HOBART house prices increased by 34 per cent over the past five years while the sharing economy has caused rents to rise at a nation-leading rate, the latest CoreLogic Australian Affordable Housing Report 2018-19 has shown.
Hobart’s rising median house price of $465,000 resulted after mainland buyers entered the market seeking high returns on their investment as a result of the lower housing costs.
Hobart’s 34 per cent increase compares with Sydney and Melbourne on 38.8 per cent.
CoreLogic’s report contained the Anglicare Australia Rental Affordability Snapshot which highlighted the effect of Airbnb on the Hobart rental market, where rents increased by 10.7 per cent — the highest in Australia.
“Hobart has seen a significant decline in the number of affordable and suitable private rental properties,” the report said.
“The Greater Hobart region now has the most unaffordable rents in the country due in part to significantly lower household incomes, taking the mantle from the Greater Sydney region.
“In Hobart up to one in eight homes are reported to be listed on [Airbnb], creating a scarcity in rental properties and driving up rents.”
The Rental Affordability Index of 102 in Hobart was rated as “moderately high rents” which required 29 per cent of income to be spent on rent.
The State Government acted on Tasmanian Planning Commission recommendations in June to change short-stay accommodation rules.
But the State Opposition criticised the changes as tinkering around the edges and not sufficient to address the homelessness crisis, which culminated in the establishment of a tent city at the Royal Hobart Showground this year.
The report said Hobart had experienced negative impacts on rental affordability because of the effects of tourism growth and rapid gentrification.
“The Airbnb explosion led to the removal of properties from the long-term rental market and, as property prices in the city rapidly rise, low-income earners are finding it harder to compete in the rental market,” the report said.
The increase in house prices meant there were fewer homes in the price range for first home buyers and retirees.
Less than half of all sales were below $400,000 over the past five years compared with a rate of 67 per cent in the previous five years.