Meander Valley Gazette

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real estate

Westbury property report

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

September 2017

STATISTICS SHOW that Westbury is experiencing a buoyant property market. At just over the halfway point through 2017, at least 38 properties have sold and settled; compared to a total of 56 for the whole of 2016. This compares with a recent high point of 67 in 2015, up from 58 properties in 2014 and 59 transactions back in 2013.

Recently released figures by the REIT indicate the median Westbury house price for 2017 is tracking at around the $292,500 level compared to $270,000 for 2016; bearing in mind the smaller sale number results and sampling could easily distort the median figure if more dearer or cheaper properties are selling through that review period. Although it still does reflect the sale activity of the actual time being examined.

The average time taken for a property to sell is dramatically down from 127 days on the market in 2016 to only 33 days at this point in 2017; with many properties that have been for sale for long periods have finally sold and new property listings moving relatively quickly if correctly priced.

“With the many open homes and other viewings I have conducted this year, there have been significant numbers of potential purchasers from the mainland, with recent sales confirming this fact,” said Peter Darrow of Peter Bushby Real Estate in Launceston.

Westbury is increasingly becoming a lifestyle choice for people wanting the security of a safe, friendly and less stressful village environment that is still close and accessible to Launceston.

Property market sees improvement

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

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THE PROPERTY market in Meander Valley has picked up substantially over the course of this year.

Daryl Smith, Business Owner and Director of Harcourts Real Estate Deloraine and Meander Valley, says his office has seen a 20% increase in sales of both residential and rural lifestyle properties this year, beginning in January.

He adds that even though the Meander Valley has a diverse range of property groups and price ranges, “all buyer groups have seen significant interest, with the lower bracket of $200,000 to $250,000 being the fastest moving segment of the market, in both town and village residential, and lifestyle rural, small acreage.”

Brian Claridge, Director and Sales Consultant at First National Real Estate Deloraine, has “seen an increase of 30% in commercial, residential and rural properties in the last financial year.”

He adds, “All types of housing have shown an increase in buyer enquiry. Enquiry for commercial is limited with few people willing to invest; the main criteria (for securing sales) is secure tenancies in place.”

Moreover, Mr. Claridge finds “the extra business created is translating into a consistent cash flow for his agency, with settlement times varying from 30 days to 9 months.”

Mr Smith attributes these escalating sales to “a combination of low interest rates, greater buyer confidence, a more stable state and federal government but, more importantly, more realistic pricing from vendors.”

Mr Claridge agrees, “the increase in sales can be attributed to correct pricing of property. Buyers are aware of previous sales of both individual properties and sales in the area.” He adds, “the historically low interest rates are assisting with investor interest. However, they are not translating as the driver for residential sales.”

All these factors have brought to Harcourts Deloraine, buyers with profiles that “change with each micro area of the Meander Valley.”

“Deloraine has almost a 90% interstate buyer market,” says Mr Smith. “Westbury has only a 30% share of this market, with the remainder being Greater Launceston (at) 30%, and existing locals are the remaining third.”

At First National Deloraine, Mr Claridge finds “buyer profiles are across the board; from first home buyers to professional investors and business people.”

Mr Smith believes that this increase in property sales will continue through the winter as “…June and early July are busy times... with June recording record sales figures on some occasions.”

He assures that, “while not at a record run this winter, it is shaping up to be a brisk property-trading period, with good sales in the first three weeks of the winter season.”

Mr Claridge concludes, “The overall main street business area is buzzing with confidence with arrival in town of new investment and new owners. The doom and gloom appears to have run its course. I am confident we will continue to see an improvement in property sales as we go into 2016.”