Insuring a home is still difficult in Hobart

Listings are on the rise, but it could take years for home ownership to really open up in Hobart. Image: Supplied

EVERY capital city had fewer new homes for sale in April this year compared to last year, except one.

In something of a surprise to anyone watching the Hobart market, PropTrack’s latest Listings Report showed that the southernmost capital city had 38.4 percent more new listings compared to the previous year.

The next best performer was Melbourne with a -0.6 per cent annual change in new listings.

Regional Tasmania also appeared to increase more than its peers with 24.8% growth, well ahead of Regional SA on 6.6%.

Total listings increased in Hobart by 4.7 percent for the month and 21.4 percent for the year.

However, when comparing April to March, Hobart and Tassie regional had -7.5 per cent and -13.7 per cent new listings.

What is really going on here?

This upward movement in listings has come from an extremely low number of homes available for sale to a slightly higher number.

Stocks remain tight in Hobart.

Listing data from SQM Research shows that homes for sale in Hobart have increased month-on-month this year.

There were 1,607 homes for sale in April, down from 1,365 in March, 1,301 in February and 1,175 in January (one of the lowest numbers in more than a decade).

There have been fewer than 2,000 homes for sale, month over month, since June 2020; and the lowest point was last April at 1160.

Hobart hasn’t had 3,000 or more homes for sale since April 2017. And it’s been a decade since Hobart has been close to 5,000.

PropTrack economist Angus Moore said part of the reason for the slower April in most of the nation this year compared to last was that the Easter holidays fell in mid-April, which it impacted one month instead of spreading throughout March and April.

After extremely strong late 2021 and early 2022, Moore said selling conditions appear to be easing.

“Conditions are likely to remain strong for the next several months, but may continue to soften as we head into the typically quieter winter season,” he said.

“After reaching multi-decade highs in 2021, price growth is slowing across the country, with prices declining very slightly in Sydney and Hobart in April.”

PropTrack Economist Angus Moore.

Propertyology’s head of research Simon Pressley said demand for Hobart homes remained “incredibly strong”.

“However, the volume of supply is ridiculously low. It could take at least two years to get back to a breakeven level,” he said.

“If buyer activity remains strong, it will be several years before the price figures reach a balanced position.

“Crisis may be an overused word these days, but it’s fair to describe Hobart’s stock as at an all-time low.

“And we have to remember, housing is shelter. We need it.

“Outside of our family relationships, it probably has the biggest influence on our quality of life.”

Director of property management, Simon Pressley.

Pressley said investors, first-time homebuyers, interstate relocators and owner-occupants looking to upgrade were scrambling for Hobart’s scant number of listings for sale.

The only reason sales volumes have dropped in Hobart is that there aren’t enough properties available to buy to meet demand, he said.

The Propertyology team places tremendous value on the number of properties listed for sale and rent.

“They are two of the biggest influential forces in any real estate market. Much more important than population growth,” Pressley said.

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