmed in its quarterly results that the real estate market has continued to strengthen in Tasmania. The market has seen the highest number of sales since 2004, with 2886 sales amounting to $955,721,525 across the region. This puts figures up by 29.6% in the last 12 months.

According to the data, Launceston was the jewel in the crown, with 440 sales total. This is an annual increase by 34.6%. The North West followed in second with 20.9% growth and Hobart shortly behind with 20.2% increase in sales volume.

Launceston was the only region of Tasmania to record a lower median sales price, but this has come about due to more than 60% of sales coming from lower-end properties.

There has been significant movement in unit/townhouse sales in Tasmania, which was a highlight of the quarter. 385 sales in this area of property is the highest number seen for many years. Unit/townhouse transactions are up by 27% in the Hobart area, 22% in Launceston and 4% along the North West Coast.

Properties edging over $1,000,000 in value save an increase in sales too. Twenty-five sales were recorded for these properties, 23 of which were in Hobart and 2 in Launceston.

First time buyers are finding it incredibly difficult to get into the market still. Most of these people are looking to buy already established homes that are not eligible for any kind of government assistance. This means they will have to compete against experienced investors in order to secure a home.

FHB data showed a steady decline, with 11% of sales in the quarter – a 15.4% decrease on the same period last year. State Revenue Office figures revealed that in the year 2013/14 the government paid for 2560 grants worth around $25,000,000 dollars.

The rental market in Tasmania continues its strong investment returns on the back of some high demand and low vacancy rates. Investor activity actually rose by 50% over the same time last year, increasing from 14% total sales to 21% by March 2017.

REIT data showed that interstate buyers acquired 465 properties during the March quarter. Of these properties, 214 were purchased for investment purposes and the rest were for people who were looking to live in the area.

The March quarter has been hugely active, but it isn’t burned out yet. Increased levels of activity appear to be spreading state-wide, with all regions seeing improved market conditions. Of this, Launceston was a standout example.

There is a massive shortage of properties for sale and rent, which is placing considerable pressure on the markets. The previous boom lasted around 9 years and currently we are sat at 3 years into the new cycle.