Great buying opportunities in Tasmania as Gunns hangs its hat

Great buying opportunities in Tasmania as Gunns hangs its hat

Posted on Thursday, September 27 2012 at 10:56 AM

As Gunns Limited hangs its hat on its timber processing dominance in Tasmania, the state’s housing market faces further downward pressure on sales transactions and rental occupancy, however Michelle Williams of Launceston-based At Home Property Management believes this means great buying opportunities for investors.

Williams says the impact of job losses on the state’s housing market
will mostly be felt in the Launceston region as a result of the majority of job
losses likely to happen around the pulp mill in the Bell Bay region in the

“It certainly won’t have a positive effect on our market,
particularly as vacancy rates are almost double of what they were last year and
rents have come back by up to 10 per cent, but sales prices have come back as
well so it’s all relative to what you’re paying.

“It’s certainly a good buying
market for investors right now with a large number of opportunities available.
Where else can you buy a CBD property for around $200,000?”

Meanwhile, Damien Taplin of TPC
Valuers says the announcement of Tasmania’s pulp milling and wood saw mill
enterprise Gunns Limited going into voluntary administration was just more bad
news the state’s economy and certainly the housing market didn’t need.

While Gunns Limited is
scrambling around for a buyer, Adrian Kelly of the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania says the project is still
“potentially viable”, particularly with the approvals in place and the
infrastructure set up, however he doesn’t hold much hope of a resurrection. “If
you’re a betting man it doesn’t seem likely.

“Gunns employs around 600 people in Tasmania, Victoria and Western
Australia, but the majority in Tasmania. So what this means is there will be
600 more people in the dole queue and people losing their jobs means less
people buying and selling,” he says.

Looking at the bigger picture,
Williams says that while the Tasmanian economy is struggling at the moment, the
positive about owning an investment property in the state is that it doesn’t
experience the big booms and busts like other parts of the nation that are
being pumped up by the mining sector.

“Tasmania remains relatively
steady compared to other places, something a long-term investor would
appreciate,” she says.

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