THERE were 2259 less property transactions across the state last year compared to 2021.

And yet, Tasmania recorded in excess of $5bn worth of property sales for only the second time on record.

The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s annual figures, released alongside its December quarter report, show house transactions falling while median house prices increased to record highs across each of the major regions.

Greater Hobart sales fell 11.7 per cent last year while the median house price pushed up 12.9 per cent to $790,000.

Launceston house sales dipped 14.6 per cent with prices growing to $579,000 (up 17.9 per cent). And the North West centres hit a median house price of $466,000 (up 16.8 per cent) amid 22.8 per cent less sales.

REIT president Michael Walsh said the property market had “moved on from the heights of the past three years”.

“It has established a new set of norms, which have seen the market transition from sellers dictating the terms of sale to a much more balanced market,” he said.

“We expected to see less transactions in 2022 than 2021.”

The report showed first homebuyer and investor activity decreased last year. FHB sales fell by 15.6 per cent while investor numbers receded 33.1 per cent.

“There is no doubt FHB have been scorched,” Mr Walsh said.

“Investors will sit out until the winds change, then they will be back.”

Rental vacancies dipped lower across the state, from 1.3 per cent to 1 per cent. Rents grew to $560 per week in greater Hobart, $450 in Launceston and $380 in the North West.

Interstate buyers fell from 2190 to 1538 year-on-year, with 1029 mainland purchasers buying Tassie property to relocate here.

Tasmanian purchasers drove sales in excess of $1m to new heights accounting for 81.5 per cent of sales at this level. In 2021, the state set a record for $1m-plus sales (788), but in 2022 it zoomed higher still to 943.

The typical amount of time it takes to sell a home has doubled in Hobart over the past year to 26 days. Launceston has increased from 17 to 29 days and the North West from 22 to 33.

With properties taking longer to sell, Mr Walsh said there has been an increase in the number of available listings.

“We are seeing buyers taking a more cautious approach,” he said.

“However, some areas are still experiencing a stock shortage and our prices haven’t been as drastically affected as our mainland counterparts.

“We desperately need more rental properties across the state, which makes the decrease in investor participation a concern.”

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s first 2023 interest rates meeting was held on 7th Feb resulting in the 9th interest rate rise to a cash rate of 3.35%.

The Housing Industry Association has called for the RBA to pause its cycle of hikes amid lending for the purchase and construction of a new home falling to its lowest level since 2012.

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