November rain for Tassie's real estate parade

Is it a return to normal or a steep decline? 

The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s September Quarterly Report has revealed the statistics to show evidence of the gradual slowing of the local real estate market. Although the -19.7 per cent dip when compared to the same time last year indicates a substantial slump in sales figures, this may just indicate the record breaking highs of the post pandemic market are well and truly behind us. 

While the report indicates property investors and interstate buyers may be the lowest they have been for a decade, the financial factors of inflation and interest are no doubt to blame. 

While some may consider a less competitive market to be beneficial in alleviating some of the extreme rental pressure experienced across the state, the low level of interstate investment will add further stress to the already tense situation. The effects already being felt according to the report, as average rent across the state increased by $20. 

Although that all sounds quite ominous, REIT president Mark Walsh has provided some optimism. Citing the strength of the Tasmanian market as opposed to other states, he said “We have not crashed like some large interstate cities, there is still strength in the Tasmanian market.” 


New faces for Tassie council 

Now the votes of all 29 councils have been counted, you may be wondering what impact that may have to your suburb and the state as a whole. With a number of new faces, history making results and a few extremely contentious issues facing the incumbent Council, the reorganisation of local government indicates a substantial development. 

 One of the largest issues facing incoming Council members will be the hotly contested issue of the campus of the University of Tasmania. As the council will have an impact on the ongoing discussion around the move of the campus into the City of Hobart in many of their previously purchased properties. The development applications for these large key properties in Hobart will be subject to the new Council’s scepticism, which will be the best indicator of the project’s viability. 

Importantly, the Council will also be required to vote on any proposed subdivision of the current campus. The 100 hectares of land in the heart of Sandy Bay is key to the University’s development.


Newest Developments in the UTAS Saga 

While the recently re-elected Hobart City Lord Mayor Ms Reynolds has previously asked for greater compromise from the UTAS side, the position of many of the newly elected members is still yet to be revealed. 

As the highly controversial, and at times polarising, the topic was largely avoided by most running local political races. One incoming member’s stance is no mystery, however, as Save UTAS Campus core member Ben Lohberger took the very last seat on the council. While new members will be hesitant to jump straight into such a divisive topic, Lohberger will surely be a resounding voice aiming to elevate the issue. 


Cable Car has a Rocky Road Ahead 

The cable car proposed for kunanyi/Mt Wellington has been dealt a further blow, failing to satisfy the planning appeals tribunal and upholding the initial ruling of the Hobart City Council. 

While somewhat reducing the plans footprint, the proposed cable car could not satisfy the tribunal’s requirements around noise, biodiversity and the visual impact on the mountain itself. In spite of halving the passengers, reducing building space on the mountain itself and at the summit, the Mount Wellington Cableway Company proposal failed to satisfy 18 of 26 contested criteria. 

Those opposed to the cable car can breathe a sigh of relief. At least for the moment. As the company behind the proposal will now have to wait at least two years to recontest the issue. 

Stating the need to reconsider the proposal, Mount Wellington Cableway Company chair Chris Oldfield said, “We need to get advice from our legal and planning advisers on the technical detail of the tribunal’s determination.” 

While local activist and campaign manager Nala Mansell said, “At the end of the day, we celebrate this victory; we’re happy to see kunanyi will remain protected, but we also need to ensure that adequate heritage legislation is put in place to avoid the risk of destruction of Aboriginal heritage from proposals like this in the future.”